What: Turmeric is a root from the ginger family. In its original form, it has a knobby shape similar to ginger. It has been used as the main spice for food and religious rituals in India and China for over 4,000 years.
Taste & Smell: Warm, pungent, earthy, woody flavor and aroma. A little bitter, much like orange rind. Hints of pepper and, at times, ginger.
Main use: Predominantly used in its powdered form in Indian, Middle Eastern and Thai cooking to add a slightly bitter spicy taste and a pop of color. A small amount imparts a lot of flavor. It is the main ingredient in curry powder and gives regular bottled mustard its bright yellow color.
Other uses: As a natural dye for clothes and many cosmetic, medicinal and religious purposes. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is considered to be a potent antioxidant and antiseptic in Eastern and Western medicine. Medicinal benefits include being a stomach soother, a powerful anti-inflammatory, a natural antiseptic for wounds, and a liver cleanser. Eating it with black pepper enhances its healing properties.
Other names: haldi (Hindi), curcum (Arabic), kha-min (Thai), curcuma (Spanish & French)
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