Turmeric is a popular spice used in many Middle Eastern dishes.
Not only does it have a long list of health benefits, it also enhances the color, smell and taste of any recipe it is added to.
In recent years, use of turmeric has been on the rise, and you don’t have to look far to see its increased presence and popularity.
Turmeric is a fantastic spice due to it’s versatility.
It can be used in an abundance of recipes.
Today, I want to give you the low-down on turmeric and how exactly to use this wonderful spice in your kitchen.
- What is Turmeric?
- How to Pronounce Turmeric
- Is Turmeric Good For You?
- What Does Turmeric Taste Like?
- What is Turmeric Good For?
- Where to Buy Turmeric
- More Turmeric Recipes
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a well known spice that has long been known for its medicinal properties.
The spice comes from the turmeric plant and what you use in recipes the ground roots of the plant.
It has been widely used for centuries in Southeast Asia where the plant is indigenous.
Turmeric belongs to the ginger family which is also found in a wide range of cuisines, and is known for its health benefits.
You’ll most commonly see turmeric added in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes where it has often been dubbed ‘Indian Saffron’ and ‘The Golden Spice’.
As well as widely used in cooking, turmeric is also praised for its long history of being used in medicines.
The yellow component of turmeric, called curcumin, is commonly used for coloring foods due to its vibrant nature.
How to Pronounce Turmeric
We live in a global world, it is becoming more common than ever before to experience more world foods.
This means that we sometimes are left baffled with how to pronounce exotic ingredients and dishes.
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the correct way to pronounce it is:
It’s easy to get wrong so don’t worry if you did – you’re not alone!
You’ll hear a lot of people mispronounce this as “TOO-mer-ic”.
If you prefer this pronunciation don’t worry, a lot of people do.
In the end as long as you get what you want, you’ll be doing ok.
Most people will know what you’re trying to say!
Is Turmeric Good For You?
There seems to be no end to the list of benefits that come from turmeric.
The amount of medical articles and studies seem to prove the healing benefits of this spice.
Turmeric benefits are impressive in sheer the numbers, and have been confidently backed up.
This natural medicine has been prescribed for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.
Turmeric can be good for digestion, liver health, healing wounds, ulcers, insulin resistance, heart health, pain, inflammation, and can improve memory.
Here are the main health benefits of turmeric you can enjoy:
The main ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
A typical Western diet is unfortunately the perfect recipe for causing inflammation.
It’s believed that this inflammation can create the perfect conditions for diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s and obesity.
Hence, why it is so important to try to reduce inflammation in your body.
It Supports Healthy Joints
Acting as an anti-inflammatory helps keep joints un-swollen.
It works great when used as a preventative measure but is also equally useful for those with arthritis.
Some studies have shown turmeric to be more effective than prescription drugs!
It Promotes a Healthy Heart
You’ll see a common theme of anti-inflammatory with turmeric.
Inflammation is another player in creating heart disease.
Not only does turmeric help with this, it also helps with improving the lining of your blood vessels.
It Helps Fight Depression
It has been shown in studies that turmeric can be as effective as an anti-depressent.
Turmeric boosts the brain-builder protein: BDNF.
Which can also lead to preventing depression.
What Does Turmeric Taste Like?
To be absolutely open and honest – turmeric tastes terrible by itself!
It can be quite bitter.
For this reason, I would not recommend eating raw turmeric.
But don’t fear because it really adds to flavors of other foods.
That’s when turmeric really shines.
Turmeric has a strong and slightly bitter flavor with earthy aromas, some say it is akin to a mustard flavor.
Very often turmeric is used as a combination of spices when it comes to cooking.
Sometimes it is added to food, more for the color it imparts rather than the flavor.
What is Turmeric Good For?
Now, for the main event!
Turmeric is really useful for a range of medical ailments.
But as this is primarily a food blog, I’m going to focus on when turmeric is good to use in cooking.
Turmeric can be used in cooking either in fresh form or as a powder.
- Turmeric Rice – Make your rice colorful by adding ½ tsp of ground turmeric per cup of rice. Just add it in to the water when it’s cooking for some extra vibrant rice!
- Hummus – Add it to the top of your hummus. Mix ¼ tsp of turmeric powder with 1 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds and sprinkle over the top of your hummus.
- Lentils – Mix in 1 tsp of turmeric with cooked lentils, onions and olive oil for some extra tasty legumes.
- Curries – Include in any curry where turmeric really thrives! Just add 1 tsp when cooking the vegetables at the beginning to add in warmer flavors.
- Soups – Mix in 1-2 tsp to any soup recipe to add a deep color to the dish.
Turmeric Rice Recipe
- Place the rice, water, salt and ground turmeric into a pan.
- Bring to a hard boil and then turn down to a low simmer.
- Once the pan is comfortably simmering, nearly cover completely with the lid.
- Leave until all the water has all evaporated.
- Test a few grains on the top. If they are still hard, add a splash of hot water and repeat until the rice is cooked.
Nutrition Per Serving
To use fresh turmeric, treat it like you would fresh ginger.
The best way to remove the skin is the same as ginger – with the edge of a spoon.
You can then either use whole pieces or grate a section.
- Juices – Add to any fresh juice you are making! It will add an extra tasty flavor.
- Eggs – Sprinkle freshly grated turmeric into scrambled eggs, frittatas or quiches. It will do a fantastic job of adding some vibrancy.
- Stir-Frys – Whilst sautéing the vegetables, add in 1-2 tsp’s of freshly grated turmeric.
- Marinades – When marinading chicken, beef or fish, mix in 1 tsp of grated turmeric for an added depth of flavor and color.
- Salads – Another perfect place for turmeric is in salad dressings for that extra taste!
Turmeric Chicken Recipe
Turmeric Chicken Traybake
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Place chicken in a bowl.
- Add all other ingredients.
- Mix with your hands rubbing the chicken with the ingredients until thoroughly coated.
- Pour the chicken and all other ingredients into a baking dish.
- Place in the oven for 60 minutes or until browned and done.
Nutrition Per Serving
Where to Buy Turmeric?
Turmeric can of course be bought at most good supermarkets.
But a better source would be a reputable online retailer as this would most likely be a fresher product.
Fresh turmeric has a bright yellow/orange color, it gets more brown looking the older it is.
More Turmeric Recipes
- Vegetable Tahini Salad
- Chicken Tray Bake
- Spiced Cauliflower Soup
- Spicy Shrimp
- Seven Spices
- Lamb & Tahini Bake