Ginger (Adrak – Indian translation)

Ginger is a rhizome – a horizontal stem of a plant found underground and usually has roots and shoots. Ginger is native to India which produces 30% of the world’s supply and is the global leader in its production. It is used in cuisines all around the world and in all types of food and drinks including savoury and sweet dishes, baked goods and confectionary, teas, coffees and beer.

root ginger

Root Ginger

Types of ginger
Ginger comes in various forms.  Each variety differs in taste, aroma and usage.  Below are the most common types of ginger used in Indian cooking:

  • Whole raw roots (aka fresh ginger) – flesh is pale yellow in appearance and the skin slightly darker.  It is picked when the plants’ stalks have wilted and roots are at their ripest (and flavour and aroma at their strongest).
  • Whole fresh roots – is picked when the plant is still very young and the skin still green.
  • Dried roots – Sold whole or sliced and appears almost black with the skin on and has a white interior when peeled.
  • Powder – made from dried root ginger


Cooking with ginger
Ginger is essential to Asian cooking.  Used fresh it can be sliced, crushed or in curry paste and dried in curry powder.  It is a main ingredient for pulse, lentil and vegetable curries and in Pakistan is particularly popular finely chopped or crushed into a paste for chicken and meat based curries.  It is predominantly found in Karahi dishes and complement’s cauliflower and potatoes especially well.

Fresh ginger is used raw and is cooked in with a dishes’ other ingredients.  Dried ginger is cracked open to release its flavours which are infused in the cooking process.  It is removed prior to serving.  Ginger is sometimes shaved and used as a garnish. All types of ginger need to be stored in air-tight containers to preserve the flavour.

Health benefits
Ginger has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries.  It has been brewed in teas to relieve the symptoms of the common cold, coughs and congestion.  It was originally added to ale and beer to help settle stomachs, resulting in the ginger ales and beers we still drink today.

It is said to be effective in treating nausea from motion sickness and is a safe herbal remedy for pregnant women to relieve morning sickness.  It also eases queasiness felt by patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Ginger can help decrease pain from arthritis and has been found to have blood thinning and cholesterol lowering properties.  It can be successful in treating heart disease, diabetes and reduces anxiety.

As well as its many positive uses, ginger can (in some extremely rare cases) cause heartburn, bloating, gas, belching and nausea.  Those with ulcers, bowel disease and blocked intestines can react badly to large quantities of ginger and should avoid it where possible.


Author: Jenni

Share This Post On


  1. Turmeric | Curry Culture - [...] to its similar properties, turmeric can be used fresh in the same way as ginger and is popular in…
  2. Homemade curry powder | Curry Culture - [...] Ginger Fennel seeds Cinnamon Cloves Mustard seed Green and black cardamom Mace Nutmeg and Black [...]
  3. Chicken Hari Boti | Curry Culture - [...] chicken 1 chef spoon garlic and ginger paste 2 chef spoons yogurt 1 chef spoon mayonnaise 2 tbsp garam…
  4. Irani Boti | Curry Culture - [...] chicken thighs 1 chef spoons garlic/ginger paste 1 chef spoons yogurt 5 chef spoons mayonnaise 30ml lemon juice 3…
  5. Aloo Gobi | Curry Culture - [...] A tsp of fresh chopped ginger [...]
  6. Black Cardamom | Curry Culture - [...] which produces both the black and green cardamom seeds used in cooking is closely related to the ginger [...]
  7. Lamb Karahi | Curry Culture - [...] tsp garlic & ginger paste Lamb [...]
  8. Green cardamom in curry | Curry Culture - [...] cardamom, like the black variety, is part of the ginger family.  The green cardamom plant, elettaria, is also known…
  9. Chicken Karahi, Chicken Karai | Curry Culture - [...] & ginger paste Punjabi Chicken [...]
  10. Chicken Biryani | Curry Culture - [...] tbsp garlic & ginger [...]
  11. Mustard seed for curry | Curry Culture - [...] seed is especially good with fish.  Try marinating fish in mustard paste with salt, turmeric, ginger and garlic paste,…
  12. An ode to the Brits: beans on toast, Indian style! | Curry Culture - [...] with some onion, ginger and garlic and seasoned with cumin, coriander and chili powders and a bit of garam masala,…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *