Countries in the Indian subcontinent, especially India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal are known to produce most of the flavorful spices in the world. Apart from these, one may come across an Australian spice with citrus fragrance that is used for preparing several tasty stir fry dishes. Called lemon myrtle, it is a native of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland. The Internet has made it possible for this spice to be ordered from anywhere in the world.
Substitute for lemongrass
In case someone is allergic to lemongrass or if it is unavailable, one can always use lemon myrtle as a substitute. Some of the interesting lemon myrtle recipes online include:
- Roast chicken
- Anzac biscuits
- Lemon myrtle and Bush tomato curry
- Tea cake
How is lemon myrtle beneficial to health?
Lemon myrtle is a flowering plant, with its tree being able to grow to a height of 60 feet. It is known by a few other names, including sweet verbena tree, lemon scented backhousia, and sweet verbena myrtle. It offers a number of health benefits that have been mentioned below.
- It possesses anti inflammatory properties that are able to combat the infection which causes sinus problems
- Acne present on oily skin can be treated with lemon myrtle
- It is highly capable of treating GI disorders like indigestion and bloating
- Lemon myrtle essential oil is able to decrease inflammation due to bronchitis and can fight the infection causing it
- Oral problems like toothache, irritation, ulcers, and others can be treated by lemon myrtle
- It boosts immunity, thereby protecting from a variety of harmful diseases
- The herb has a relaxing effect which calms the mind and helps sleep peacefully. For this, one should try drinking lemon myrtle tea before sleep.
- It contains antimicrobial properties which help to get rid of bad breath and foul body odor
- Muscular and menstrual cramps can be reduced with its administration
- It kills fungi responsible for causing athlete’s foot
Preparation of beverages
One can add lemon myrtle into hot tea or iced tea for flavor. However, one must remember to follow the instructions given below:
- Only a small quantity, ranging from ¼ to ½ teaspoons, must be added
- Put lemon myrtle into beverages only for short durations. It should not be heated for more than 10-15 minutes.
Beverages that can be prepared with this ingredient include:
- Tea (both cold and hot)
- Fruit punch
- Flavored gin
Lemon myrtle in food preparation
Both sweet and savory recipes can be prepared by using lemon myrtle. Its leaves can substitute bay leaves and then be used for the preparation of casseroles, roasts, soups, and stews. One can even use it to make marinades. Anyone who likes the flavor of lemon myrtle must try one or more of the following recipes:
- Egyptian Dukkah with lemon myrtle
- Meatballs prepared in a pepper and herb sauce
- Native herb and Kale Pesto
- Spiced BBQ kangaroo with chips
- Pear Syrup Cake prepared with Lemon Myrtle
Although the flavor of lemon myrtle is very similar to lemon, it does not contain the citrus fruit’s acidity. This is what makes it suitable for various cream-based and milk-based recipes. Examples of such recipes are:
- Lemon myrtle pavlova
- Lemon myrtle cheesecake
- Lemon myrtle panna cotta
- Lemon myrtle and coconut rice pudding
- Lemon myrtle tea cake
Things to remember
Do not use lemon myrtle for cooking over a very long time, or else one may get a strong eucalyptus flavor from it, and the lemon fragrance may go off. One can incorporate lemon myrtle into salad dressings, flavored vinegars, and a variety of dips.
Buying lemon myrtle and storing it
As mentioned earlier, spices such as this are available on a number of reputed websites. One must always ensure that it arrives in an airtight pack. The packaging goes a long way in ensuring that the spice stays in good condition over a long period of time. In the package, one may also get recipes to prepare with the help of lemon myrtle, as well as other benefits.
Well known websites will pack the spice in a way that will entice the customer into opening it. For storage, keep in a sealed container in a dark and cool place, much like other types of green herbs.
Australian tea in Asian markets
It may sound impossible to believe, but Australian tea, made from lemon myrtle, will soon be exported across the Asian markets of Sri Lanka and India. Companies exporting want the Asians to know about its functional and health benefits, as well as about its unique flavor. There is a growing interest about functional and healthy teas among millennials, and this tea will meet such requirements.