Haldi: Grounding the Root
When you’re looking at the root of Curcuma longa (the scientific term), it’s easy to confuse it with ginger. Both belong to the same family, after all. Turmeric, which by the way grows in abundance in India, has the same tough brown skin as ginger. It is when you slice it that you see the bright orange hue.
How does the root turn into powder? The root of Haridra (that’s turmeric in Ayurvedic) is boiled, dried in ovens and then grounded.
I know the powder is easier to find, but if you’re ever sniffing through a farmer’s market, pick up the root. Fresh turmeric has a pleasanter and lighter flavor than the pungent taste of the powder.
Why Use Turmeric: The Benefits of the Spice
For us, Haldi has been an effective nutritional supplement for so long that its true value was lost somewhere in the mists of antiquity. It’s when the western world stumbled upon it and started packaging as Turmeric latte and medicinal capsules that we caught on once again.
What makes turmeric a panacea among all the spices? Mostly it is curcumin, a chemical that gives the herb its bright yellow tint. Curcumin is also a potent antioxidant. Because oxidative damage is the root cause of ageing issues and much else, turmeric has a horde of health benefits.
Skip your luxury cosmetics and slather some Haldi paste for beautifully healed, shiny skin. If acne is a constant thorn in your side, try fresh turmeric tea. The tea also serves as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. So, from sore throats to fever, it can cure problems like nothing else.
What about adding it to food? In sustenance, the spice acts as a blood stimulator and keeps the intestine free of harmful bacteria, which is why this spice is prized for promoting ‘sweet intestines.’
Turmeric: A Quick How-To
Most spices bring a blend of aroma, flavour, and color. Turmeric is subtly unique. It does have a sharp, bitter taste but its scent is barely-there. Barring the copious fitness benefits, it is for the hue that I use this the most. From custard to lemon tart ( I know, turmeric in a tart?), the spice does wonders for many recipes.
- For the dreamiest light golden roasted carrot hummus, try this recipe. Fresh veggies, pita bread or potato chips, it is the perfect dip for everything.
- If you have fresh turmeric root at hand, give this persimmon chia jam a shot.
- To make the turmeric tea I mentioned before, take as much of the spice you can handle and mix it with honey. Pour hot water on the paste to make a rich blend and sprinkle some black pepper on top. Round it off with a squeeze of lemon.
Tasha’s Inside Tip
Our bodies do not readily absorb all those good-for-health chemicals in turmeric. To its increase its bioavailability, add black pepper to the drink or food.