Turmeric

Turmeric Curcuma longa

Turmeric is highly values around Southern Asia for it flavouring, dyeing and medicinal properties. It is a cheap spice that is regularly used in many native rituals.

Flavour

The flavour of turmeric is a little bitter and sour while being warm and musky.

Aroma

Turmeric has an aroma that is similar to ginger though with citrusy earthy aroma. When dried turmeric has a richer and more woody aroma with overtones of citrus and ginger.

Pairing

Turmeric is an essential ingredient to most curries including masalas and curry powders.  Blends well with subtle flavours like eggplants, beans, fish and rice.

Growing

The leaf stalks of turmeric rise to 1 m in height, the culinary part of the plant is the rhizome that grows under soil. After autumn the leaves will die down and the rhizome can be dug up, though they can be dug as any stage, they will just be smaller and have a milder flavour. It should be planted in well-drained soil in full sun.

History

Turmeric is a symbol of fertility and prosperity which is why it was used in many religious ceremonies to promote the fertility of the soil for the farms.

Medicinal

Turmeric has been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory. Recent studies have suggested it could have a role in the healing in colon and breast cancers. Turmeric may also help with digestive issues.

Facts about Turmeric

Turmeric has often been used in cosmetics to tint them to closer match the skin and give a sun-kissed glow. Despite what you would think turmeric has been reported to work as a teeth whitener as well if not kept on the teeth for a long time.