Tumeric is so much a part of Asian cuisine. I used to watch my mum and grandmother put a dash of tumeric in almost all their dishes, especially the curries. The amount was so small, I never thought tumeric contributed a significant taste to the dish. Today I know it is used in small amounts because :
- It can be pungent and leave a bitter aftertaste if you use too much.
- It helps bring out the flavour of all the other spices and that is why tumeric is a must in Indian curries and a lot of other Asian cuisine too, I might add, such as Thai, Indonesian, Burmese and so on. It is at its best when used with other spices. If you buy commercial curry powder or curry paste the chances are there is tumeric in the blend.
- It has so many health benefits that traditional Indian cooking incorporates them in most of their dishes to make sure tumeric is part of the daily diet. In other words, more for health than taste. Yet I would not rule out tumeric as the main item of prepared food as Jitka Robinson has found this interesting blend that suits her palate: “Tumeric is my favorite super spice I use every day. Try honey and tumeric paste as a delicious topping on your toast. Combine 2 tablespoons of ground tumeric, 1/4 cup of raw honey, pinch of black pepper, 1 tsp of raw unflitered apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of unrefined coconut oil in a bowl. Stir till smooth and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.” Makes about 8 – 10 servings; Tumeric Spread Recipe – Jitka Robinson, Ayurvedic Health Counsellor, Chicago, IL.
I find it amusing that I can’t seem to pick up a health magazine in Australia that does not laud the benefits of tumeric somewhere amongst their pages when I’ve grown up with it all my life. Tumeric is so precious that when the US issued a patent on it in 1995, India forced them to withdraw that patent. Yet I am aware the tumeric I grew up with as a child is not the same these days. Our food is being tainted more and more in the name of profit for large corporations. So I’d like to show you how to make your own tumeric powder. It’s safer than buying commercial tumeric powder.
Make Your Own Tumeric Powder
Commercial tumeric powder contains artificial colour, additives such as rice flour, saw dust, starch and therefore the powder you buy is not pure tumeric.
Furthermore unless you buy organic, the tumeric powder is likely made from tumeric has been sprayed with pesticide and irradiated to keep it from sprouting.
I grow tumeric, both in the ground and in pots. If you don’t have much space, tumeric can grow quite well in a pot. I had a great yield of tumeric from growing them in an 85L black plastic pot. I went to a health food store and bought organic tumeric rhizomes.Tumeric is part of the ginger family and like ginger it is the rhizome of the plant that we eat. Choose rhizomes that are young, fresh and plump to grow. You can harvest them in 9 – 10 months after the leaves turn yellow and wilt.
I have tried to store fresh tumeric in the fridge after turning them into paste but if you keep the paste too long it goes bad. One of the reasons is because moisture gets in, allowing mould to develop.
So after I harvested my tumeric, I minced them using the mincing attachment of my juicer. I prefer this option to a blender because the rapid speed of the blade of a blender and the heat it generates can destroy beneficial enzymes.
I spread out the minced tumeric on my dehydrating trays and dehydrated the tumeric. Once they were completely dry I simply grind them in the dry grinder. Now I have tumeric powder.
Even if you don’t grow tumeric, you can make your own tumeric powder by buying fresh, organic tumeric and you can get them here in Australia at a wholefood shops or at farmer’s markets. You can either mince the way I have done or slice thin and then dehydrate the slices until completely dry. Then powder it in a dry grinder
- Curcumin is a powerful anti-oxidant found in tumeric. It also works as an anti-inflammatory in the body which can be a great relief to those suffering chronic pain. Piperine (the heat in black pepper) makes the curcumin in tumeric more readily absorbed by the body. For example adding 20 mg. piperine to curcumin increased its bio-availability by 2000%! So always consume tumeric powder, however you wish to take it, with a little bit of pepper
- I use tumeric in a face mask I make myself as it is great for the skin
My husband, Kevin, prepared this dinner below. See if you can guess where the tumeric is? Scroll down past the photo to see the answer.
The answer is the salad dressing. Here is the recipe:
Tumeric Ginger Salad Dressing
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp rice malt syrup
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp minced ginger
Mix all the ingredients together and pour over salad