Turmeric is one spice that is mixed with almost all Indian cooking preparations. It has a compound referred to as curcumin that can combat various types of diseases including cancer. Turmeric is rather considered to be an unforgettable spice. Its vibrant yellow color makes it easier to remember. It is called the ‘Golden spice’ in western countries. It originated in the Indian subcontinent about 5,000 years ago. It is used to prepare delicious food, medicines, textile dyes, etc.
Turmeric in Ayurveda
This traditional Indian medicine considers Turmeric spice as its golden child. It is revered especially for its versatile health benefits offered by a compound named curcumin.
Curcuma longa plant’s root
Its flesh is found to be of orange color which after drying becomes yellow. This spice is used in almost every Indian dish. The food is likely to have some medicinal flavor if mixed in large quantities.
This spice has proven antiseptic properties, thus applied to common wounds. Indians apply it on the face like a mask in pre-wedding rituals.
Due to its bright yellow color, it was once termed as the poor man’s saffron.
Uses in cooking
Turmeric is a part of the cooking process in Indian cuisine and is added at the beginning. Then it is sautéed with various other aromatics like garlic, ginger and onions. It helps release a fat-soluble compound called curcumin.
Golden milk is another popular beverage where turmeric is used. It is regarded to be an anti-inflammatory elixir and helps treat a wider range of health ailments like arthritis and even the common cold.
Even a few American condiments and dishes feature turmeric. Turmeric helps color mustard, American processed cheese, yellow cake mix, butter, popcorn, etc.
It is also used in Iranian cuisine mixed with cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper. This spice mix is referred to as ‘advieh’.
Moroccans are known to use turmeric to cook delicious dishes. They prepare a soup called ‘harira’ where turmeric is mixed with saffron and consumed on the completion of Ramadan. Another popular mixture prepared is ‘ras-el-hanout’ where turmeric is mixed with other spices.
Turmeric is also used by the British to prepare curry powder, a flavored spice mix. It is used to prepare different types of dishes.
Even Malaysians love using Turmeric in their food. They prepare a dish referred to as ‘kapitan’, a flavored chicken dish.
7 interesting ways to drink and consume Turmeric
Toss it along with roasted vegetables: Peppery flavor slight warmth of Turmeric spice works perfectly with root vegetables, potatoes and cauliflower. You can also try a recipe using cauliflower steaks with cumin, turmeric and ginger.
Include it in frittatas and scrambles: You can put a small pinch of turmeric in a tofu scramble, a frittata or scrambled eggs. If new to this spice, then this dish can be a wonderful start as the flavor is subtle and color quite familiar. You can try preparing Southwestern Tofu Scramble.
Try with greens: You can sprinkle turmeric into braised or sautéed greens like cabbage, collards or kale.
Include with rice: Sprinkling some turmeric to a fancier pilaf or plain rice provides some color along with mild flavor. You can prepare fragrant yellow rice.
Blend into a smoothie: Fresh turmeric root can be used to prepare smoothies and juices with some ground spice. The slight pungent flavor experienced in smoothies gets masked. You can prepare a superpower morning smoothie by adding turmeric, although not essential.
Soups: Tinged with turmeric spice, the bowl of chicken or vegetable soup is sure to taste delicious. You can also prepare curried, creamy cauliflower soup.
Tea: You can simmer turmeric with honey and coconut milk to prepare a comforting and earthy beverage. It is popularly referred to as ‘Golden Milk’. You can also prepare Ginger-Turmeric tea.
In case, you desire to derive the myriads of health benefits offered by turmeric, then simply mix it with pepper. Food experts recommend including 3% black pepper in the turmeric mix. Including black pepper helps enhance turmeric’s bioavailability, thereby making even small dosages to be more effective. So, turmeric of 1/4 cup should be mixed with ground pepper of 1/2 tsp.
Most turmeric in India is produced at two places, namely, Chennai and Alleppey. Alleppey variety is known to have two times the curcumin present in the Chennai variety. Thus, it offers more health benefits.
Turmeric in powder form should be kept sealed preferably in an airtight container. It should be kept away from light and heat. You can also keep fresh turmeric in the freezer and grind it when needed.
Hence, there are lots of food preparations that use turmeric as an ingredient. Doing some research on the web will provide you with lots of turmeric recipes to choose from. Consuming this spice daily with your food does allow you and your family to derive its benefits.