Turmeric, also known as Indian saffron, is a spice that can be found easily at any grocery or food store. This spice is an important part of many special recipes, or it can be added to a number foods to produce a particular flavor. Turmeric has also been shown to provide many different health effects, including possible prevention of Alzheimer's disease and successful treatment of psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, stomach problems, cystic fibrosis and certain types of cancer. There are a number of ways that you can use this potent and powerful spice in your cooking recipes.
1. Turmeric as an Essential Ingredient
Many recipes require turmeric as an essential ingredient to produce the proper flavors and colors of a certain dish. Curry is one of the most common examples of this. While you can use curry powder or 'curcumin,' which features turmeric as its main ingredient, you'll find that these are an extracted version of the spice. If you're looking for the true, original flavor, coupled with the full-blown health benefits of the spice, search for natural versions of turmeric in a health food store or Indian supermarket. This spice is very potent and becomes even more so when cooked. A little turmeric can go a long way in your recipes.
2. Turmeric as an Additive for Flavor
In addition to performing your actual cooking with turmeric, you can simply sprinkle it on or mix it in for a difference in color and flavor of some of your favorite dishes. Alone or coupled with other substances, such as onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, sauces or bouillon cubes, turmeric can really boost the flavor of rice, chicken, turkey, vegetables or even salad dressing. It's also commonly used in pickling recipes to provide a zingy, tangy taste to the end result. Experiment with amounts of the spice and mixtures with other spices, oils or powders until you discover the combinations that work best for your taste buds.
3. Turmeric for Health Benefits
Some research has shown that people from India experience certain health problems in substantially less frequency compared to people living in other countries, such as the US. Turmeric is being researched as one possible link to health in these areas, especially where Alzheimer's disease is concerned. While supplements can be found to add turmeric to your diet, it's more tasty, fun and adventuresome to boost your intake by including it in your favorite recipes.
If you're not fond of traditional Indian food and the bold taste of curry, you can experiment with other uses, such as using turmeric in marinades, sprinkled over eggs or mixed with certain cooking oils to enhance flavor. To tone down the robustness that turmeric provides for the senses, you can either use it sparingly or include it in dishes that are already center around more powerful flavors. Remember that turmeric also works to strengthen certain other flavors as well, so experimentation is your best bet.