The Science of Spices

Sugar and Spice and all things nice!

TURMERIC -It tastes woody, floral and bitter

Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant. It is commonly used in Asian food. You probably know turmeric as the main spice in curry. It has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses

Turmeric and especially its most active compound curcumin have many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.

BOTANICAL NAME

Curcuma longa

MAJOR FLAVOR COMPOUND

Turmerone & ar-turmrone

PARTS USED

Rhizomes (fresh, dried, or powdered).

REGION OF CULTIVATION

Turmeric is thought to be native to India. It is cultivated  mainly in that country (which produces 90% of all turmeric  powder), but also in China, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia,  Indonesia, and the Philippines.

METHOD OF CULTIVATION

This annual crop is grown in heavily manured furrows;  rhizomes are harvested when the leaves turn yellow.

PREPARATION

Rhizomes are boiled and dried; they are then sold whole or ground to a powder

NON-CULINARY USES

Fabric dye, coloring agent in cosmetics; in traditional medicine as an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent.

POWDER

There are two main types: Madras in brighter yellow and sweeter in taste than the pungent, earthy, ochre colored Alleppey turmeric, which is more prized.

FRESH

Zesty flavors are more prominent in raw rhizomes. Peel and then chop or grate them, like ginger.

Turmeric works well in complex  blends, where its pungent earthiness acts as a base to help to  bind other flavorstogether. Add sparingly if it is to be used on its own, so that the bitter notes do not overwhelm

I have lifted out below some delicious ways you can incorporate turmeric with your food

White fish.

Stir together turmeric, yogurt, and crushed garlic,  and then spoon over fish fillets before grilling.

Lamb and pork.

Combine with paprika, lightly crushed cumin, and oilfor a meat rub, and massage into the skin before roasting.

Squash and cauliflower.

Mix a teaspoonful with oil and honey, and toss with vegetables before roasting.

White chocolate.

Add a good pinch to cupcake batter along with chunks of white chocolate.

Try my magic Hawaij curry blend, it’s divine slow cooked in meat dishes like curry and soups and as a spice to rub into meat.

1 tbsp. black peppercorns  

tsp. cumin seeds

1 tbsp. cardamom seeds  

1 tbsp. coriander seeds  

Enjoy

 

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