Turmeric, properties and recipes for a unique spice
There turmeric is a yellow powder resulting from the rhizome, ie the part of the underground stem, of a herbaceous plant, the curcuma longa. This plant probably originating in Indonesia and Malaysia but is cultivated throughout Southeast Asia, India, the Philippines, but also in Peru and Jamaica.
There curcuma longa belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, the family to which also belong the plants of the ginger and cardamom. The rhizomes of turmeric They have lumpy and yellow and to be marketed are dehydrated and subsequently pulverized. Turmeric is an intense yellow color (in the past was used as a natural dye), has a pungent flavor and very aromatic. It is also often called "Indian saffron" because the color reminds one of saffron.
This spice was imported to Europe by the Arabs so it is known and used for thousands of years, but only in recent years has been extremely successful because they have rediscovered its many property, due to curcumin, coloring substance with a very high healing power. Many researchers around the world have studied and are still studying with great interest the benefits of this substance. Thanks to curcumin, turmeric appears to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic and antibacterial properties. Turmeric in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine is also used as a healing and cleansing. In most seems able to prevent or delay the onset of many pathologies such as, for example, the diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
The only "flaw" of turmeric is that, according to recent studies, to be truly effective it must be taken together with other substances such as pepper and curry. Moreover, it is so even in the Asian traditional cooking, for example, in the famous Chicken tandoori masala, where the meat is seasoned with spice mix including turmeric, curry and ginger.
Some ideas for recipes
We have seen the use of turmeric chicken tandoori masala but this spice It is used to flavor many recipes as rice, soups, side dishes, but also salads.
For instance try to prepare saffron pasta with turmeric or try to use it to give a new touch to our chips with paprika or potatoes in the pan. We also tried the 'hummus chickpea and a nice appetizer with Tunafish balls and the result has conquered us! If you want something more traditional recipe of our paella Valenciana It is the place for you.
It is advisable to add more and turmeric when cooking so that its nutrients are not lost. To maximize its preventive aspect, use it daily1-2 teaspoons for flavoring different preparations in addition to pepper, as it contains peppermint which helps absorption. Combined with a fat, in particular extra virgin olive oil, it has a greater intestinal absorption of healthful components of turmeric in addition to aid digestion.
Read more look also the magical world of spices.