Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Spice of the Month - Turmeric

Turmeric is a favourite spice of mine.  I go through it quickly.  I add it to many dishes such as meat casseroles, mashed potatoes and soups.  It adds a beautiful yellow colour while not being a very strong flavour.

If you are lucky enough to get some fresh turmeric, be sure to wear gloves when handling it unless you want bright yellow fingers for hours, if not days.  And be careful you don't splash your clothes with turmeric either.  If you try to wash it off with soap, the yellow stain will turn pink.

In ancient times Hindu brides were painted with dye made from turmeric.

Turmeric is supposed to be good for you too!  There are trials looking into whether it is helpful with arthritis, dermatitis, IBS and even cancers.

Turmeric is part of most Indian style curry powders.  Indians use turmeric to marinate fish. 

To get great colour on curried or devilled eggs, just add some turmeric.

You can also add it to salad dressings.

Try rubbing fish with turmeric, salt and lemon juice just before cooking.

Hot English mustard powder gets it strong yellow flavour from the addition of turmeric.

BIBLIOGRAPHY - with thanks to Auckland Libraries

Cook's Encyclopaedia of Spices by Sallie Morris & Lesley Mackley
Discovering Vegetables, Herbs & Spices by Susanna Lyle
Julie Biuso at Home
Spice Market by Jane Lawson
Spicery by Ian & Elizabeth Hemphill
Spices & Natural Flavourings by Jennifer Mulherin
Spices by Sophie Grigson
Spices Condiments and Seasonings by Kenneth T Farrell
Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen by Elizabeth David
The Cook's Companion by Stephanie Alexander


  1. I so want to start using turmeric for its health benefits!! Have you heard about the healing benefits of turmeric tea?? http://wellnessmama.com/223/turmeric-tea-recipe/

  2. this is most helpful. I have been able to purchase fresh tumeric for about the past year and have used it a few times. Much superior to the dry stuff. Gloves are a great idea. thanks.


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