Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hot chilli!

This is called Gandhari chilli, after a strong willed woman from the Mahabharata. The name is apt, because once you have tasted it, the hot taste will linger in your mouth for a long time. The plant looks very attractive with bright green leaves and small orange chillies.
Sinceit is so hot, I use one small chilli in my sambhar, and remember to take it out before starting to eat my dinner.
These chillies are a fraction of the size of the Cayenne peppers we generally use, but much spicier than the longer cousin. They are also called Kashmiri chillies. The plant looks good among flowers in a border , in a garden which is not visited by children.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Boesenbergia Ginger

The Boesenbergia ginger is a native of the forests of the Western Ghats in India. I saw these flowers during a walk in the forest and was captivated by their beauty. It is also known as the Finger root ginger, as its rhizomes resemble fingers. It is used in Chinese and Thai cuisine. IOn India, the herb is used for relieving gastric troubles and for tonsilitis. The rhizomes are used in pickles.