Turmeric is the ubiquitous and bright spice, synonymous with Indian cooking and kitchens. Apart from being a flavor bomb with its earthy and spicy notes, this desi spice is an ocean of health benefits – hence it has been termed a superfood. Let’s look at some of the ways that this spice can be added to our diet.
- Turmeric Tea
Tea is one of the most loved and consumed beverages in India, and turmeric adds a spicy edge and earthy tones. Turmeric tea is available in tea bags, which when steeped in hot water and mixed with honey and freshly grated pepper (pepper aids absorption of turmeric), makes for a highly nutritious and tasty drink. Grating fresh turmeric and steeping in hot water and adding honey, is another way to get yourself a fresh cuppa of turmeric tea.
- Turmeric Milk
This is every mother’s recipe for a healthy drink for children and a healing elixir for everyone in the family. Turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which punch infections and inflammations out of the body. For those who don’t like milk (!), mixing turmeric with hot water and honey is a great way to add this spice to their diet.
- Yummy Turmeric Kulfi
Boiling fresh turmeric with milk and sugar, cooling the mixture, pouring into molds, and chilling it in the freezer, makes for a delicious, healthy, and refreshing summer dessert.
- Turmeric Juice
Peel and run fresh turmeric in a juicer, to extract all its healthy goodness. This juice can be added to soups, dals, bread dough, to make a salad dressing, and even to the morning smoothie or juice that you consume. Get an orange-gold kickstart to your day!
- Rustic Turmeric and Mint Chutney
Almost every Indian household loves a tangy and spicy chutney as an accompaniment to meals. Mint, coriander, and turmeric, with some stone fruit, blended, make for a delish and tangy chutney that can be eaten as an accompaniment to lunch or dinner or even just while snacking!
- Spicy Yellow Curry
A simmering and spicy yellow curry with vegetables or even meat can be prepared with either ground or fresh turmeric. One can add ingredients as per taste, and consume this healthy spice, in a finger-licking curry, eaten with rice or hot chapatis. Hungry much?
- Turmeric Powder to Eggs and Cottage Cheese Scramble
When preparing scrambled eggs or an omelet or scrambled cottage cheese, sprinkle about a quarter teaspoon of the yellow goodness of turmeric powder. In addition to the vibrant golden color, you are also adding dollops of nutrition to food that is good for you.
- Yellow Rice or Tehri
This rice gets its beautiful golden color from the magic spice, turmeric. This is a popular dish across India, but especially in the North. Rice is cooked with vegetables, or potatoes, or meat, or all of these together, with a liberal addition of turmeric, in addition to other spices and salt. Pair this rice with any chutney and you are sure to have a winning dish!
- Turmeric Popcorn
For popcorn lovers, this is a wonderful snack since the addition of turmeric powder and chaat masala, is a great way to cut back on the amount of butter used. It is possible to pop corn kernels using coconut oil, and then sprinkle them with turmeric and a tangy spicy dry mixture. Not only is this a delicious snack, but it is also a great way to consume turmeric without fussing about the taste.
- Fresh Turmeric Pickle
Almost every Indian kitchen would have at least a jar of some kind of pickle, and fresh turmeric pickle is possibly one of the healthiest and tastiest types. Fresh turmeric should be sliced into thin ‘matchsticks’, with a half teaspoon of lemon, salt to taste, powdered black pepper, and some sugar (if you wish). This mixture should be put into a glass container, shaken with the lid on, and stored in the fridge. It will be ready to eat in about 6 days – enjoy your healthy but super tasty accompaniment with just about anything or even when you feel the urge for something spicy and tangy.
Extra tip: You can also make turmeric butter, using regular butter. Mix some turmeric powder into the butter, and use it either in sandwiches or even to cook. You could even pour the melted version of this over steamed vegetables or seafood!
This wonder spice/superfood is healthy and versatile enough to be consumed in a variety of ways. Which is your favorite?
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