Ginger is a popular rhizome plant, popularly used as a spice or folk medicine. Young ginger rhizomes are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste. They are often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or cooked as an ingredient in many dishes. They can be steeped in boiling water to make ginger tisane to which honey or sliced oranges or lemon fruit can also be added. Ginger can be made into candy or ginger wine, something that has been made commercially since 1740. Mature ginger roots have been used as seasoning in Indian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and many South Asian cuisines. It is also used as an ingredient for many Ayurvedic medicines.
Such a versatile herb, there would hardly be any household in India, which doesn’t use ginger. But getting fresh ginger each time in a busy city life could be a challenge at times. I personally don’t really like the taste of ginger on its own, I make an ugly face each time I encounter an intact piece in dal or curry, having escaped the sharp edges of a blender or a mixer. For people like me, and for people who want the convenience and ease in cooking without having to go looking for fresh ginger, there are oleoresins and extracts.
The Spice Board of India, under its brand Flavourit, brings highly concentrated extracts of herbs and spices to enliven the food and beverages. They claim to retain all the natural goodness of the herbs and spices, making cooking a lot more convenient than their whole or powdered parents.
I bought 5 mL of the Flavourit Ginger Spice extract for Rs. 110. Flavourit, an authentic brand for quality Indian spices is an initiative of the Spices Board of India to promote the finest quality spices across the Board. The soul of the spices has been bottled to rejuvenate the senses and please the palate, as it awakens you to a new dimension of flavor. The highly concentrated liquid emphasizes its natural quality, flavor, essence and aroma, guaranteeing an experience that calls you back for more. The concoction is natural and carefully bottled to last over a period of two years at normal room temperature.
The extract comes with a dropper, and just one or a maximum of two drops is sufficient to add all the flavor you need in your food. It’s aroma does not vanish, or diminish with time. Each time you open the bottle, a kick of fresh ginger aroma hits you.
The extracts are also available for Garam Masala, Tea Masala, Clove, Cardamom, Cassia, Cumin, etc.