How To Use Turmeric
Exotic Indian Foods Offer Many Benefits!
Turmeric Powder is a Milder Alternative to Curry Powder
Everyone knows that Indian dishes are spicy, aromatic and delicious. This is owing in great part to the use of curry powder. What you may not know is that curry powder is not really an Indian native and that one of the main components of curry powder is turmeric - a tremendous health tonic that can brighten your life in many ways. Turmeric is also a great alternative to curry powder for folks who just don’t like things hot and spicy.
Curry powder was invented by the British when they governed India. They created it because they wanted to be able to introduce Indian cuisine to Britain, but they did not want to have to tote dozens of individual spices back home to do it. The Indians used many different spices that they blended while cooking to create the hot, spicy curry sauces the British so admired. In fact, often more than a dozen individual spices were used. The authentic curries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and various Southeast Asian countries vary broadly in flavor. Some are very hot. Some are very sweet.
The curry powders you will find on your grocers' shelves are fairly uniform in flavor. They contain a pretty standard blend of spices that may include fresh curry leaves, turmeric, cardamom fenugreek, red peppers, saffron, nutmeg, cloves, mace and paprika. Each of these spices has some medicinal value. This makes curry a very healthy ingredient to add to your diet. However, you may be interested to know that, of all the spices included in curry powder, turmeric is the most valuable health-wise.
Turmeric has been used in Indian and Asian traditional medicine to treat a wide variety of ills for many centuries. It has tremendous antioxidant value and has been proven to help prevent cancer and even fight established cancer cell growth. Studies have shown that turmeric helps break down the plaque build-up that causes many of the symptoms of dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, adding turmeric to the diet boosts the metabolism and aids in weight loss.
It is so easy to add curry or turmeric to your diet. If the taste of curry powder is too hot and spicy for you, try turmeric powder. It can be used in any recipe that calls for curry powder, but it has a milder flavor. It can also be added to many of your favorite recipes with healthy, delicious results. Just by adding a spoonful of turmeric powder to the foods you are already used to cooking, you can bring tremendous health benefits to yourself and your family - and get a bit of a reputation as a creative and talented cook!
The Spice of Life
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Here are a few quick and easy ways to add turmeric powder to your everyday food plan!
- Use turmeric as a general spice. Keep a shaker of it on your table next to your salt and pepper shakers. Sprinkle it over salads, French fries, eggs, or just about anything else. Use your imagination!
- Add turmeric to any egg recipe. It adds color, flavor, and health to omelets, scrambled eggs, deviled eggs, and even fried or poached eggs. Just sprinkle a bit over the yolk while the egg is cooking.
- Add turmeric to milk beverages. You can blend it gently with chilled buttermilk to help soothe an upset stomach or even treat an ulcer - or just for the flavor of it if you enjoy that! You can also add a half teaspoon of turmeric, some cinnamon, and a bit of honey to warm milk at bedtime for a good night's sleep.
- Turmeric is wonderful with any meat. It can be used to spice poultry, lamb, mutton, pork or beef. Add it to any spice mix you normally use or use it alone as you would any other meat spice.
- Turmeric is excellent added to any vegetable while cooking. It is especially good with cauliflower, cabbage and other pale vegetables because it adds a little color as well as a flavor kick. It is a very attractive enhancement for yellow and orange vegetables like squash and carrots.
- Add turmeric to pasta for flavor and color. You can toss it with olive oil, garlic and onions, and your favorite pasta. Shake a bit into the water when you make Ramen noodles, or sprinkle it over homemade macaroni and cheese to enhance the flavor, give it a color boost, and add health benefits to a favorite comfort food.
- Add a teaspoon of turmeric to any grain while it is cooking - even oatmeal! It is delicious with rice, quinoa, couscous, buckwheat, bran - any grain at all. Be sure to add a teaspoon of butter or non-hydrogenated oil to bring out the flavor and health benefits even more.
- Beans, lentils, soup, and sauces of all kinds will benefit from a teaspoon of turmeric added during cooking.
- If you can find the fresh root, it can be steeped to make tea.
- Eat more plain old mustard! I compared the ingredients in mustards at the supermarket recently. I found that the least expensive, yellow, ball-park mustard is made of vinegar, water, mustard seed, salt, turmeric, and paprika. The more expensive brand contained several chemicals and food coloring, but no turmeric!
Copyright: SuzanneBennett: October 8, 2009