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Cilantro InFo

Cilantro

Cilantro Characteristics

Pronounced: sih-LAHN-troh

Cilantro is a member of the carrot family. It is sometimes called Coriander or Chinese Parsley.

Cilantro is the leaves and stems of the coriander plant. Ground coriander seeds are the spice commonly called coriander.

In many cultures, cilantro/coriander is regarded as an aphrodisiac and, if consumed in large quantities, it acts as a narcotic. Its crushed seeds, which now primarily come from Morocco and Romania, are today used to flavor gin, liqueurs, hotdogs, chewing gum, and cigarettes. Traditionally, they are reputed to combat flatulence. And Arab women still chew them to ease labor pains. Today, in leaf and seed form, it's used most commonly in the cuisines of Mexican, North African, and Oriental countries.

Fresh cilantro does not keep well, and the flavor of dried is not comparable. To store, pick out any wilted leaves, and put it in a jar with water like a bunch of flowers. Cover the leaves with a plastic bag and put the whole thing in the refrigerator. Change the water every two days or so, picking out any wilted leaves when you do.

Varieties


I wish this picture had smell-o-vision!

Cilantro at a market in Thailand. Notice, unlike most stores in the USA, cilantro is sold with roots intact.


There is good flavor in the roots and they usually end up in a motar to be crushed by a pestle for sauces.

Eoy's mother washing cilantro at home. She already snipped the roots off two bunches for use in Goong Chae Nam Pla กุ้งแชน้ำปล่า.+

Info by : http://www.panix.com/

Cilantro - What is Cilantro Used For?


Cilantro - What is Cilantro Used For?

Overview: Coriander is a double duty herb. Its seeds are knows as coriander and its leaves are known as cilantro. This distinct tasting herb is perfect for indoor and kitchen gardens. It resembles flat parsley in its appearance and is sometimes called Chinese parsley. With its refreshing, cooling taste, it is easy to see why cilantro is used with the spicy dishes so common to Latin cuisine.

Coriandrum sativum
Common Name: cilantro, coriander
USDA Hardiness Zone: Annual, all zones
Exposure: Full sun, partial sun, shade. Best sown in cooler weather as it tends to go to seed in high heat.
Harvest: For cilantro, harvest the leaves with sharp scissors. If coriander is wanted, let a few of the stems go to seed and then cut the entire flower.
Uses: Cilantro is a common ingredient in Latin and Indian cuisine. To release more of the flavor from the coriander, roast the seeds in a dry, hot pan for a few minutes until you can smell the scent strongly.

These seeds are ground in a mortar and pestle or herb grinder before use.
Coriander is easy to grow indoors and out. It is a good idea to have two separate plantings so you can harvest the tender leaves and stems for cilantro and let one patch go to seed for coriander. Coriander likes well drained, rich soil and will bolt and turn bitter if grown at temperatures over 75 degrees, so plant it after frost has passed but enjoy it until the full heat of summer hits.

Growing Coriander (Cilantro)



Growing Coriander (Cilantro)

Growing Coriander (Cilantro) - advice on how to grow Coriander (Cilantro)

Coriander is a highly fragrant annual herb and will grow to up to 2 feet in height. Coriander seeds are known as Coriander and its leaves are often known as Cilantro. Coriander is sometimes known as Chinese Parsley. Coriander is grown for both its seeds and leaves and both are used for culinary purposes. The leaves can be used raw in salads, sandwiches and salsas or in cooked items such as Bread or Curry.

Preparation
Coriander is sensitive to transplanting and the shock can cause boliting. Because of this it is advisable to sow coriander seeds where you want them to remain. If growing outside then weed, dig over and rake the soil before planting.

Sowing
If sowing outdoors then wait till May to ensure warm soil temperatures which will promote more successful germination. Sow seeds in drills around 1cm deep and then cover with soil / compost. Space rows around 35cm apart. Sow seeds around 4cm apart.Seeds will take a few days either side of 2 weeks to germinate. Once the seedlings are about 4-5cm high you can thin them down to about 20cm apart.If growing in containers then make sure the container is at least 15cm deep so that the tap root can develop.Coriander should be sown every few weeks to ensure a continuous crop through the growing season

Position
Like most herbs, Coriander likes a lot of light so if growing indoors make sure your Coriander is positioned on a south facing windowsill. A minimum of 4 hours sunshine a day is recommended.Coriander will also do better in warm spots (it originated from the Mediterenean or Asia).

Soil type
The soil should be well drained and have good aeration. If planting in containers ensure that sufficient drainage aiding materials such as broken pots and/or coarse gravel are in the base of the container.

Tending
A liquid fertiliser can be applied to the soil every few weeks to promote growth.A shock to the plants system such as lack of water a significant drop in temperature will cause Coriander to bolt (start producing seed). This process of bolting is a natural 'survival' process. If growing outside fluctuations in temperature can be reduced by growing under glass - in the greenhouse, cloche or poly tunnel.Do not overwater Coriander as it does not like its roots to stand in water.

Harvesting
You can start to harvest the leaves after the plant has reached 10cm in height.Harvest mature leaves to encourage further growth.



Info by : http://www.gardeningpatch.com

How to Grow Lemon Trees



How to Grow Lemon Trees
By eHow Home & Garden Editor

If you plant, remembering to water and fertilize your lemon trees with care is not only crucial but will help result in consistently healthy, attractive trees, as well as a quality harvest. Follow these simple but important steps to grow and take care of the lemon tree you've always wanted.

Instructions

Step1 Purchase a lemon variety adapted to your area. Most lemon trees are very sensitive to frost and grow best where winters are mild.

Step2 Plant the tree in a warm, sunny area where the soil drains well. Planting next to a house or under an eave will provide some frost protection.

Step3 Water the tree deeply once every 7 to 10 days in midsummer (newly planted trees may need more frequent watering until established). Water less often if it rains or if the weather is cool.

Step4 Apply 2 to 3 inches of organic matter under the canopy of the tree to conserve moisture.

Step5 Fertilize every four to six weeks from February to August.

Step6 Prune trees every year or two to keep them within bounds and easy to pick. Cut back new growth by one-fourth to one-third.

Step7 Protect trees from frost if temperatures are forecast to drop below 30 degrees F.
Step8Harvest lemons when fruit reaches full size and color. Timing will vary by variety and growing area.



Tips & Warnings
In cool coastal areas, lemons can be harvested almost year-round.
In colder climates, plant Meyer lemons, which are hardier than the standard varieties, Lisbon and Eureka.

Meyer lemons are not as sour as standard lemons, and the trees are smaller (6 to 8 feet high).

Info and credit by : http://www.ehow.com

How to Grow Balm Lemon



How to Grow Balm Lemon
Balm Lemon, also called Lemon Balm or just plain Balm, is an easy to grow herb. As it's name suggests, it gives off a lemony scent in the herb garden. The edible leaves have a lemony flavor, too. Native to Asia and the Mediterranean region, Balm Lemon will feel right at home in full sun, or a lightly shaded area of your garden. Place it near your kitchen window, where its lemony scent can waft into your kitchen on a gentle breeze.

Balm Lemon plants grow from two to twenty-two feet tall. Most home garden varieties grow 2'-3' tall. Balm Lemon plants are very aggressive, and grow like weeds. We recommend containing them with a border edging around the plants, dug about 6-8 inches below the soil.
Bees are attracted to the flowers.

Propagation:
Balm Lemon is grown from seed. We recommend an early indoor start. If planted outdoors, the tiny seeds can easily wash out of the soil in a spring rain.
Balm Lemon is commonly grown by division of the roots. Left unattended, this aggressive plant will do just fine, rapidly spreading its roots into other areas of the garden or lawn. It can also be propagated by cuttings.

How to Grow Balm Lemon:
Balm Lemon is very easy to grow. It prefers full sun to light shade, and a moist, slightly rich soil. They also do well in average soils.

Space seedlings or thin plants to 24" apart, in rows two feet apart. They will quickly grow and spread, if allowed. They will tolerate a little crowding.

Balm Lemon prefers moist soil. Water them during dry periods, at least once a week.
Add a general purpose fertilizer once a month.

Flowers will go to seed quickly. Aggressively cut back plants to keep lush, new growth.
Harvest leaves when young and tender.
To preserve leaves, dry them immediately. Then, put them into a sealed container so they do not lose their flavor.

Main Culinary Uses:
Try Balm Lemon to flavor meat sauces, in salads and meat dishes. It can be used to flavor teas and fruit punches.


Info by : http://www.gardenersnet.com/herbs/balmlemon.htm

Thai galangal root can fight cancer



Thai galangal root can fight cancer

According to London researchers from the King's College, eating spicy Thai curry or other Thai food spiced with Galangal, could restrain the growth of cancer cells.

Tests have revealed that Galangal (Alpinia galanga) a ginger-like root know as Kha or Siamese ginger and in Thailand mostly used to flavor many Thai food dishes, appears to kill cancer cells.
A scientific team from the King's College in London, believes the galanga root can not only fight human cancer cells but also protect healthy cells from developing into cancer cells.

Galangal, the ginger-like root, is used as an alternative treatment for stomach cancer in most of Thailand and also taken as an aphrodisiac.

The London researchers who tested galangal-root extracts on breast and lung cancer cells uncovered that the Thai herb reduced incidence of the disease more than three-times.
Experiments have proven the claim that galangal could treat cancer.
But we need to conduct more tests, said Professor Peter Houghton, study leader of the King's College scientific team.


What is Galangal: The Thai herb Galangal (known in Thailand as Kha) is an erect annual plant with aromatic, ginger-like rhizomes. It is most commonly used in Thailand as a spice in Thai cooking and this for over 1,000 years. Galanga is also known as Siamese ginger or Kha

In Thailand and most other countries in Asia, the Galangal root is also used as an alternative medication for arthritis, diabetes, diarrhea, spasms and to combat inflammation and bacteria.
The name Galangal is a corruption of the Chinese word for ginger.
Galangal grows in Thailand, India and southern China, and has been introduced to the West by Greek and Arab physicians, its approximately 0.04 percent volatile oil has been proven to be very useful in many therapeutic treatments.


Source: MCOT Thailand News

What is Galanga Root?


What is Galanga Root?

Galanga root is the edible root of the galanga plant. The root is widely used as seasoning in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, although it is probably most intimately associated with Thai food. As a result, some people call it Siamese ginger, in a reference to the former name of Thailand. Fresh galanga root is available in some Asian markets, as is a frozen version. It is also possible to find in it in dried or powdered form.

The formal title for the galanga plant is Alpinia officinarum, although the root is also known as galangal, galingale, iam kieu, kha, or gao liagn jiang. The word “galanga” is actually derived from an Arabic word, khalanjan, which means “Chinese ginger.” The plant has dark green spear shaped leaves which can get quite long, and flowers which strongly resemble irises. Some people actually grow galanga as an ornamental, since it is rather attractive.

The plants are native to Eastern Asia, and they prefer moist, very well drained soil. Galanga is also not at all frost tolerant, so it can only be grown in warm to temperate regions. Gardeners who want to try their hands at growing galanga at home should seek out a fresh, healthy looking root and plant it directly into well conditioned soil. Make sure to leave plenty of room, as a galanga plant can get quite large.



When roots are desired, dig into the soil and separate them out.
The plant is in the ginger family, so it comes as no surprise that galanga root strongly resembles ginger. There are a few differences, however. Galanga root is more white and creamy than ginger, and it also has a distinct peppery flavor which is more like mustard than ginger. While the two can be confused at first glance, galanga root has a very different flavor profile, and it is one of the things that makes Thai food so distinctive.

Most cooks work with greater galangal, a more rugged, hardy plant which is widely distributed. Lesser galangal is essentially limited to Southeast Asia, where it is used in specialty recipes. In either case, galanga root is used in varying amounts, and cooks who are just starting to work with it should begin with small portions. The flavor can be overwhelming and quite intense, especially for people who are unfamiliar with it. When a recipe calls for fresh galanga root, remember to crush or pound the root to soften it so that more of the flavor will emerge in the finished dish.

GALANGAL : Infomation


GALANGAL

Two plants are used extensively in south East Asian recipes. The names are rather confusing, and differ according to which Asian country a person came from or which particular herb book has been referred to.

In either case, botanical names or common names could mean different plants; sometimes Lesser Galangal is referred to as Greater Galangal and vice versa.

I will provide information on two Zingiberaceae species, which have similarities in use:
Greater Galangal also called Galanga, Temulawak (Curcuma xanthorrhiza) Thick stems shoot directly from large, round, yellow rhizomes that can grow larger than a clenched fist. Smaller rhizomes form around the main root.



Large 10cm wide leaves stand upright, taking the plant to 1.5 metres high. A red strip runs up the centre of the leaf. Maroon/red flowers form on thick 15cm spikes. The plant dies down over winter and shoots again in spring. Early spring, is a good time to divide the plant for propagation, however, they may be dug at any time for use. It will grow in sun or shade, and requires well-drained, rich soil and sufficient water during dry periods for good growth.

Rhizomes are aromatic and pungent with a ginger-sour-lemon flavour.
Lesser Galangal also called Laos, Languas, China Root, India Root, Colic Root, East India Catarrh Root, Petit Galanga, Aromatic Ginger, Greater Ginger (Alpinia officinarum syn. A. galangal, Laguas officianium) A hardy, perennial root spice to 1-2 metres tall with long stems and leaves (6cm wide) which shoot directly from the roots called rhizomes.

The roots are similar in appearance to ginger, but not as thick and tend to be more branching, twisting in different directions, with a shiny beige skin, and pink highlights. When cut, the root reveals a creamy/white flesh. Creamy-white, waxy, orchid like flowers form in clusters of 3-4 on thick spikes 20cm long. Each flower spike can have over 300 flowers.

Medicinal Uses
Galangals have been a valued root spices in India, Asia and Europe for seven Centuries. In Australia, it is little known or used as a flavouring, but as it is easily grown in warm temperate to tropical climates, I encourage gardeners to get to know this spice. It is used medicinally for digestive problems, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. It has been used for sea sickness, headaches, spleen enlargement, catarrh, bronchitis, rheumatism, foot pains, liver and gall bladder disorders, sore gums, as well as used as a respiratory and heart stimulant, and as a treatment for impotence.

A drink, made from grated galangal and lime juice, is valued as a tonic in Southeast Asia. Galangal is a specific herb for a sluggish metabolism; also used as a body deodoriser and breath cleanser, as well as a tonic and aphrodisiac. Hildegard of Bingen, herbal writer of the 12th Century, esteemed galangal for indigestion, deafness, arthritis, to lower high blood pressure and improve circulation, and relieve stomach and heart pain.

She said, “If there would be a herb to wake up the dead, then galangal would be the first choice”.



Dose: To make as a tea; infuse 1/2 teasp. of powdered rhizome in 1 cup of boiling water, steep 10-15mins, drink 1-3 cups a day.

A tincture is applied to skin complaints including tinea and ringworm. The anti-bacterial properties are used in homoeopathy and veterinary medicine. In Arabia the spice is fed to horses to make them fiery and spirited.

Info by : http://www.herbsarespecial.com.au