While walking along the shoreline of the Arabian Gulf, I was invited to join a Saudi family for tea. I asked if they had any herb tea. After a brief pause, the veiled women in chorus exclaimed, “Zanjabeel.” And with smiles and renowned Arab hospitality, they served me ginger tea! It was made with water, fresh ginger root, and sugar for sweetening.
Journal Entry-May 4, 2000
An ancient flavoring, ginger is believed to be native to India and China. Certainly the early civilizations of China and India used ginger as food and medicine. The Romans also used it. The Spanish took it to the West Indies, and the Portuguese to West Africa. Today, ginger is commercially produced in China, India, West Africa, Australia, the West Indies, and South America.
The following recipe yields a delicious tea.
Ginger Rhizome Tea
½ cup chopped ginger
3 cups water
1 tablespoon honey
Pour 3 cups water over ½ cup chopped fresh ginger rhizome. For a stronger taste, let sit 30 minutes to an hour. Then, while covered tightly with a lid, bring to a simmer and gently continue simmering on low heat for 20 minutes. Be sure not to boil. Strain and fill a cup ¾ full. Squeeze the juice of ½ lemon into the cup and also add 1 T. honey. Stir to completely dissolve honey. Enjoy a delicious drink!
Note: Widely used as a condiment in Asian and Indian cooking, ginger is also a digestive stimulant and is used to treat stomach upset and prevent motion sickness.