Garlic Plant – A Short Introduction, Scientific Name – Allium sativum, Garlic (Lehsun) is a spice used all over the world in many cuisines in different styles and techniques to make food tasty and spicy. Garlic is originated and is native to Central Asia which has spread all over the world and achieved popularity in many cultures for cooking as well as traditional medicinal because of its unique flavor, smell, and medicinal properties.
Many other species of garlic are wild and grows like a weed in farms, but Allium sativum is a kind of garlic which originally was wild but got domesticated and useful to humankind naturally.
The Detailed Taxonomy And Etymology Of Garlic
Garlic plant known as Allium sativum is a bulbous plant similar to the onion. Garlic bulbs grow below soil harvested on the full growth of bulbs; cleaned and semi-dried before its commercial sale. Garlic plant grows up to a height of 3 to 4 feet having long wavy leaves.
Let Us Know About The Taste And Smell Of Garlic
Raw garlic has a very strong hot and pungent flavor; this flavor dilutes with cooking. Garlic has a pungent garlicky smell which can cause to breathe like garlic.
The List Of Various Uses Of Garlic In Culinary
Indian Curries: Garlic is used in many Indian curry recipes to give a spiciness and hot taste. Garlic is used in the finely chopped form, crushed form or juliennes to various Indian curry recipes depending on the garlic spice requirement.
Indian Chutney: Chutney is one of the famous side dish in India gulped with meals. Chutney is made up of a variety of ingredients like groundnuts, coconut, red chili pepper, green chili pepper, or even curry leaves. Garlic is ground along with the chutney ingredients to bring spiciness and hotness to chutneys.
Lahsuni-Dal: In the Indian sub-continent, Dal is served with any rice like plain steamed rice, Biryani rice, Pulav rice, and simple Jeera rice. Garlic is used to flavor the plain Dal along with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, and red chili pepper.
Garlic Pickle: Garlic is a very nutritious and medically useful ingredient in a daily diet. Garlic can be preserved by making the pickle of garlic cloves dipped in vinegar or other spices like turmeric, red chili powder in lime juice or oil. Garlic pickle doesn't only provide nutrition to a body but also makes meals enjoyable with its savory taste.
Garlic Bread: Garlic bread is among high demands in fast food joints and baking culinary. Bread is baked with a layer of crushed garlic dipped in butter to give a nice garlicky flavor and aroma to bread.
Garlic Marinade: Marinade made with freshly crushed garlic paste or dried garlic powder is used to marinate meat, chicken, and seafood to make curry or Biryani.
Chinese Cuisine: Garlic is used extensively in Chinese cuisine for its hot and spicy taste. Chinese foods such as Scezwan noodles, stews, Chinese garlic chicken, Hakka noodles are made by using garlic in good quantity.
Garlic Sauces & Ketchup: Garlic-red chili hot sauce is famous among spicy food lovers made with a nice quality of garlic with fresh hot red chili pepper.
The Increase Of Nutrients In Diet Due To Garlic Use
Garlic provides vitamins like vitamin B6, vitamin C and some vitamins of vitamin B group like thiamin and pantothenic acid. Garlic is a good source of dietary minerals like manganese, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and calcium.
Why Should We Consume Such A Pungent Spice?
There are many health benefits of adding garlic to our daily diet as mentioned below.
Medicine On Cold & Flu: Using garlic in daily diet keeps the microbes of cold and flu away. In the cold or blocked nose, garlic tea is useful for the instant cure.
Purifies Blood: Consuming raw garlic cloves in the morning with some lukewarm water helps in cleansing the digestive system which is very necessary to flush out the toxins from the body. It helps to keep blood impurities at the low level which indirectly keeps the skin glow without any acne.
Prevents Cancer: The cleaning property of garlic protects our body against stomach and colorectal cancer; this increases our immune to cancer growth.
Anti-microbial: Garlic has a strong resistance to fungus, parasite and bacterial causing many diseases such as tapeworm infection in children. A little extract mixed with honey can solve these problems. A small extract of garlic juice added with mouth freshener kills the unwanted buckle cavity fungus and stops teeth decaying.
Hair-fall Defense: Crushed garlic when applied on scalp reduces and prevents hair-fall. Garlic is effective on hair-growth like an onion.
Protects Heart Health: Garlic has the anti-oxidant property which fights the free radicals and helps to keep low cholesterol level in blood improving blood flow in the body, artery health and hence heart health.
History – The Domestication Journey Of Garlic
Garlic plant is originated somewhere in the west and central Asia, which is disputed. Because of its nutritional value garlic was able to get popularity among vast civilizations in the world. The medicinal properties of garlic made it one of the precious spices of the ancient era.
The evidence is found that garlic was used in China for thousands of years before. Garlic use got spread over almost all South Asian countries. Africa got introduced with garlic somewhere before 3000 years BC. The medieval era fighters brought garlic to Europe since then garlic magic grew in Greece, Rome, and other European countries.
The Portuguese, Spanish and French colonists were the people with whom garlic traveled to the American sub-continent.
Atmospheric, Soil and Rain Requirements Of Garlic Plant And Its Global Production
Garlic is commercially grown in sandy, clay loam, or silt soil which is fertile with abundance in manure content. The soil should be well-drained, but it should retain water content in the growing days of the plant. Garlic plant requires a heavy rainfall, so it is cultivated in the areas which are under excessive rains.
In recent years China was found to be the number one garlic cultivating country in the world preceding India which comes at number two in world garlic production. Gilroy and California are the garlic producing areas in the United States, self-named as ‘Garlic Capital of the World’.