Lemongrass (mchaichai) has citrus flavor with a mild taste of lemon rind. In Tanzania lemongrass is used mostly for tea. Its aroma in tea is fresh and lemony but without that strong lime taste.
When I was a kid, I remember we had a few lemongrass bushes and our relative known as Bibi Morris would make lemongrass tea almost everyday. Some people used to add in regular tea for its aroma.
Nowadays I do not see lemongrass bushes as much; the younger Tanzanian generation prefers to buy processed herb tea than to make fresh from their own homes, I wonder if this is the trend or what?
Lemongrass bushes grow any where in Tanzania and in many other tropical countries around the world. The bush can be part of ones flower garden.
Lets talk about its benefits:
- Help digestion mostly for children.
- Ben Gurion University in Israel did a research that found 1,000mg of citral (the main element of lemongrass) would reduce depression and cancer.
- Can be crushed and rubbed to your skin to be used as repellant against some insects.
Please learn more about the benefits of lemongrass from the following:
- 1 large lemongrass stalk (with at least 6 or more leaves)
- 5 cups of water (it is good to use spring or filtered water)
- Sugar to taste
- Boil water.
- Cut and crush lemongrass stem to release the essential oil (citral).
- Add into boiling water.
- Cover the pan and boil for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat.
- Add sugar then remove from heat
- Serve hot or cold.
You can add one teaspoon of crushed ginger while boiling.
It is healthy to have four cups of lemongrass tea per day.
I also like to use lemongrass when I am steaming fish inside the foil. Just add one cutup at the bottom and another at the top of the fish, with other herbs, tighten the foil paper and put it in the oven until ready.