What are some of your favourite dishes? Paneer tikka? Murgh Masala? Baigan ka Bharta? Do you know what’s common in all of these dishes? That one element that provides them with a distinct yellow colouring, Turmeric. For years India is known to be the treasure land of spices and the one thing it has contributed to the whole world is the numerous preparations that use this Magical Spice Called "Turmeric!”
But is turmeric just an ingredient that makes food look pretty? Or does it actually make a difference to your body? I’ve majorly spent my childhood with my grandparents, do you remember how much emphasis they laid on applying haldi paste on wounds, saying that it would heal faster and stop bleeding? I, as a child, would get annoyed and never really understood why. In fact, for the longest time I had an aversion to haldi especially when my grandmother would put it on my wounds or give me “Haldi Doodh-Turmeric Milk until I realised its many benefits.
Turmeric, or haldi is an A+ source of antioxidants and thus has various healing and anti-ageing properties. You name it, and turmeric is that: antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory. That is enough to convince you to include this in your diet! Right?
Additionally, for those who are trying to create a balance in their life especially now when we are under lockdown and One thing I always insist on is building immunity against this un seen enemy , it is a commonly known fact that turmeric is one of the ways that you can balance your vata, pitta, and kapha and build immunity as well ,in simple words its a "Healer"!. For anyone who is wondering, the ideal state of being is to have a balance in your body for it to give out appropriate responses.
A Just as unique turmeric’s properties are, it looks unique as well. Found fresh in winters, turmeric is an oblong and knotty root that looks a lot like ginger because it’s from the ginger family! Depending on the variety, turmeric has different colours ranging from deep yellow to bright.
Turmeric is a typical ingredient in our Indian cuisine eg. curries and a component of different spice mixes as well whether vegetarian or non-vegetarian. It is suitable for gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and paleo diets as well! A Dried, ground turmeric is the spice you are most familiar with. After all, most Indian dishes require a dash of turmeric in them. In fact I add it to my vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes as well as because of its antiseptic properties!
Fresh turmeric has been an ingredient that was so popular in Himachal,where I am from every household there either makes a sabzi or pickle it! I have always seen my grandmothers and other family members doing it! Every winter loads of fresh turmeric root would sit in the kitchen, washed and peeled, ready to be pickled. I remember wrinkling my nose at the pieces. Believe it or not, the same person craves fresh turmeric preparation now and continuously tells people about the numerous benefits of this spice! It is a magical spice and I am totally in love with it!
Have it in warm water with a dash of lime juice and honey first thing in the morning and you understand what I’m talking about! You can use it in your face packs as well mixed with honey and bananas and it will help get rid of blackheads as well ! This superfood is â€˜ My Spice to save life wherever you are! Now the west is incorporating it in their diet and making “Golden Latte” which is nothing but our age-old “Haldi Ka doodh “ which my grandmother and mother giving me after I would get hurt or have a fall, as I was in sports and I’m sure you must have had it too!
That earthy smell and a slightly bitter flavour is responsible for making it an element that most kids hate but most adults come to love. Haldi is that sole ingredient that brings out the overall flavour of the dish it is added to. Believe it or not, the slight touch of bitterness adds a dimension to a dish.
Turmeric actually gets stronger when cooked, so it can be added earlier in the cooking process in a recipe for a stew or braised dish. To use fresh turmeric, you will need to peel the root as the skin is too tough to eat so I like to consume it in the form of a pickle taste great, just add vinegar and salt and add juliennes of fresh turmeric, will last long and also not taste that pungent! Grate it, slice it, or dice it. If you are using turmeric for its purported health benefits, it's best to include it in dishes with black pepper, this will help your body absorb the active ingredient in turmeric more efficiently. It’s time to make the ginger family spice an integral part of your Family!
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