Lemongrass and Ginger Jelly
EVENT: A- Z RECIPE CHALLENGE
THEME : A DISH BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER L
My Choice for L is Lemongrass
When it comes to the letter L, one can be spoilt with the number of ingredients one can use right from lemon, lime, lima beans, lentils, licorice, lettuce, lady’s finger, long pepper and the list can go on. In spite of all those choices, I chose to use lemongrass. The slightly lemony and strong fragrance of lemongrass is my favorite.
Why am I focusing on Letter L?
Frankly, its all because of the challenge set by the group A-Z Recipe Challenge, whereby each month we take a letter and make a dish using that letter. The name of the ingredient used should begin with the letter decided and the catch is that it should be its name in English, not Hindi or any other language. This group was started by two fellow bloggers Jolly Makkar and Vidya Narayan.
What is Lemongrass?
Known by several names barbed wire grass, lemon grass, oily heads, Cochin grass, Malabar grass, silky heads, citronella, lemongrass is a lemon scented grass which is widely used in cooking, herbal products like herbal tea, herbal mixes and in beauty products like creams, shampoos, in perfumes etc. It is also used as a natural repellent for mosquitoes. The stems are clustered and the grass blade can grow up to 6-10 feet. While Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand use the white stem base for cooking, the green part is widely used in India and Africa for brewing tea and herbal drinks.
How to use Lemongrass?
While I love boiling chopped lemongrass in water before adding my tea leaves and milk to make a delicious hot tea, I also love using it to make Lemongrass Fruity Tea or Lemongrass and Mint Iced Tea. Red, Yellow and Green Thai curries all use lemongrass besides other herbs and spices. Although I’ve tasted all three during my trip to Thailand, I actually got a chance to make the Yellow Thai Curry with Vegetables with my son. Tom Yum Soup doesn’t taste the same without lemongrass. For fresh homemade Thai Red Curry paste you’ll find Sandhya’s recipe very easy to follow. As for dessert, you’ve got to try out my Lemongrass and Ginger Infused Pineapple Coconut Ice Cream. Have you ever tried Roasted Green Tomato and Lemongrass Dressing? If not click on the link to find out how Mireille makes it. Isn’t that an awesome idea?
How am I using lemongrass for the A-Z Recipe Challenge?
Well, in the dessert form. Yes, you read right, in a simple and yet super flavorful dessert. I infused the water with lemongrass stalk and leaves and used that to make a jelly. Served the jelly with some fresh strawberries and voilà got a light, slightly on the healthier side dessert. Lemongrass and ginger pair very well and for a slightly sweetish taste and to get that ever so light golden colour I added a single strand of saffron into each glass.
- Gluten free
- Satvik friendly as I’ve used agar agar
LEMONGRASS AND GINGER JELLY
4½ cups water
2-3 stalks of lemongrass with the leaves
1 inch fresh ginger
4 tsp agar agar powder or 4 tbsp agar agar flakes
4 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
few strands of saffron
- Add the water into a saucepan.
- Chop the lemongrass into tiny pieces using a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.
- Add it to the water.
- Wash and grate the ginger.
- Add that too to the water.
- Bring the water to a rolling boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat. Cover the pan and let the flavors infuse for 15 -30 minutes.
- Strain the lemongrass liquid to remove the lemongrass and ginger.
- Return the strained liquid to the pan.
- Heat it up again.
- Add sugar and mix well till the sugar dissolves.
- Add lemon juice and the agar agar.
- Stir till the agar agar gets dissolved.
- Pour the lemongrass liquid into small bowls, cups or glasses.
- Add a strand of saffron into each glass.
- Let the lemongrass liquid cool a bit at room temperature.
- Put the lemongrass liquid in the fridge to set.
- Just before serving, add chopped fruit of your choice. I used strawberries.
- You can replace the sugar with honey, maple syrup or stevia.
- Serve with your choice of fruit.
- You can use any vegetarian or vegan gelatin instead of agar agar.
- If you are using agar agar flakes, stir till the flakes melt. Sometimes a few pieces don’t melt so then its best to strain the liquid before allowing it to set.
- If you don’t want to use ginger then use mint as lemongrass pairs well with mint.
- You can use normal gelatin if you want to.
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