Turmeric beyond curries!
While the world has got up and taken notice of this amazing Indian spice called Turmeric, it surprises me how well we know our very own haldi.
Since the childhood, we have seen this in almost 100% of our curries, infact the ubiquitous yellow –red curries have been the main colour on our plates.
Come the health buff’s era and we soon realise turmeric and its key ingredient curcumin is a wonder spice. Anti Inflammatory, Anti – bacterial, Anti – fungal, anti – disease, its list of fighting capabilities go on and on.
So what really makes it so special and how we can really use it beyond our curries.
Lets go down the memory lane and jog a few memories. Do we remember the Haldi Doodh (Golden Turmeric Milk) we saw are grand fathers have every night. Legend goes that freshly ground raw turmeric added into milk would heal the body from within and keep one away from infections. The same would be offered to any one who would have a cut or a bruise or had simply come from a village fight. Antibiotics soon took over and the so not appetising Haldi doodh went into oblivion. Circa 2012 onwards we find westerners discover the magic of golden milk in form of Turmeric Latte a coffeish version of our haldi doodh. Starbucks puts into its menu and now it’s the latest health drink to hit the circuit.
Another one we would all remember for is the Haldi – Honey spoonful. Feeling as if you are coming down with a cold? Itchy, scratchy throat? Didn’t have the lozenges or cough syrups to reach out to the dadi ma would quickly bring her ancient wisdom to the fore. Mix a teaspoon of turmeric and a teaspoon of honey and just lick up the golden mixture of pure goodness! While the popular style in India currently is to have Turmeric Infused Honey, we see many drug and confectionary companies dishing out turmeric filled toffees.
Indians love their pickles and chutneys and don’t we need to have them with every meal. For the health aficionados, the nutrition companies have taken out a unique way to satisfy the spice loving taste buds and provide health and nutrition in equal measure – The raw turmeric pickles and chutneys. Have a spoonful of rich turmeric in a mix of spices have a happy heart and satisfy your mind too.
For the unitiated and the ones who lead a very busy lifestyle some nutraceutical companies have cur cumin extracts in tablets form for the daily dose. Although the healthy buff in me says, go grab a teaspoon of raw, freshly ground pure haldi and just have it every morning.
A few Recipes
Raw Turmeric & Ginger Pickle
Raw Turmeric – finely chopped – ½ cup
Ginger – finely chopped – ½ cup
Green chillies – finely chopped – 2
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients well. Let the flavours mingle for around 15 minutes. The pickle is ready!
This goes well with plain kichadi or curd rice. Store the pickle in an air tight container and keep it refrigerated. Consume within a week.
Turmeric Milk or shall we call it Latte?
Ditch that cappuccino and grab a mug of Turmeric Latte!
Milk – 1 cup
Water – ¼ cup
Turmeric – 1 tspn
Pepper powder – 3/4th tspn
Sugar / Honey – to taste
In a saucepan – boil water with the turmeric powder and pepper powder till the water has almost evaporated. Pour the milk and bring it to a boil. Add sugar/honey to suit your taste.
This is a powerful infection fighter! My son sometimes has a fake coughing bout just to get a mug of the delicious turmeric latte!
I use normal milk – but feel free to use the milk of your choice