India States | India Religions | India Cricket | India Soccer | India Hockey | India Archery | India Tennis | Indian Monuments
Indian Festivals | India History Timeline | Indian Heroes | Indian Wild Life | Live TV Streaming | Bollywood Film Stars
Tamil Film Stars | Malayalam Film Stars | Who is who Kerala
Basil of the Family Lamiaceae, is also known as Sweet Basil or TulsiIt is a tender low-growing herb that is grown as a perennial in warm, tropical climates. Basil is originally native to India and other tropical regions of Asia, having been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years. It is prominently featured in varied cuisines throughout the world including Italian, Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian. It grows to between 30–60 cm tall, with opposite, light green, silky leaves 3–5 cm long and 1–3 cm broad. The flowers are quite big, white in color and arranged in a terminal spike. Unusual among Lamiaceae, the four stamens and the pistil are not pushed under the upper lip of the corolla, but lay over the inferior. After entomophilous pollination, the corolla falls off and four round achenes develop inside the bilabiate calyx. The plant tastes somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, sweet smell. Basil is very sensitive to cold, with best growth in hot, dry conditions. While most common varieties are treated as annuals, some are perennial, including African Blue and Holy Thai basil.
useBasil is most commonly recommended to be used fresh; in cooked recipes it is generally added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavour. The fresh herb can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer, after being blanched quickly in boiling water. The dried herb also loses most of its flavour, and what little flavour remains tastes very different, with a weak coumarin flavour, like hay.
Mediterranean and Indochinese cuisines frequently use basil, the former frequently combining it with tomato. Basil is one of the main ingredients in pesto—a green Italian oil-and-herb sauce from the city of Genoa, its other two main ingredients being olive oil and pine nuts. The most commonly used Mediterranean basil cultivars are "Genovese", "Purple Ruffles", "Mammoth", "Cinnamon", "Lemon", "Globe", and "African Blue". Chinese also use fresh or dried basils in soups and other foods. In Taiwan, people add fresh basil leaves into thick soups They also eat fried chicken with deep-fried basil leaves.
Basil is sometimes used with fresh fruit and in fruit jams and sauces—in particular with strawberries, but also raspberries or dark-colored plums. Arguably the flat-leaf basil used in Vietnamese cooking, which has a slightly different flavour, is more suitable for use with fruit.
© Deepthi.com, 2003-2005. All Rights Reserved.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for comments and suggestions.