Spices and Seasons – Turmeric


IMG_7121We all know that we tend to use spices for flavor and of course, sometimes color and sometimes both flavor and color. All the while, that we are using these spices, we sometimes overlook how beneficial they are for us!

At least, this certainly is the case with turmeric and me. It is such an everyday, staple in my kitchen, I forget that it really has any benefit. Lately, however I have been calling it trendy turmeric since this spice from the ginger family is quite the talk of town. This CNN article is one of the recent ones that I have found that espouses the benefits of curcuma longa or turmeric.

Turmeric and Panchphoron Roasted Vegetables

In Indian cuisine, and actually for that matter a lot of the cuisine from the silk route, has turmeric built in as an everyday staple. I cannot remember a time when my mother or her mother cooked a meal without turmeric. It is added to everything, since it is considered to have anti-septic qualities. It is used in lentils because of its dark yellow colors, such as in this recipe here.

Indian Wedding ceremonies that are often multi-day and multi-ritual affairs often include a day of beautification, where the bride is smeared with sandalwood paste and turmeric, hoping to ensure a fragrant yellow glow.

Well, by way of recipes, there has been a lot going on! I do hope you are also stopping by my blog and the facebook page, to see what else the season has been inspiring. For today, however I will leave you with this Turkish inspired lentil soup that gets its hue from, well, turmeric.

In general, I want to leave you with a few ideas, beyond these recipes for this versatile spice,

1. Rub it on vegetables, like the medley above for a nice touch of color.

2. Toss it into rice, when cooking rice for a pretty delicate yellow hue.

3. Rub it on chicken, before roasting it, and then roast with lemon and black pepper.

4. Add it to fish, maybe with some red pepper flakes.

5. Add it to potatoes before roasting, like my recipe here.


About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, loves meshing seasonal produce with fresh spices. Most of her recipes are inspired by her Indian heritage, and her cooking is practical, easy and well suited for a busy lifestyle on the go. As a mother with two young children, her recipes are also usually balanced and kid-friendly. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences and original recipes. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years. Rinku is the author of two cookbooks: The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook that highlights culture, memories and recipes from her childhood transformed where needed for her Lohud kitchen and Spices and Seasons that marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and is also a contributor for Zester Daily.

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