Ginger, wonderful ginger. You’re going to be hard pressed to find a Punjabi recipe that doesn’t contain ginger – adrak.
Making it’s appearance in India in the 1st century, ginger is a staple in masala, chai, pickles, candy, hell I’m surprised we don’t put it in our desserts. Ginger – Adrak has long been used to treat stomach ailments, nausea, and inflammation. Ginger proves to be a decent source for manganese, magnesium, and B6. However, aside from it’s mild medicinal properties (used heavily in Ayurvedic medicine), fresh ginger is used in a wide varieties of ways such as in curries, lentils, vegetables, teas (hot and cold), candies, cooking pastes, etc. You see what I mean by nearly everything. Recipes range in the hundreds, including ginger tea, lemon pickle, methi pakoras, and so on and so forth.
It’s aromatic, light in flavor, with a slight sharpness of spice when it ages. It can be a little fibrous, so best to slice thin, mince, or puree before using. If you want to make new enemies and wow your existing ones next time someone calls it a root mention it’s a rhizome and they’re uncouth for not knowing that, that’ll do the trick.
How to Buy and Store Ginger
Luckily, ginger is available year round at most grocery stores, so no difficulties there.
When selecting ginger, pick a piece that’s firm to the touch, smooth, and relatively free of blemishes. The more wrinkled the skin the longer it’s been sitting there, dehydrating. As an avid user, I never have to worry about it going bad but if you only use ginger occasionally, it’ll last at least a couple weeks if stored skin on, in the vegetable drawer. Alternatively, you can skin it, mince it, and throw it in the freezer. Then pop it out and use as needed.