One of the most traditional and versatile spices used in Indian cooking, turmeric is the heart and soul of any curry. This key ingredient is used daily in every part of India as its unique colour, due to the presence of the pigment curcumin, and flavour enriches all regional cuisine. Curcumin is an antioxidant and turmeric has been used for hundreds of years in India, to boost immunity and to help cure several diseases.
Only cured, dried turmeric has the aroma and colour (chiefly due to the presence of curcumin) necessary for cooking. Turmeric has an earthy, sensual fragrance and a musky, dry taste, but it is used wholeheartedly in Indian cooking for its wonderful quality of enhancing and balancing the flavours of all the other ingredients. Turmeric powder must be cooked in order for it to taste good and to make the most of its health benefits.
The fresh root, now available in many Indian and Thai shops, is used in relishes that are eaten to boost immunity.
A few weeks ago, I was a guest on The Food Programme (BBC Radio 4) about Turmeric and its magical properties.
I recommend a daily cup of turmeric tea to everyone who attends my courses and here is my recipe-
HALDI KI CHAI
I have been drinking this tea, once a day, for a while now and have experienced its good effects, such as a higher resistance to colds and coughs and increased immunity to seasonal maladies such as the flu. It has no taste and the turmeric does not make it spicy. You can add honey or sugar to sweeten it, if you prefer. Serves 1 PREPARATION less than 5 minutes
a pinch of ground turmeric (about a fifth of a teaspoon)
sugar or honey (optional)
1 Boil water in a kettle.
2 Put a pinch of turmeric in a mug and pour the boiling water over the top. The turmeric will change in colour and turn slightly orange. Drink hot. You can sweeten it with sugar or honey if you wish.
For more such healthy ideas, please come along to a class and cook with me!