Lemongrass winter warmer


Beach at Nusa Dua, Bali

In a previous job, I attended the UN climate change talks in 2007 – “COP13” to the climate change policy wonks and wonkettes.  It was very hot in Bali in December, and we hydrated ourselves on litres of fresh ice tea featuring combinations of lemongrass, ginger and lime.

At the same time of year in northern Europe, the weather is very different! 

Market in Ubud, Bali

I am great believer in the benefits of fresh herb and spices at this time of year.  Recently my local supermarket started stocking lemongrass, and suffering with a cold, I struck on the idea to re-create a hot version of our Balinese ice teas.  The combination of strong flavours and steam is perfect for clearing the nose and throat.  (A Thai Tom Yam Kung soup would have a similar effect!).  It’s also great for those trying to detox, as it doesn’t contain caffeine and tastes great without sugar or honey.

This recipe is adapted from one on www.food.com

Lemongrass tea recipe (serves 4)

  1. Wash and trim 4 stalks of lemongrass (cut off any green bits) and crush with a steak tenderizer or a rolling pin to release the essential oils.
  2. Peel and slice about an inch of ginger and slice.
  3. Add the ginger and lemongrass to a teapot and pour over 1 litre of boiling water.
  4. Leave to infuse for 5 minutes.
  5. Add honey to taste.
  6. Relax and inhale the steam as you drink.  Chill out and think of the sunshine!
  7. To serve as iced tea, use half the boiling water, infuse and then top up with chilled water and ice to taste. 

Balinese rice terraces

© Lynn Sheppard

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