Turmeric has more than a hundred proved health benefits which is why it has made its entry into most spice racks in the western world in the recent past. But the most powerful benefit of turmeric is as a potent antioxidant and a power house anti-inflammatory agent. Its antioxidant abilities help in preventing ageing, reducing incidence of cancers, heart disease and cataracts. Owing to its anti-inflammatory action, turmeric is found as a major component in arthritis supplements helping to reduce pain and joint inflammation.
Turmeric as medicine?
It is an antiseptic for cuts, burns, and bruises. It can also be used as an anti-bacterial agent and helps ease stomach problems. It is beneficial in treating Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and liver disorders.
Fresh turmeric roots should have a spicy fragrance and stubby fingers protruding from the sides of the root. Refrigerate unpeeled turmeric, tightly wrapped, for three weeks. Turmeric is typically boiled or steamed and then dried and ground into powder. Use ground turmeric in fish or rice dishes. Be careful with fresh turmeric as it stains easily.
- Turmeric is used as a colouring agent in canned beverages, baked products, dairy products, ice cream, yogurt, yellow cakes, orange juice, biscuits, popcorn colour, sweets, cake icings, cereals, sauces and gelatin.
- It is used to protect food products from sunlight. The oleoresin is used for oil-containing products. Over-colouring, such as in pickles, relishes and mustard, is sometimes used to compensate for fading.
- In combination with other chemicals, turmeric is used to colour cheeses, yogurt, dry mixes, salad dressings, winter butter, margarine.
Recipe -Cucumber pickle with turmeric
- 12 cucumbers, thinly sliced,
- 3 onions, thinly sliced,
- 1 green bell peppers, diced,
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped,
- ¼ cup salt,
- 1.5 cup vinegar,
- 2.5 cups white sugar,
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds,
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds,
- A few whole cloves,
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
In a large bowl, mix together cucumbers, onions, green bell peppers, garlic and salt. Allow to stand approximately 3 hours.
In a large saucepan, mix the vinegar, white sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, whole cloves and turmeric. Bring to a boil. Drain liquid from the cucumber mixture. Stir the mixture into the boiling vinegar mixture.
Remove from heat shortly before the combined mixtures return to boil.
Transfer to sterile containers. Seal and chill in the refrigerator until serving.
Both our Wheat Chakli and Brown Rice Chakli have been spiced with turmeric.