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Aralia elata

Botanical Name: Aralia elata
Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Aralia
Species:A. elata
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Dimorphanthus elatus.

Common Name : Japanese Angelica Tree, Angelica Tree (In Japan it is known as tara-no-ki, and in Korea as dureup namu.)

Habitat: Aralia elata is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea. It grows in thin woodland and thickets on rich well moistened slopes, 900 – 2000 metres in N. Hupeh.

Description:
Aralia elata is an upright deciduous small tree or shrub growing up to 10 m (33 ft) in height at a medium rate. The bark is rough and gray with prickles. The leaves are alternate, large, 60–120 cm long, and double pinnate. The flowers are produced in large umbels in late summer, each flower small and white. The fruit is a small black drupe…CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils.

It prefers deep loamy soils in partial shade, but will grow in poorer soils and in full sun. The plant is sometimes cultivated, often in a variegated form, for its exotic appearance.

Aralia elata is closely related to the American species Aralia spinosa, with which it is easily confused.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Specimen. Prefers a good deep loam and a position in semi-shade but it also succeeds in a sunny position. Requires a sheltered position. Plants are hardier when grown on poorer soils. Prefers an acid soil. Dormant plants are hardy to at least -15°. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. A very ornamental species, there are a number of named varieties. It is usually a single stemmed shrub, spreading by means of suckers. This species is closely allied to A. chinensis. Special Features: Not North American native, Blooms are very showy.

Propagation: 
Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 – 5 months of cold stratification. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 4 months at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Once the plants are 25cm or more tall, they can be planted out into their permanent positions, late spring or early summer being the best time to do this. Root cuttings 8cm long, December in a cold frame. Store the roots upside down in sand and pot up in March/April. High percentage. Division of suckers in late winter. Very easy, the suckers can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.
Edible Uses: Young shoots – cooked. They can also be blanched and used in salads.

In Japan, the shoots (taranome) are eaten in the spring. They are picked from the end of the branches and are fried in a tempura batter.

In Korean cuisine, its shoots called dureup are used for various dishes, such as dureup jeon, that is a variety of jeon (pancake-like dish) made by pan-frying the shoots covered with minced beef and batter.

Dureup namul, also called dureup muchim is a dish made by blanching dureup seasoned with chojang (chili pepper and vinegar sauce).

It is also common to eat Aralia elata as Dureup bugak, fried shoots of the plant coated with glutinous rice paste, usually served along with chal jeonbyeong, a kind of pancake made by pan-frying glutinous rice flour. …...CLICK & SEE : 
Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne; Cancer; Carminative.

The roots and stems are anodyne and carminative. All parts of the plant are used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthralgia, coughs, diabetes, jaundice, stomach ulcers and stomach cancers.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aralia_elata
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aralia+elata

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Mung

Botanical Name: Vigna radiata
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Vigna
Species: V. radiata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms:
*Azukia radiata (L.) Ohwi
*Phaseolus abyssinicus Savi
*Phaseolus aureus Roxb.
*Phaseolus aureus Wall.
*Phaseolus aureus Zuccagni
*Phaseolus chanetii (H.Lev.) H.Lev.
*Phaseolus hirtus Retz.
*Phaseolus novo-guineense Baker f.
*Phaseolus radiatus L.
*Phaseolus setulosus Dalzell
*Phaseolus sublobatus Roxb.
*Phaseolus trinervius Wight & Arn.
*Pueraria chanetii H.Lev.
*Rudua aurea (Roxb.) F.Maek.
*Rudua aurea (Roxb.) Maekawa
*Vigna brachycarpa Kurz
*Vigna opistricha A.Rich.
*Vigna perrieriana R.Vig.
*Vigna sublobata (Roxb.) Babu & S.K.Sharma
*Vigna sublobata (Roxb.) Bairig. & al.

Common Names: Mung ,Mung bean, Moong bean, Green gram

Habitat : Mung is native to the Indian subcontinent, the mung bean is mainly cultivated today in India, China, and Southeast Asia. It is also cultivated in hot, dry regions in Southern Europe and the Southern United States. It is used as an ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes.

Description:
Mung is an upright annual legume ranging in height from 15 cm to 1 m; average height of mature plant, 0.9 m. Branches freely, but not heavily foliaged. Leaves, stems and pods are slightly hairy. Junctions of branches and stems are stipuled. The first flowers appear seven to eight weeks after planting and the crop reaches maturity in 12 to 14 weeks. Pods borne at top of plant. Seeds, green and almost globular (Doherty, 1963a). Pods clothed in long, spreading, deciduous silky hairs.

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Mung bean or green gram has long been a food crop in Asia. It is less known as a useful green manure crop. Recently it has become of interest in Queensland as a fodder crop. In its short growing season, Vigna radiata will outyield cowpea and velvet bean of the same age, although maximum yields of the other two are greater. It is, therefore, a useful legume for early forage. It is adapted to a wide range of well drained soils, but is best on fertile sandy loams. On sandy soils of low fertility, 185 to 250 kg./ha molybdenized superphosphate will usually give adequate growth.

A good seed bed (as for maize or sorghum) should be prepared. The seed is broadcast or drilled in rows 16 to 35 cm apart, the usual seeding rate being 6 kg./ha drilled and up to 10 kg./ha broadcast. It can also be sod-seeded into existing pastures. Seed is preferably inoculated with the cowpea strain of Rhizobium before sowing. The first grazing can be given about six weeks after planting, before the flowers appear; two grazings are usually obtained. Green manure should be ploughed in when the plant is in full flower. Mung bean should be cut for hay as it begins to flower. The cut material should be conditioned to hasten drying. Doherty (1963a) obtained a yield of 1 872 kg./ha of green matter from mung bean sod-seeded into a Rhodes grass/green panic pasture at the rate of 11 kg./ha in 53-cm rows, fertilized with 264 kg./ha molybdenized superphosphate. Unfertilized pasture yielded only 623 kg./ha of green matter.

Edible Uses:
Mung beans are commonly used in various cuisines across Asia.

Whole beans and mung bean paste:
Whole cooked mung beans are generally prepared from dried beans by boiling until they are soft. Mung beans are light yellow in colour when their skins are removed. Mung bean paste can be made by dehulling, cooking, and pulverizing the beans to a dry paste.

Although whole mung beans are also occasionally used in Indian cuisine, beans without skins are more commonly used; but in Kerala, whole mung beans are commonly boiled to make a dry preparation often served with rice gruel (kanji). Dehulled mung beans can also be used in a similar fashion as whole beans for the purpose of making sweet soups. Mung beans in some regional cuisines of India are stripped of their outer coats to make mung dal. In Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, steamed whole beans are seasoned with spices and fresh grated coconut in a preparation called sundal. In south and north Indian states, mung beans are also eaten as pancakes. They are soaked in water for six to 12 hours (the higher the temperature, the lesser soaking time). Then they are ground into fine paste along with ginger and salt. Then pancakes are made on a very hot griddle. These are usually eaten for breakfast. This provides high quality protein that is rare in most Indian regional cuisines. Pongal or kichdi is another recipe that is made with rice and mung beans without skin. In Kerala, it is commonly used to make the parippu preparation in the Travancore region (unlike Cochin and Malabar, where toor dal, tuvara parippu, is used). It is also used, with coconut milk and jaggery, to make a type of payasam.

In Chinese cuisine, whole mung beans are used to make a Tong sui, or dessert, otherwise literally translated, “sugar water”, called ludou Tong sui, which is served either warm or chilled. In Indonesia, they are made into a popular dessert snack called es kacang hijau, which has the consistency of a porridge. The beans are cooked with sugar, coconut milk, and a little ginger.

In Hong Kong, dehulled mung beans and mung bean paste are made into ice cream or frozen ice pops. Mung bean paste is used as a common filling for Chinese mooncakes in East China and Taiwan. Also in China, the boiled and shelled beans are used as filling in glutinous rice dumplings eaten during the dragon boat festival. The beans may also be cooked until soft, blended into a liquid, sweetened, and served as a beverage, popular in many parts of China.

In the Philippines, ginisáng monggó (sautéed mung bean stew), also known as monggó guisado or balatong, is a savoury stew of whole mung beans with prawns or fish. It is traditionally served on Fridays of Lent, when the majority Roman Catholic Filipinos traditionally abstain from meat. Variants of ginisáng monggó may also be made with chicken or pork.

Mung bean paste is also a common filling of pastries known as hopia (or bakpia) popular in Indonesia, the Philippines and further afield in Guyana (where it is known as black eye cake) and originating from southern China.

Neutrients:
The seeds and sprouts of mung bean (Vigna radiata), a common food, contain abundant nutrients with biological activities. This review provides insight into the nutritional value of mung beans and its sprouts, discussing chemical constituents that have been isolated in the past few decades, such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, organic acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. Moreover, we also summarize dynamic changes in metabolites during the sprouting process and related biological activities, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, lipid metabolism accommodation, antihypertensive, and antitumor effects, etc., with the goal of providing scientific evidence for better application of this commonly used food as a medicine.

Known Hazards: They are one of many species recently moved from the genus Phaseolus to Vigna, and is still often seen incorrectly cited as Phaseolus aureus or Phaseolus radiatus.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mung_bean
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/GBASE/DATA/PF000088.HTM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24438453

Garlic can be a remedy for cough & cold,flue etc.

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After breakfast, swallow a small clove of garlic. Don’t chew, just swallow. This improves your immunity and keeps you ready for seasonal upheavals.

– Chop some cloves, fry it in ghee, add to your food. Not only does this make food tastier, it also boosts digestion.

– Heat sesame oil to smoking point and put a few cloves of garlic in it. Bottle this, rub a few drops oil on your chest and on the soles when you have cough or cold. It relieves congestion and cures cold.

– Roast a clove of garlic and have it with a spoon of honey before going to bed. This provides you relief against cough.

Click to see : A garlic a day for good health

Click to see different benefits of garlic

Source: The Times Of India

Star Anise

Japanese star aniseImage via Wikipedia

Botanical Name: Illicium verum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Austrobaileyales
Family: Illiciaceae/Magnoliaceae
Genus: Illicium
syn: I. anisatum
Other Names:-Anise Stars, Badain, Badiana, Chinese Anise
French: anis de la Chine, anise étoilé, badiane
German: Sternanis
Italian: anice stellato
Spanish: anis estrllado,badian
Chinese: ba chio, ba(ht) g(h)ok, bart gok, pa-chiao, pak kok, peh kah
India:Chakra Phool
Indonesian: bunga lawang

Habitat: Native to China and Vietnam, star anise is today grown almost exclusively in southern China, Indo-China, and Japan. It was first introduced into Europe in the seventeenth century.

Plant Description and Cultivation:
A small to medium evergreen tree of the magnolia family, reaching up to 8m (26ft). The leaves are lanceolate and the axillary flowers are yellow. The tree is propagated by seed and mainly cultivated in China and Japan for export and home markets. the fruits are harvested before they ripen, then sun dried.

..CLICK & SEE

Spice Description:
Star anise is the unusual fruit of a small oriental tree. It is, as the name suggests, star shaped, radiating between five and ten pointed boat-shaped sections, about eight on average. These hard sections are seed pods. Tough skinned and rust coloured, they measure up to 3cm (1-1/4”) long. The fruit is picked before it can ripen, and dried. The stars are available whole, or ground to a red-brown powder....CLICK & SEE
Bouquet: Powerful and liquorice-like, more pungent and stronger than anise.
Flavour: Evocative of a bitter aniseed, of which flavour star anise is a harsher version. Nervertheless, the use of star anise ensures an authentic touch in the preparation of certain Chinese dishes.

Star anise is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavor, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a small native evergreen tree of southwest China. The star shaped fruits are harvested just before ripening. It is widely used in Chinese cuisine, in Indian cuisine where it is a major component of garam masala, and in Malay/Indonesian cuisine. It is widely grown for commercial use in China, India, and most other countries in Asia. Star anise is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. It is also one of the ingredients used to make the broth for the Vietnamese noodle soup called ph?. It is used as a spice in preparation of Biryani in Andhra Pradesh, a south Indian State.

Medicinal Properties:
Like anise, star anise has carminative, stomachic, stimulant and diuretic properties. In the East it is used to combat colic and rheumatism. It is a common flavouring for medicinal teas, cough mixtures and pastilles.

Medicinal uses:
Star anise has been used in a tea as a remedy for colic and rheumatism, and the seeds are sometimes chewed after meals to aid digestion.

Shikimic acid, a primary feedstock used to create the anti-flu drug Tamiflu, is produced by most autotrophic organisms, but star anise is the industrial source. In 2005, there was a temporary shortage of star anise due to its use in making Tamiflu. Late in that year, a way was found of making shikimic acid artificially. A drug company named Roche now derives some of the raw material it needs from fermenting E. coli bacteria. There is no longer any shortage of star anise and it is readily available and is relatively cheap.

Star anise is grown in four provinces in China and harvested between March and May. The shikimic acid is extracted from the seeds in a ten-stage manufacturing process which takes a year. Reports say 90% of the harvest is already used by the Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer Roche in making Tamiflu, but other reports say there is an abundance of the spice in the main regions – Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan.

Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum), a similar tree, is not edible because it is highly toxic; instead, it has been burned as incense in Japan. Cases of illness, including “serious neurological effects, such as seizures”, reported after using star anise tea may be a result of using this species. Japanese star anise contains anisatin, which causes severe inflammation of the kidneys, urinary tract and digestive organs.

Culinary Uses:
Star anise is used in the East as aniseed is in the West. Apart from its use in sweetmeats and confectionery, where sweeteners must be added, it contributes to meat and poultry dishes, combining especially well with pork and duck. In Chinese red cooking, where the ingredients are simmered for a lengthy period in dark soy sauce, star anise is nearly always added to beef and chicken dishes. Chinese stocks and soups very often contain the spice.. It flavours marbled eggs, a decorative Chinese hors d’oeuvre or snack. Mandarins with jaded palates chew the whole dried fruit habitually as a post-prandial digestant and breath sweetener – an oriental comfit. In the West, star anise is added in fruit compotes and jams, and in the manufacture of anise-flavoured liqueurs, the best known being anisette. It is an ingredient of the mixture known as “Chinese Five Spices”.

Star anise contains anethole, the same ingredient which gives the unrelated anise its flavor. Recently, star anise has come into use in the West as a less expensive substitute for anise in baking as well as in liquor production, most distinctively in the production of the liquor Galliano. It is also used in the production of Sambuca, pastis, and many types of absinthe.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/staranis.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_anise

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