Capsicum annuum, Birds eye chili

Capsicum annuum

Birds eye chili

Cabe rawit

Solanaceae

Click to enlarge !

Capsicum-annuum-01-800

 
Capsicum anuum, Birds eye chili, Cabe rawit

Most sources state that the birdseye is Capsicum frutescens, making it a relative of the tabasco chile. Depending on growing conditions, the plants range in height from one and a half to four feet tall, and are usually very bushy. The leaves vary in length from 1 � to 3 inches and in width from � inch to 1 inch. The fruits generally measure between 1/2 and 1 inch long and taper to a blunt point. Immature pod color is green, mature The plants are perennial and sometimes produce for three years before they are plowed under. Growing birdseye chiles is very labor-intensive and they require hand-picking. The pods are picked when they are bright red and 2 or less centimeters (3/4 inch) long. A single plant yields about 300 grams (2/3 pound) of fresh Culinary Usage
Take care in using African birdseye chiles in the kitchen because of the extreme pungency of the pods. You would not, for example, want to make a hot sauce out of a cup of the pods and some vinegar. However, they can be used in marinades, as the following recipe shows.
pods.color is bright red.

Thymus vulgaris

Thymus vulgaris

Thyme Terri Lamiaceae
 

 
Thymus vulgaris or common thyme is a low growing herbaceous plant, sometimes becoming somewhat woody. It is native to southern Europe, where it is often cultivated as a culinary herb.

It typically grows as a sub-shrub, between 15 and 20 cm tall.
Cultivars

Nomenclature can be very confusing. French, German and English varities vary by leaf shape and colour and essential oils.  The many cultivars include ‘Argenteus’ (silver thyme).
Uses

Thyme adds a distinctive aromatic flavoring to sauces, stews, stuffings, meats, poultry – almost anything from soup to salad. In medieval times, the plant symbolized courage, and to keep up their spirits, knights departing for the Crusades received scarves embroidered with a sprig of thyme from their ladies. There was a popular belief, too, that a leaf tea prevented nightmares, while another held that tea made of thyme and other herbs enabled one to see nymphs and fairies. Herbalists of the Middle Ages regarded thyme as a stimulant and antispasmodic, and recommended sleeping on thyme and inhaling it as a remedy for melancholy and epilepsy.

In 1725, a German apothecary discovered that the plant’s essential oil contains a powerful disinfectant called thymol that is effective against bacteria and fungi.Thymol also acts as a expectorant, loosening phlegm in the respiratory tract so it can be coughed up. Later herbalists listed thyme for these uses and as remedy for numerous other complaints, including diarrhoea and fever. They prescribed the oil externally as an antiseptic for fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.

Syzygium polyanthum,

Syzygium polyanthum

Indonesian bay-leaf Daun salam Myrthceae
 

Indonesian bay-leaf, salam, daun salam, Syzygium polyanthum

 
It is interesting that this tree is listed as vulnerable since it is cultivated as a road-side tree throughout Singapore, perhaps it is vulnerable with respect to its natural habitat. Apparently this tree is quite easy to propagate from cuttings, a feature that has made it easy to cultivate. The leaves of S. polyanthum are used in Asian home cooking in much the same way as the Bay Leaf is used in western home cooking. The leaf is referred to a Duan Salam (Salam leaf) and a few of these leaves may be added to the curry to enhance the flavour. If you are observant, you will occasionally see people borrowing a few leaves from the road-side Salam trees, such leaves are destined for the cooking pot.

Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosemary Rosmari Lamiaceae
 

 
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which also includes many other herbs.

The name rosemary derives from the Latin name rosmarinus, which is from “dew” (ros) and “sea” (marinus), or “dew of the sea” because in many locations it needs no other water than the humidity carried by the sea breeze to live. The plant has also sometimes been referred to as Anthos, from the ancient Greek word “ἄνθος”, simply meaning “flower”.
Rosmarinus officinalis is one of only two species in the genus Rosmarinus. The other species is the closely related but less commercially viable Rosmarinus eriocalyx, of the Maghreb of Africa and Iberia.

Named by the 18th century naturalist and founding taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus, it has not undergone much taxonomical change since.
Forms range from upright to trailing; the upright forms can reach 1.5 m (5 ft) tall, rarely 2 m (6 ft 7 in).

The leaves are evergreen, 2–4 cm (0.8–1.6 in) long and 2–5 mm broad, green above, and white below with dense short woolly hair.

Flowering, very common in a mature and healthy specimens, occurs in summer in the north, but the plants can be everblooming in warm-winter climates; flower colors are variable, being white, pink, purple, or blue.
Mythology

Coming from the Latin words ros marinus, rosemary translates into dew of the sea. It was said to be draped around Aphrodite when she rose from the sea and was originally born of Ouranos’s semen. Today, the goddess Aphrodite is associated with rosemary, as is the Virgin Mary, who was supposed to have spread her cloak over a white-blossomed rosemary bush when she was resting; according to legend, the flowers turned blue, the color most associated with Mary.
Cultivation

Since it is attractive and tolerates some degree of drought, it is used in landscaping, especially in areas having a Mediterranean climate. It is considered easy to grow for beginner gardeners, and is pest-resistant.

Rosemary grows on friable loam soil with good drainage in an open sunny position, it will not withstand water logging and some varieties may be susceptible to frost. It grows best in neutral to alkaline conditions pH (pH 7–7.8) with average fertility.

Rosemary is easily pruned into shapes and has been used for topiary. When grown in pots, it is best kept trimmed to stop it getting straggly and unsightly, though when grown in a garden, rosemary can grow quite large and still be attractive. It can be propagated from an existing plant by clipping a shoot 10–15 cm (4–6 in) long, stripping a few leaves from the bottom, and planting it directly into soil.

Numerous cultivars have been selected for garden use. The following are frequently sold:

Albus – white flowers
Arp – leaves light green, lemon-scented
Aureus – leaves speckled yellow
Benenden Blue – leaves narrow, dark green
Blue Boy – dwarf, small leaves
Golden Rain – leaves green, with yellow streaks
Gold Dust -dark green leaves, with golden streaks but stronger than Golden Rain
Irene – lax, trailing
Lockwood de Forest – procumbent selection from Tuscan Blue
Ken Taylor – shrubby
Majorica Pink – pink flowers
Miss Jessop’s Upright – tall, erect
Pinkie – pink flowers
Prostratus
Pyramidalis (a.k.a. Erectus) – pale blue flowers
Roseus – pink flowers
Salem – pale blue flowers, cold hardy similar to Arp
Severn Sea – spreading, low-growing, with arching branches; flowers deep violet
Tuscan Blue – upright
Wilma’s Gold – yellow leaves

Culinary use
The fresh and dried leaves are used frequently in traditional Mediterranean cuisine; they have a bitter, astringent taste and are highly aromatic, which complements a wide variety of foods. A tisane can also be made from them. When burned, they give off a distinct mustard smell, as well as a smell similar to that of burning wood, which can be used to flavor foods while barbecuing.

Rosemary is high in iron, calcium, and vitamin B6, 317 mg, 6.65 mg and 0.336 mg per 100 g, respecively.

Rosemary extract has been shown to improve the shelf life and heat stability of omega 3-rich oils, which are prone to going rancid.
Traditional use
Hungary water was first prepared for the Queen of Hungary to “renovate vitality of paralyzed limbs” and to treat gout. It was used externally and prepared by mixing fresh rosemary tops into spirits of wine.

Don Quixote (Chapter XVII, 1st volume) mixes it in his recipe of the miraculous balm of Fierabras with revolting results.

Rosemary has a very old reputation for improving memory, and has been used as a symbol for remembrance (during weddings, war commemorations and funerals) in Europe and Australia. Mourners would throw it into graves as a symbol of remembrance for the dead. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia says, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” (Hamlet, iv. 5.) One modern study lends some credence to this reputation. When the smell of rosemary was pumped into cubicles where people were working, those people showed improved memory, though with slower recall.

In the Middle Ages, rosemary was associated with wedding ceremonies – the bride would wear a rosemary headpiece and the groom and wedding guests would all wear a sprig of rosemary, and from this association with weddings, rosemary evolved into a love charm. Newly wed couples would plant a branch of rosemary on their wedding day. If the branch grew, it was a good omen for the union and family. In ‘A Modern Herbal’, Mrs Grieves says “A rosemary branch, richly gilded and tied with silken ribands of all colours, was also presented to wedding guests, as a symbol of love and loyalty.” Another example of rosemary’s use as a love charm was that a young person would tap another with a rosemary sprig and if the sprig contained an open flower, it was said that the couple would fall in love. Rosemary was used as a divinatory herb-several types of herbs were grown in pots and assigned the name of a potential lover. Then they were left to grow and the plant that grew the strongest and fastest gave the answer. Rosemary was also stuffed into poppets (cloth dolls) to attract a lover or attract curative vibrations for illness. It was believed that placing a sprig of rosemary under a pillow before sleep would repel nightmares, and if placed outside the home it would repel witches. Somehow, the use of rosemary in the garden to repel witches turned into signification that the woman ruled the household in homes and gardens where rosemary grew abundantly. By the 16th century, this practice became a bone of contention; and men were known to rip up rosemary bushes to show that they, not their wives, ruled the roost.
Potential medicinal use

The results of a study suggest carnosic acid, found in rosemary, may shield the brain from free radicals, lowering the risk of strokes and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and is anti-inflammatory. Carnosol is also a promising cancer chemoprevention and anti-cancer agent.

A study found that rosemary “produced a significant enhancement of performance for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors, but also produced an impairment of speed of memory compared to controls.”Rosemary may have some anticarcinogenic properties. A study where a powdered form of rosemary was given to rats in a measured amount for two weeks showed a reduction in the binding of a certain carcinogen by 76%, and greatly reduced the formation of mammary tumors.

Rosemary contains a number of potentially biologically active compounds, including antioxidants, such as carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid. Other bioactive compounds include camphor (up to 20% in dry rosemary leaves), caffeic acid, ursolic acid, betulinic acid, rosmaridiphenol, and rosmanol. Rosemary antioxidants levels are closely related to soil moisture content. The market for these medicinal use of rosemary is currently small, but there is a market for rosemary antioxidants, and under the right conditions, rosemary production could be profitable and sustainable.

Potential side effects

When rosemary is harvested appropriately and used within recommended guidelines, side effects are minimal. A few instances of allergic skin reactions to topical preparations containing rosemary have been reported.

Recent European research has shown rosemary interferes with the absorption of iron in the diet, which indicates it should not be used internally by persons with iron deficiency anemia.
[edit] Health precautions and toxicology

Rosemary in culinary or therapeutic doses is generally safe. A toxicity study of the plant on rats has shown hepatoprotective and antimutagenic activities; however, precaution is necessary for those displaying allergic reaction or are prone to epileptic seizures. Rosemary essential oil may have epileptogenic properties, as a handful of case reports over the past century have linked its use with seizures in otherwise healthy adults or children. Rosemary essential oil is potentially toxic if ingested. Large quantities of rosemary leaves can cause adverse reactions, such as coma, spasm, vomiting, and pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) that can be fatal. Avoid consuming large quantities of rosemary especially if pregnant or breastfeeding.

Plectranthus amboinicus

Plectranthus amboinicus

Indian borage   Lamiaceae
 
Indian borage, Plectranthus amboinicus
 
Plectranthus amboinicus is a tender fleshy perennial plant in the family Lamiaceae with an oregano-like flavor and odor, native to Southern and Eastern Africa, but widely cultivated and naturalised in the Old and New World Tropics. Common names include Cuban oregano, Spanish thyme, Orégano Brujo (Puerto Rico), Indian Borage, Húng chanh (Vietnam), Big Thyme (Grenada) Mexican thyme, and Mexican mint
Contents
Description

The Indian Borage is very commonly grown as a potted plant. The Indian Borage is a fast growing plant. Propagation is via stem cuttings. To encourage a bushy plant, cut the tip of the top, insert into the soil and instantly, you have another plant as the cutting will grow within days.The Indian Borage ideally should be grown in a semi-shaded and moist location as the leaves will remain a beautiful jade-green colour. If it is getting too much sun, the leaves turn yellow, start curling and look unsightly; if not enough sun, the leaves turn a dark shade of green and spaced out.
Cultivation

The herb grows easily in a well-drained, semi-shaded position. It is frost tender and grows well in sub-tropical and tropical locations, but will do well in cooler climates if grown in a pot and brought indoors, or moved to a warm sheltered position in winter. Water only sparingly.
Uses

The leaves are strongly flavoured and make an excellent addition to stuffings for meat and poultry. Finely chopped, they can also be used to flavour meat dishes, especially beef, lamb and game.

The leaves have also had many traditional medicinal uses, especially for the treatment of coughs, sore throats and nasal congestion, but also for a range of other problems such as infections, rheumatism and flatulence. In Indonesia Plectranthus amboinicus is a traditional food used in soup to stimulate lactation for the month or so following childbirth.

The herb is also used as a substitute for oregano in the food trade and food labelled “oregano-flavoured” may well contain this herb.

In the Indian state of Tamilnadu it is called as கற்பூரவள்ளி (Karpooravalli) and in Kerala it is called as പനിക്കൂർക്ക (panikoorka) and has various uses in treating cold / cough / fever. See reference section.

Polygonum odoratum

Polygonum odoratum

Vietnamese coriander

Ketumbar Polygonaceae

Polygonum-odoratum-01

 

Polygonum odoratum, Vietnamese coriander, KetumbarVietnamese coriander (Polygonum odoratum )
Plant family: Polygonaceae (buckwheat family)
Botanical synonyms: Persicaria odorata
Origin: Vietnamese coriander is native to peninsular Southeast Asia (Indochina).
Used plant part: Leaves, always used fresh
Sensoric quality: The herb has a coriander-like smell with a clear lemony note. Pungency, which dominates in the closely related water pepper, is hardly present..
The Vietnamese coriander is a perennial plant that grows best in tropical and subtropical zones in warm and damp conditions. It can not live above the 32° parallel or in places with too much water. has a bitter and spicy taste, is nontoxic, and can detoxify food. It can be used to treat swellings, acne, indigestion, flatulence, and stomach aches.In advantageous conditions, it can grow up to 15 This herb is such an intrinsic part of the famous Singaporean/Malaysian seafood soup, laksa, that it is known locally as daun laksa (laksa leaf).to 30 cm.

Polygonum-odoratum-02

Petroselinum crispum

Petroselinum crispum

Parsley Peterseli  Apiaceae
 Click to enlarge !
Petroselinum-crispum-01-800

 

Petroselinum crispum, Parsley, Peterseli

That familiar sprig of greenery on the side of your dinner plate is an edible breath freshener. Parsley is a clump-forming biennial to about a 1 ft (0.3 m) tall and twice as wide. It has bright green multi-compound curly or flat leaves. The leaflets are finely divided and held at the end of long stems and the whole plant has a rounded, mound-like shape. In its second summer, parsley sends up stalks with compound umbels of small In the kitchen, parsley seems to help blend other flavors. It ameliorates strong odors like garlic and fish. It works well with most all foods except sweets. It’s a principal ingredient in Middle Eastern tabbouleh. The Japanese deep fry parsley in tempura batter. The British make parsley jelly. The Mexicans use it in salsa verde. The French use it in everything. The Germans are especially fond of the root parsleys. The roots are sliced or grated and used raw in salads. They also are used as seasoning in soups and stews, or roasted, fried, mashed or made into chips like potatoes. Like many root crops, parsley root is sweetened by a good frost.
Frozen parsley retains more flavor than dried. If you do dry parsley, the Italian varieties are better since they have a stronger flavor to begin with. yellow flowers.

Origanum vulgare

Origanum vulgare

Oreganum Origanum Lamiaceae

Oreganum, origanum, Oregano

 
Oregano scientifically named Origanum vulgare by Carolus Linnaeus – is a common species of Origanum, a genus of the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is native to warm-temperate western and southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region.

Oregano is a perennial herb, growing from 20–80 cm tall, with opposite leaves 1–4 cm long. Oregano will grow in a pH range between 6.0 (mildly acid) and 9.0 (strongly alkaline) with a preferred range between 6.0 and 8.0. The flowers are purple, 3–4 mm long, produced in erect spikes. It is sometimes called wild marjoram, and its close relative O. majorana is then known as sweet marjoram.
Plant Biology

Closely related to the herb marjoram, oregano is also known as wild marjoram. Oregano is a perennial, although it is grown as an annual in colder climates, as it often does not survive the winter months.
Biochemistry

The main chemical constituents include carvacrol, thymol, limonene, pinene, ocimene, and caryophyllene. The leaves and flowering stems are strongly antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and mildly tonic.[citation needed]
Taxonomy

Many subspecies and strains of oregano have been developed by humans over centuries for their unique flavors or other characteristics. Tastes range from spicy or astringent to more complicated and sweet. Simple oregano sold in garden stores as Origanum vulgare may have a bland taste and larger, less dense leaves, and is not considered the best for culinary uses, with a taste less remarkable and pungent. It can pollinate other more sophisticated strains, but the offspring are rarely better in quality.

The related species, Origanum onites (Greece, Turkey) and O. heracleoticum (Italy, Balkan peninsula, West Asia), have similar flavors. A closely related plant is marjoram from Turkey, which, however, differs significantly in taste, because phenolic compounds are missing from its essential oil. Some varieties show a flavor intermediate between oregano and marjoram.
Syrian oregano (Origanum vulgare syriacum)

Notable subspecies are:

Origanum vulgare gracile (= O. tyttanthum) is originally from Khirgizstan, and has glossy green leaves and pink flowers. It grows well in pots or containers, and is more often grown for added ornamental value than other oregano. The flavor is pungent and spicy.
Origanum vulgare hirtum (Italian oregano, Greek oregano) is a common source of cultivars with a different aroma from those of O. v. gracile. Growth is vigorous and very hardy, with darker green, slightly hairy foliage. Generally, it is considered the best all-purpose culinary subspecies.
Origanum vulgare onites (Cretan oregano, Turkish oregano, rigani, pot marjoram) is a tender perennial growing to 18 inches tall, with pale green to gray-green woolly rounded foliage. It has a strong, intensely spicy flavor.
Origanum vulgare syriacum, Syrian oregano, Lebanese oregano, za’atar) has larger leaves that vary in colors ranging from pale green to grayish. Their taste is pungent and similar to Greek oregano.

Example cultivars are:

Aureum – Golden foliage (greener if grown in shade), mild taste
Greek Kaliteri – O. v. hirtum strains/landraces, small, hardy, dark, compact, thick, silvery-haired leaves, usually with purple undersides, excellent reputation for flavor and pungency, as well as medicinal uses, strong, archetypal oregano flavor (Greek kaliteri: the best).
Hot & Spicy – O. v. hirtum strain
Nana – dwarf cultivar

Cultivars traded as Italian, Sicilian, etc. are usually hardy sweet marjoram (O. ×majoricum), a hybrid between the southern Adriatic O. v. hirtum and sweet majoram (O. majorana). They have a reputation for sweet and spicy tones, with little bitterness, and are prized for their flavor and compatibility with various recipes and sauces.
Culinary

Oregano is an important culinary herb, used for the flavor of its leaves, which can often be more flavourful when dried than fresh. It has an aromatic, warm and slightly bitter taste, which can vary in intensity. Good quality oregano may be strong enough to almost numb the tongue, but the cultivars adapted to colder climates often have a lesser flavor. Factors such as climate, seasons and soil composition may affect the aromatic oils present, and this effect may be greater than the differences between the various species of plants.

Oregano’s most prominent modern use is as the staple herb of Italian-American cuisine. Its popularity in the US began when soldiers returning from World War II brought back with them a taste for the “pizza herb”,[7] which had probably been eaten in southern Italy for centuries. There, it is most frequently used with roasted, fried or grilled vegetables, meat and fish. Unlike most Italian herbs,[citation needed] oregano combines well with spicy foods, which are popular in southern Italy. It is less commonly used in the north of the country, as marjoram generally is preferred.

The herb is also widely used in Turkish, Palestinian, Syrian, Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, Philippine and Latin American cuisines.

In Turkish cuisine, oregano is mostly used for flavoring meat, especially for mutton and lamb. In barbecue and kebab restaurants, it can be usually found on table, together with paprika, salt and pepper.

The leaves are most often used in Greece to add flavor to Greek salad, and is usually added to the lemon-olive oil sauce that accompanies many fish or meat barbecues and some casseroles.

Oregano is also used by chefs in the southern Philippines to eliminate the odor of carabao or cow meat when boiling it, while simultaneously imparting flavor.

Hippocrates used oregano as an antiseptic, as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments. A Cretan oregano (O. dictamnus) is still used today in Greece as a palliative for sore throat.[7]

Oregano is high in antioxidant activity, due to a high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids.[8][9] It also has shown antimicrobial activity against strains of the food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.[8]

Limnophila aromatica

Limnophila aromatica

Finger grass

  Scrophulariaceae

Limnophila-aromatica

 

Limnophila aromatica, Finger grass	Finger grass (Rice paddy herb, Limnophila aromatica
Plant family: Scrophulariaceae (figwort family, snapdragon family)
Origin: Several species of Limnophila are found in silent waters Southeast Asia; some of them are common aquarium plants in the West. In Vietnam, rice paddy herb is mostly cultivated in flooded rice fields.
A related species, Limnophila rugosa (Roth) Merril (syn. L. roxburghii , Herpestris rugosa Roth) has anis-scented leaves; it is used for culinary purposes only occasionally (Jawa)
Used plant part: Fresh leaves.
Sensoric quality: This herb has a unique flavour difficult to describe. It is definitely lemony, with a certain tickling quality.
Use: Rice paddy herb is one of the many culinary herbs used only or predominantly in Vietnamese cuisine.
The intense, almost sparkling lemon odour of this plant harmonizes almost perfectly with fresh water fish. In the South of Vietnam, it is mandatory for spicy fish soups (canh chua ); the herb is not cooked, but served raw and coarsely chopped as part of the herb garnish that accompagnies any South Vietnamese food. Canh chua is basically a milder version of the fiery Thai soup, tom yam which is more often prepared not with fish but with shrimps;it is usually eaten as a meal for itself with some fresh French bread (baguette ); often, the pot is placed in the center of the table and each diner dips the bread into the soup.

Kaempferia pandurata

Kaempferia pandurata

Fingerroot

Temu kunci

Zingiberaceae
 

Kaempferia-pandurata

 

Kaempferia galanga, Lesser, Galangale, Kencur

A tall ginger with large beautiful pink – purple flowers; the long tubers sprouting in the same direction from the middle of the rhizome.
Origin: Southern China and Southeast Asia.
Used plant part: Rhizome.
Sensoric quality: Strongly medical.
Use:This spice is an old Chinese medicine and has found limited use as spice in some parts of South East Asia. Its center of popularity, however, is Thailand, where the grated rhizome is added to vegetable or fish curries; it appears frequently in Thai curry pastes . Slices of the dried rhizome are used if no fresh rhizome is available.