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Characteristics and use of turmeric

  1. Turmeric is not only used in cooking in Asia, but also prescribed in traditional medicine for its medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties. The designation turmeric comes from Surinamese-Dutch. Turmeric is a spice and is also called turmeric or koenjit in Indo-Dutch. Turmeric is made from the roots of the Curcuma Longa plant from Southeast Asia. This plant is most comfortable in temperatures between 20 and 30 ° C. In addition, the plant thrives best if there is also enough rain. The Curcuma Longa plant is related to the ginger plant. Most turmeric is harvested in India.

Fresh use and manufacture of turmeric powder

  1. The turmeric root can be used fresh. Think of pickling in sweet and sour, just like pickles. When turmeric powder is made, the roots are boiled for half an hour to 45 minutes. The mass is then dried in ovens. Finally the mass is ground. The turmeric powder then has a deep yellow color. In Asian cuisine, turmeric is used as a seasoning and coloring agent. You can buy turmeric or turmeric powder as a separate spice in the supermarket.

Turmeric as a colorant: curcumin

  1. Curcumin is the colorant that you can obtain from turmeric. This yellow color may also be added to food. Think of dairy products (cheese), pastries and orange juice. Curcumin has E number E100. Curcumin is also often added to cosmetics. Turmeric ink is also made.

Taste and use of turmeric

  1. Turmeric has an earthy mustard flavor with a bit of bitterness in it. In general, turmeric is used in savory dishes. But there are also sweet dishes to which turmeric is added. Turmeric is added to many dishes. Traditionally in Asian cuisine, of course. Since turmeric is believed to have many medicinal properties, modern recipes are also being experimented with.

Turmeric in spice mixes

  1. Turmeric is also often part of spice mixes. Think curry (India), ras el hanout (Morocco), berbere (Ethiopia) and advieh (Persia).

Turmeric in savory dishes

  1. Khoresh from Persia (Iran): Khoresh is a general term for stews. Khoresh is served with rice. There are many varieties of these Iranian stews. Think of combinations with eggplant, leg of lamb, onions, turmeric, tomato puree and fresh tomatoes. Curries from India: Curry is a mix of ingredients, which also contains turmeric. The dishes made with this mixture are also called curry, curry dishes or curries. First the onions are fried with curry. Then the rest of the ingredients must be added. Think of chicken, meat or vegetables.

Turmeric in sweet dishes

  1. Turmeric latte: In 2018 Turmeric latte is completely hot. Another name is 'golden milk' or more appropriately 'liquid gold'. This drink is a mixture of turmeric, milk (usually plant based), some sweet (honey, syrup) and cinnamon. Sfouf: Sfouf is a Lebanese cake with semolina and almonds as the main ingredients. Furthermore, this cake is flavored with turmeric, sugar, eggs, baking powder, sesame paste, anise and pine nuts. The ingredients are mixed in a bowl and then fried in a greased skillet.

Medical uses of turmeric

  1. In Asia, turmeric has traditionally been used against a number of ailments. Curcumin in the Curcuma Longa plant is a natural anti-oxidant. Furthermore, according to scientific studies curcuma is an anti-inflammatory, it works against microbes, cancer and Alzheimer's. Curcumin also protects the heart and nervous system and has an antiviral effect [!1].

Warning against the use of turmeric

  1. In Asia, turmeric is considered a medicinal product and in particular an anti-inflammatory agent. Turmeric is prescribed as a remedy for a variety of ailments. But it has also been shown that turmeric can affect the way medicines work. If you just use turmeric or curry mixes to season your food, it won't hurt. But beware: the Nutrition Center website warns against a number of herbal preparations. Turmeric is also included. So if you want to use turmeric capsules or turmeric tablets, unwanted side effects can occur in combination with medicines. So always consult your doctor if you want to use herbs medicinally.

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