Turmeric is also called saffron of the Indies because of its coloring power, or even tussock nuts, after the name of a European marsh plant, edible rhizome.
The plant forms a very ornamental bush: the long stems, sheathed by leaves in their lower part, are adorned with foliage provided in height. In the center of the flower stalk, a bract with very tight flowers, similar to a small artichoke, gives birth to a decorative flower, white or yellow which, if it is fertilized, produces fruits in the form of capsules.
Turmeric is not provided by an aerial part of the plant, but by the rhizome, hidden underground, at the foot of the stems and at the top of the roots. This one is unearthed when the plant fades. The entire rhizome is preserved.
Its main axis, thick, and its secondary branches, long and thin, are cleaned and cooked, which makes it possible to soften the thick skin, or « suber », and to diffuse the beautiful yellow color in all the tissues. After cooking, the « suber » is scraped, then the turmeric dries for a week. It is marketed fresh or powdered.
Turmeric is grown in the belt of tropical countries, especially in India, where the plant originated, and which is the biggest exporter of this spice. The cultivation of turmeric is widely practiced in the rest of Asia, Mascarenes and the West Indies.
The reproduction is done by planting sprouted pieces and rhizomes. Turmeric contains an essential oil rich in turmerone and zingiberene, which gives it its aroma. its coloring power comes from curcumin and has always made it a substitute, even a counterfeit saffron, but it does not have the same taste as this one. It is turmeric that gives its solar color to curry and tandoori. It also notes the hue of mustards, butter, cheeses and pickles.
Nutritional and medicinal beliefs and values Turmeric is used as a traditional medicine for the treatment of skin diseases, particularly in India and Mauritius for the treatment of scabies. It has been used for a very long time as an anti-inflammatory by Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Colon cancer is statistically less prevalent in areas where it is consumed regularly. The active ingredient of turmeric, curcumin, is the subject of active research.
It is an effective chemoprevention agent for colorectal cancer in rodents (clinical trials in volunteers in progress). Curcumin may also help stimulate the immune system cells that engulf the brain proteins that mark Alzheimer’s disease. The therapeutic activity of turmeric is increased tenfold in the presence of black pepper (piperine).
The bioavailability of turmeric is thus increased by the pepper piperine (as indicated in some treatments) is not useful with turmeric juice unlike dried turmeric powder. Turmeric juice obtained from fresh rhizomes, preserves fixed and volatile Phytonutrients (curcumin, curcuminoids, essential oils, …) present in fresh turmeric to promote bioavailability in the body
You can discover all these spices during your cooking class at our premises.
The name possibly derives from Middle English or Early Modern English as turmeryte or tarmaret. It may be of Latin origin, terra merita (« meritorious earth »). The name of the genus, Curcuma, is derived from the Sanskrit kuṅkuma, referring to both turmeric and saffron, used in India since ancient times.
Turmeric is one of the key ingredients in many Asian dishes, imparting a mustard-like, earthy aroma and pungent, slightly bitter flavor to foods.
Curcuma is used widely as a spice in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. Various Iranian khoresh dishes are started using onions caramelized in oil and turmeric, followed by other ingredients.The Moroccan spice mix ras el hanout typically includes turmeric. In South Africa, turmeric is used to give boiled white rice a golden color, known as geelrys (yellow rice) traditionally served with bobotie. In Vietnamese cuisine, turmeric powder is used to color and enhance the flavors of certain dishes, such as bánh xèo, bánh khọt, and mi quang. The staple Cambodian curry paste, kroeung, used in many dishes including amok, typically contains fresh turmeric.
In Indonesia, turmeric leaves are used for Minang or Padang curry base of Sumatra, such as rendang, sate padang, and many other varieties. In Thailand, fresh turmeric rhizomes are used widely in many dishes, in particular in the southern Thai cuisine, such as yellow curry and turmeric soup.
Turmeric is used in a hot drink called « turmeric latte » or « golden milk » that is made with milk, frequently coconut milk. The turmeric milk drink known as haldi doodh is a South Asian recipe. Sold in the US and UK, the drink known as « golden mylk » uses nondairy milk and sweetener, and sometimes black pepper after the traditional recipe (which may also use ghee).