For most of my dishes I use Turmeric or Haldi in Hindi. It comes from the root of curcuma longa, a leafy plant related to ginger. It is usually boiled, sun- dried and then ground into a powder. Haldi has a bright yellow colour and a pungent, warm, earthy aroma and taste. Although it can be bitter if used in excessive amount. It is a main ingredient in Indian cooking and can be used a natural colouring agent.
Turmeric has also played an important role in traditional Eastern cultures and Ayurvedic medicine.
Haldi, is my favourite spice not only because it gives fantastic colour and flavours to food but also it has medicinal properties. I remember my mother giving me a warm cup of milk mixed with half a teaspoon of turmeric and 1 tsp of honey when I used to have bad cold and cough. I never used to like the taste but that drink always did it’s magic and still does and believe it or not I still follow that tradition when my children or husband have cough and cold. I also remember the days when my mother used to put turmeric powder on my wounds or cuts whenever I got hurt because it is a natural antiseptic used for healing cuts and wounds but as a child I always thought it was a magic medicine! A study in September 2014 found that the curcumin in turmeric offers some beneficial properties that accelerate the wound healing process by soothing irritation and oxidation. (https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health )
According to research turmeric provides an abundance of antioxidants capable of supporting cellular health. E.g. – Promotes balanced mood, help wounds heal, eases aches and discomfort, reduces liver toxins, improves immune system and so on. Professor Widschwendter suggests that eating small amounts of turmeric regularly may have a positive impact on our health. He also says that this spice could help protect us from a range of chronic diseases. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/PSTGKKt3HR08tmK69w7J1b/does-turmeric-really-help-protect-us-from-cancer )
Definitely, a good excuse to have quality authentic Indian curry!
Following are recipes which are passed on to me by mother, to my mother by my nan, to my nan to her mother …………
1) Turmeric Milk – for cough and cold
1 cup of worm milk
½ tsp of turmeric
1tsp of Honey
Mix turmeric and honey in warm milk, stir it well and drink.
(There is no harm trying, if it won’t do any good it won’t harm either)
2) A tablespoon of magic for Sore throat
2 to 3 crushed black pepper
½ inch finely crushed ginger
¼ turmeric powder
¼ of honey
Mix all these ingredients with two tablespoon of hot water and drink it. Then drink warm water. Follow this recipe twice a day. This always worked for me and my family.
3) Root turmeric chutney
¼ cup fresh turmeric root, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon peanuts, roasted
2 teaspoons channa daal/ Bengal gram roasted
2-3 dry red chillies, chopped
2 tsp coriander seeds
3-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 small size onions, roughly chopped
7- 10 black pepper corn
2 tbsp oil (Sunflower or olive)
Salt to taste
½ tsp of sugar
½ tsp mustered seeds
1-2 fresh curry leaves (optional)
– Heat a pan, add 1tbsp of oil and roast coriander seeds, black pepper, chana daal, red chillies and peanuts until they are crispy. Remove the ingredients and keep them aside.
– In the same pan heat 1tbsp of oil. Fry onions for 4- 5 minutes. Add garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Keep aside.
– Heat little oil and fry grated turmeric until it changes colours and become aromatic. Keep is aside
– Once all ingredients are cooked, grind them along with salt, sugar and little water. Add a bit of salt and sugar if required
– Heat a pan, add a bit oil, fry mustard seeds and curry leaves. Temper the grinded paste with fried mustard and curry leaves
– Serve this chutney as a side dish.