When we talk about unique spices that have a particularly distinguishing taste and smell, and spices that are traditional for certain folk’s cuisine, we just can’t turn a blind eye to turmeric. We believe every kitchen should have this organic turmeric powder in its herbs and spices compartment. Produced by Indus Organics, the organic turmeric spice is a faultless option for your exquisite Asian dishes, and a fantastic opportunity for you to prepare your own curry spice, if you’re into it like us.
Turmeric is an herbal perennial plant of the ginger family Zingiberaceae. That’s why it’s often referred to as a cousin of ginger, and both match perfectly together in many food and drink recipes.
How is turmeric powder made?
The part of a turmeric plant that is used for making high purity turmeric spice are the rhizomes. They’re usually boiled in water for around 30 to 45 minutes then dried in hot ovens. Once they’re perfectly dried and somewhat baked, the rhizomes are ground into fine yellow-orange powder.
What does turmeric taste like?
Turmeric has a warm, slightly bitter and very mildly sharp taste. Its distinguishing flavor and character have earned its major part in coloring (and contributing to flavoring) curry powders, butters, cheeses, and mustards.
And here’s how whole turmeric rhizomes look like:
Image credit: elissagoodman.com
Culinary Use of Turmeric
We already noted some of the main uses of turmeric. You’ve probably heard and even used it yourself in some savory dishes, but you may be surprised to learn it can be an ingredient in sweet courses as well, such as the sfouf cake.
In non-Asian cuisine, turmeric can find itself an agent that adds a bright golden yellow color to many eatables. Therefore, it can be an ingredient in canned foods and drinks, dairy foods, baked goods, yoghurt, ice cream, cakes and other pastries, popcorn, cereals, sauces and more.
Many Persian dishes and especially Iranian khoresh dishes use turmeric as a starter ingredient. For example, when you start cooking khoresh dishes you normally need to have onions caramelized in turmeric and oil.
Moroccan kitchen is also fond of turmeric, because the spice is used as an ingredient in the preparation of the condiment mix called “ras el hanout”.
Viatnamese people too like to add turmeric powder for flavor and color to some of their native dishes like mi quang, bánh khọt, and bánh xèo. They often put it in soups and stir fries.
Medicinal properties of turmeric
Besides being largely used as a color and flavor agent, turmeric has recently been the center of many studies and research concerning its potential health benefits.
In Ayurvedic methods turmeric is used to treat many internal ailments like sore throat, indigestion, liver conditions, and colds, as well as externally to cleanse wounds and relieve skin sores.
There’s a great range of conditions that turmeric is used for. It has shown a positive influence in cases of: heartburn, arthritis, headaches, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, gallbladder problems, bypass surgery, appetite loss, stomach bloating, liver conditions, jaundice, bronchitis, influenza, tuberculosis, systemic lupus erythematosus (an autoimmune disease), and more.
The main active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin that is even responsible for the spice’s color. Curcumin is largely researched because of its properties, some of which require further examination.
Health benefits of curcumin
A fresh study of 700 clinical trials that included cancer and curcumin, established that the turmeric compound can be as effective as pharmaceutical medicine for treating colon, breast, liver, prostate and mouth cancers. Recent studies also reveal the potential of curcumin when it comes to inhibiting the formation of skin-cancer.
Multiple studies show that curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties work as equally effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. That’s why curcumin can be used as a natural joint pain reliever, an effective one at that.
People with diabetes, prediabetes or metabolic syndrome might find curcumin beneficial. There was a trial involving 240 participants, half of which took a curcumin supplement, the other half took a placebo pill. After 9 months, it was established that 20% of those who took a placebo had developed diabetes, while none of those on curcumin had the disease.
To even further the anti-diabetes qualities of curcumin, a Harvard University study recently discovered that this compound has potential to restore brain stem parts of the brain impaired by diabetes in lab animals. In relation to that, during the last few years curcumin has been studied intensely if it could prevent or treat Alzheimer’s. The outcome of this research still remains to be seen.
Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, it could be highly beneficial to heart health. Besides that, the nutrient has the ability to diminish blood triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. That’s why it can further strengthen heart health.