Unique flavoured multipurpose herb: lemon grass

My first memory of lemon grass is in Thai food in Calcutta, several years ago. It had a distinct lemony flavour and I was intrigued by this herb and the taste it bought to the food. Later, I also sampled tea with lemon grass, which my father-in-law so lovingly prepared. The tea tasted good, but not exactly my cup of tea!  I prefer my kadak chai sans anything.

Lemon grass is a unique herb and lends a great lemony flavour when added to dishes. It is primarily used in Thai and South East Asian cuisine. The pale yellow stalk is what needs to be used. Most chefs tend to use it fresh, but many of us at home also use the dried, powdered version to add a citrus flavour to dishes. It pairs well with ginger, chilli, garlic and coconut. A little is a lot, when it comes to lemon grass, so use it sparingly. I love it in soups. Tom Yum or hot, sour shrimp soup or a Chicken noodle soup. Have even tried it with baked fish and it tastes good. Sauteed Bass is a good bet too. Chicken dishes are where it is commonly used, but also prawns. Lemon grass is a great favourite with Chefs preparing Vietnamese food. Rich in Vitamin C, it has several other health benefits as well and many people use it for curing headaches, cold, flu, chest congestion and so on. Easily availabale nowadays, it helps to keep some at home. Comes handy.

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