1 Jun 2007

Spicy Nice Turmeric

Turmeric, the golden spice of India, was often referred to as a "poor man's saffron" in the West. This was no longer the case. In the East, particularly India, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years for health, cooking and dyeing, it has always been highly valued.

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. The main bio-active compound in turmeric is curcumin. Ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese medical practitioners recognized recognized the healing powers of turmeric and now modern researchers have confirmed this stating that curcumin in turmeric has the power to block inflammation, kill infectious microbes, stop cancer, improve heart health and alleviate skin problems. Studies are also being done on it's protection against Alzheimer's Disease.

Turmeric is an excellent source of manganese and iron, and a good source of potassium, dietary fiber and vitamin B6.

An excellent fabric dye, turmeric needs no fixative, so protect your clothing when using it. For a simply dyeing method visit the Lemelson Center website. Depending on which variety you purchase the cloth can be dyed in a colors ranging from bright yellow to a deep orange.

after purchasing, to maintain the flavor and aroma of turmeric, store the powder in an airtight container in a cool, dark and dry place. It has a bitter, peppery taste and a gingery orange perfume.

It is a main ingredient in curry powders and used to color and flavor pickles, mustard, chutneys and other foodstuffs. Turmeric has a strong flavor which increases with cooking so a little goes a long way. Try it in bean, rice and cereal dishes. It is excellent for digestion system and liver and stops bloating and gas, so well worth adding to many of your dishes.

For beauty and first aid info on turmeric visit my other blog Herbs 'n Oils.


Turmeric Rice Recipe
From Recipe Tips

2 tbsps olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (use more if you wish)
1/2 bell pepper, chopped (use more if you wish)
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped (optional)
1 cup uncooked rice, preferably brown
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
2 cups veggie broth or water
1 tbsp chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat olive oil in a skillet or saucepan with a lid. Add onion, pepper and tomato, if using. Saute, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir to mix well; cook for another minute or two. Add liquid, salt and turmeric. Cover, adjust heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender . If the rice isn't tender when the liquid has been absorbed, add a little more liquid and continue simmering for a few minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve warm. Servings 4 x 3/4 cup.

Ginger Turmeric Healing Detox Tea
From Care2
Inspired by The Seasonal Detox Diet, by Carrie L’Esperance (Inner Traditions, 2001).

2 cups water
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp powdered turmeric
1 tbsp maple syrup
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Bring water to a boil, then add powdered herbs. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain tea into a mug, add maple syrup and lemon, stirring to combine. Drink warm.

Eggplant Salad

3 large eggplants
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup cold pressed oil for skillet
5 cloves garlic,chopped or pressed
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup sweet red pepper seeded and chopped for garnish

Cut eggplants into 1/2 inch slices, sprinkle with salt and leave for 1/2 hour. Wipe dry and lightly brown in skillet, reduce heat, cover and cook until done. Remove and keep warm. In same skillet stir-fry garlic for a minute, add water, turmeric, paprika, cuminseed, and tomato paste. Simmer mixture over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar. Pour sauce over eggplant slices and garnish with the chopped red peppers. Serve at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.



Douglas said...

I really like you post about turmeric!!!!!!!!!

I dont think I have ver seen someone be so passionate about one spice so much, good for you!!!!!

Life is not full of people like you anymore!!!!

All the best

Emmy said...

Great post. I love using turmeric. That rice recipe sounds really good.

bazu said...

I remember how excited I was the first time I saw fresh turmeric in the market- it's like a bright yellow ginger!

laura k said...

I've enjoyed reading this. I love to use turmeric, mostly for its color, but now I know its health profile too!

Anonymous said...

great info.!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I've used turmeric a lot but never really knew what it was. Thanks for the information.

This is totally off subject but years ago, I worked with some people from Durban and they gave me a very simple South African curry recipe that was so good but unfortunately it was meat-based. The curry was unlike any I had had before (Indian or Chinese) and I have since lost the recipe so I can't try to veganize it. Do you have a good veggie curry that you could share?

Jackie said...

I tend to prefer the Moslem curries of the Moslem Malays living in Cape Town to the Hindu curries of Durban
but that is a personal choice.

You will find many Durban style curry recipes which are easy to adapt at
and if you want to try the Malay style curry (without meat of course) there is a simple one at

Will pop this on your blog as well :)

Candi said...

I've only discovered turmeric about 2 years ago, and love it! It's great to read about the benefits and even the beauty tips you've linked to on your other blog!

Oh, the tea sounds great! A detox tea? Wow! I'll try that!

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

oooh, I'm excited that I have all the ingredients for that rice dish. What a cool post - as always! :o)

Dori said...

The turmeric rice dish makes me think it may be something similar to saffron rice (which I have never tried). I am impressed ith the amount of turmeric in the indian food I have been trying lately. ope you are staying arm. :)

-_- said...

nice work
I like it
thank you and have a nice day

Cherry said...

The colour is too much for me. The taste is spicy?

KleoPatra said...

i'm very into turmeric for its color... had no idea it was a member of the ginger family, Jackie. Great info all over the place here. i knew it was considered the "poor man's saffron" but had no clue how good it really is for you. i'm not a curry fan so i'll look for it elsewhere and try to use it more often for sure...

Jackie said...

If you are not a fan of curries it does brighten up any savory rice dish nicely, just remember a little goes a long way. I also pop it into soups like carrot and pumpkin.

urban vegan said...

I like to use a pinch of turmeric as a safe yellow food coloring.

Sheila said...

I have been meaning to incorporate turmeric into my diet because of the cancer fighting benefits attributed to it, but I'm afraid I haven't much experience with curries and such. The U.S. southern cuisine is not apt to use this spice at all. I do think the rice recipe sounds easy and a good way to get some of this healthful spice. Thanks.

Mizpah Matus said...

Thanks for the great post!

I'm living in Bali and here we have fresh tumeric as a drink with lime and honey. It is wonderful and so much better than the dried tumeric.

Such a great start to the day - and helps with detox too.

Rosemary said...

My DH had colon cancer several years ago, and his Oncologist, who happens to be Indian, has had him taking a teaspoon of straight Turmeric every day since then. He has had no recurrence of his cancer. His doctor is very enthusiastic in his belief that Turmeric can prevent colon cancer.

We buy it by the large bag at an Indian Spice store in Birmingham.