Turmeric or Haldi is the ‘yellow gold’ of Indian cookery and is one of the basic and essential spices. We have been using it in various forms in our food and drinks, for many centuries.
Table of contents
Source of turmeric
The root is either used fresh by making a paste or is dried naturally under the sun and ground into what we know as turmeric powder.
Turmeric is considered auspicious in many Hindu weddings and venerations. Turmeric paste is applied to both the bride and groom as part of a pre-marriage ritual known as the Haldi ceremony. Raw turmeric paste is also used as part of a skin cleansing routine for blemish-free skin. Evidently, it is a time-tested skin treatment and beauty enhancer used for thousands of years.
Turmeric infused milk is used by many Indian families to boost immunity. It has antibiotic properties that help in the healing process of the body. It also provides relief for sore throats. A simple home remedy for sore throat is gargling with hot water mixed with turmeric and salt.
It is also used as a natural dye in colouring fabrics.
Use in Indian Cookery
Turmeric is used in almost all Indian curries. It provides a distinctive yellow colour to the food. Because of the strength of its colour, it is only used in tiny amounts, using too much will make the food taste bitter.
It is known to have various medicinal properties and has been used for thousands of years as a home remedy for various ailments. It is a natural healing agent for wounds, cuts and bruises due to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Its medicinal properties are due to its main active ingredient known as Curcumin.
Curcumin recently is known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer effects. However, our bodies are unable to absorb curcumin easily. It can be substantially enhanced by consuming black pepper, which contains piperine along with turmeric. Fatty foods have been proven to aid in curcumin absorption as well.
Turmeric root is also a good source of vitamin C, Vitamin B6, vitamin E and niacin. It is also a great source of minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, and magnesium. It does not contain any cholesterol and in fact, it is an excellent source of antioxidants and dietary fibre which helps control bad cholesterol levels.
Turmeric is an essential spice not only in cooking but also has cultural importance along with significant health benefits.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We may receive a small commission when you make a purchase using our link. Please note, it will not cost you anything extra, but it will help us with the running and maintenance costs of our website.