Sunday, 11 March 2012





     1)    Peeled ginger – 1 kg.
     2)    Sugar – 2½ kg.
     3)    Water – 1 litre

To Make:

          Chop the ginger roughly to bits. Grind the ginger in batches in your food processor by adding a little of the water to each batch to make a fine paste. Use a fine sieve to squeeze out all the juice. If any water is remaining, soak the ginger solids again and use the sieve to squeeze out the final drop of juice.

          Do not throw away the fibrous ginger solids, but set aside to make nice hot n’ sweet ginger candy (see my recipe). Transfer the ginger juice to a 5 litre stainless steel vessel and set on high heat. Tip in the sugar and stir continuously till all the sugar is dissolved. Once it boils nicely, switch off the heat and cover with a lid. When cool, transfer the hot n’ sweet ginger syrup to clean, sundried, airtight glass or polyethylene bottles and store in the refrigerator.

To make hot n’ sweet ginger juice:

          Simply pour half an inch of hot n’ sweet ginger syrup into a glass or a tumbler. Top up with ice water or ice soda. Add a dash of fresh lemon juice or lime juice. Stir well and enjoy!

To make hot n’ sweet ginger lassi:

          Pour around half an inch of hot n’ sweet ginger syrup into a glass or a tumbler. Top up with ice-cold, diluted, slightly sour butter milk. Add a dash of fresh lemon juice or lime juice. Stir nicely and enjoy!

To make hot n’ sweet ginger coffee:

          Prepare hot black coffee, pour in enough hot n’ sweet ginger syrup to bring to the desired sweetness, stir and drink hot. You will get good relief from a sore or itchy throat and also from cold.

To make hot n’ sweet ginger tea:

          Prepare hot black tea (weak tea or ‘light tea’ as it is called in India is better). Pour in enough hot n’ sweet ginger syrup to get your preferred sweetness. Squeeze in a dash of fresh lime juice or lemon juice, stir and sip hot. Hot n’ sweet ginger tea will help you control diarrhea, get good digestion and also soothe your throat. The combination of ginger, lime, sugar and tea is excellent medicine for a queasy or upset stomach.


     1)    You can vary the volume of ginger syrup to create the right sweetness for your palate. So also, you can dilute the thick buttermilk with water to capture the right balance of sourness and hot sweetness when you make hot n’ sweet ginger lassi.

     2)    I have used ginger grown in the hills of Wayanad to make this syrup since Wayanadan ginger is of exceptionally high quality, both in terms of flavor and heat as well as in its medicinal quality. Ginger helps soothe your throat and improves digestion. Ginger also helps relieve pain in the gonads of adolescent boys who are going through the process of puberty. Fresh peeled ginger is chewed and its juice is sucked slowly as a traditional home remedy.

     3)    People suffering from stomachache, traditionally take ginger juice as a home remedy. The peeled ginger is crushed with a little bit of salt in a mortar. Some fresh lime juice is added to the ginger juice and is gulped down for relief.

     4)    Please do not force small children to drink hot n’ sweet ginger juice as it is too hot for them.

     5)    An Appeal: Last year, ginger was in great demand and fetched a nice price. This year, too many farmers cultivated ginger in Kerala and in Karnataka. Consequently, the wholesale price has come down to just rupees 5 per kilo (less than 5 U.S. cents a pound). The farmers, therefore, are unable to meet even the cost of digging up the produce and a few suicides have also taken place. So dear viewers, do try to consume more ginger this season and help the poor farmers. Moreover, you can make and store lots of ginger syrup now when ginger is so cheap and use it all round the year.

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