Jackie Ford, The Vegan Diet – Turmeric, the golden spice of India, was often referred to as a "poor man's saffron" in the West. This was no longer the case. In the East, particularly India, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years for health, cooking and dyeing, it has always been highly valued.
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. The main bio-active compound in turmeric is curcumin. Ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese medical practitioners recognized recognized the healing powers of turmeric and now modern researchers have confirmed this stating that curcumin in turmeric has the power to block inflammation, kill infectious microbes, stop cancer, improve heart health and alleviate skin problems. Studies are also being done on it's protection against Alzheimer's Disease.
Turmeric is an excellent source of manganese and iron, and a good source of potassium, dietary fiber and vitamin B6.
An excellent fabric dye, turmeric needs no fixative, so protect your clothing when using it. For a simply dyeing method visit the Lemelson Center website. Depending on which variety you purchase the cloth can be dyed in a colors ranging from bright yellow to a deep orange.
after purchasing, to maintain the flavor and aroma of turmeric, store the powder in an airtight container in a cool, dark and dry place. It has a bitter, peppery taste and a gingery orange perfume.
It is a main ingredient in curry powders and used to color and flavor pickles, mustard, chutneys and other foodstuffs. Turmeric has a strong flavor which increases with cooking so a little goes a long way. Try it in bean, rice and cereal dishes. It is excellent for digestion system and liver and stops bloating and gas, so well worth adding to many of your dishes.
For beauty and first aid info on turmeric visit my other blog Herbs 'n Oils.
From Recipe Tips
2 tbsps olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (use more if you wish)
1/2 bell pepper, chopped (use more if you wish)
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped (optional)
1 cup uncooked rice, preferably brown
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
2 cups veggie broth or water
1 tbsp chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
Heat olive oil in a skillet or saucepan with a lid. Add onion, pepper and tomato, if using. Saute, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir to mix well; cook for another minute or two. Add liquid, salt and turmeric. Cover, adjust heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender . If the rice isn't tender when the liquid has been absorbed, add a little more liquid and continue simmering for a few minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve warm. Servings 4 x 3/4 cup.
Ginger Turmeric Healing Detox Tea
Inspired by The Seasonal Detox Diet, by Carrie L’Esperance (Inner Traditions, 2001).
2 cups water
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp powdered turmeric
1 tbsp maple syrup
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Bring water to a boil, then add powdered herbs. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain tea into a mug, add maple syrup and lemon, stirring to combine. Drink warm.
3 large eggplants
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup cold pressed oil for skillet
5 cloves garlic,chopped or pressed
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup sweet red pepper seeded and chopped for garnish
Cut eggplants into 1/2 inch slices, sprinkle with salt and leave for 1/2 hour. Wipe dry and lightly brown in skillet, reduce heat, cover and cook until done. Remove and keep warm. In same skillet stir-fry garlic for a minute, add water, turmeric, paprika, cuminseed, and tomato paste. Simmer mixture over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar. Pour sauce over eggplant slices and garnish with the chopped red peppers. Serve at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.