Suppression

Turmeric

Category: Food

Type

Voluntary

Introduction and description

Turmeric is obtained from the root of the curcuma plant and is often also known as curcumin. It is cultivated in India, China and Indonesia and used extensively in cooking and medicine there.

The plant is a perennial with oblong roots or tubers which are deep orange inside. It is propagated by cuttings from the root, which when dry is in curved cylindrical or oblong tubers 2 or 3 inches in length, and an inch in diameter, pointed or tapering at one end, yellowish externally, with transverse, parallel rings internally deep orange or reddish brown, marked with shining points, dense, solid, short, granular fracture, forming a lemon yellow powder. It has a peculiar fragrant odour and a bitterish, slightly acrid taste, “like ginger, exciting warmth in the mouth and colouring the saliva yellow. It yields its properties to water or alcohol”.

Curcumin has been a centre of attraction for potential treatment of an array of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, allergies, arthritis and other chronic illnesses.  Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years and is a major part of Ayurvedic medicine.

Turmeric chicken and broccoli

Method

 

 

Wikipedia
Turmeric is widely used as a spice in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. Many Persian dishes use turmeric as a starter ingredient. Almost all Iranian fried dishes consist of oil, onions, and turmeric followed by any other ingredients that are to be included. 
In Nepal, turmeric is widely grown and extensively used in many vegetable and meat dishes for its color as well as for its potential value in traditional medicine. In South Africa, turmeric is used to give boiled white rice a golden color. 

In Vietnam, turmeric powder is used to color, and enhance the flavors of, certain dishes, such as bánh xèo, bánh khọt and mi quang. The powder is also used in many other Vietnamese stir fried and soup dishes.

 

In Indonesia, the turmeric leaves are used for Minangese or Padangese curry base of Sumatra, such as rendang, sate padang and many other varieties.
In medieval Europe, turmeric became known as Indian saffron because it was widely used as an alternative to the far more expensive saffron spice.

As turmeric is such a fundamental part of most curry pastes and powders, most good cook books will show you how to use it, but here is something different, obtained from an old cook book I use. 

The Coconut cream is optional as lamb broth is quite creamy anyway.  If you have cooked a joint of, say, lamb, then you can boil the bone up after having taken off the remains of the cooked meat and this warming soup can then be made from it

Mulligatawny soup

1 cup chopped onion

1 diced carrot

2 diced celery ribs

1⁄4 cup butter

2 teaspoons curry powder made with coriander, turmeric, black peppercorns and cumin freshly ground

4 large cups home made lamb broth [from bones]

1 bay leaf

1 grated Bramley apple

1⁄2 cup rice - cooked

1 cup diced cooked lamb, more if wanted

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped

Grated rind from one lemon

1 tin unsweetened coconut milk or cream warmed

 

Saute onions until caramelised in butter

Add carrot and celery and sweat until slightly soft.

Stir in the home made curry powder and cook for about 3 minutes.

Pour in the broth and bay leaf.

Simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the apples, rice, meat, salt, thyme, and lemon rind

Simmer for 15 more minutes.

Immediately before serving, stir in the warm coconut milk.

Remove bay leaf before serving.

 

 

Nutrients

Turmeric is quite high in minerals, but not so high in vitamins.  It is a prime example medicinally of how the whole is a great deal more than the sim of the parts. 

USDA Nutrients Report - Full Report (All Nutrients):  02043, Spices, turmeric, ground
Scientific Name:  Curcuma longa L.

Nutrient

Unit

Value per 100 g

Water 1

g

12.85

Energy

kcal

312

Energy

kJ

1305

Protein 1

g

9.68

Total lipid (fat) 1

g

3.25

Ash 1

g

7.08

Carbohydrate, by difference

g

67.14

Fiber, total dietary 1

g

22.7

SUGARS    total 1

g

3.21

Sucrose 1

g

2.38

Glucose (dextrose) 1

g

0.38

Fructose 1

g

0.45

Lactose 1

g

0.00

Maltose 1

g

0.00

Galactose 1

g

0.00

MINERALS

 

 

Calcium, Ca 1

mg

168

Iron, Fe 1

mg

55.00

Magnesium, Mg 1

mg

208

Phosphorus, P 1

mg

299

Potassium, K 1

mg

2080

Sodium, Na 1

mg

27

Zinc, Zn 1

mg

4.50

Copper, Cu 1

mg

1.300

Manganese, Mn 1

mg

19.800

Selenium, Se 1

µg

6.2

VITAMINS

 

 

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 1

mg

0.7

Thiamin 1

mg

0.058

Riboflavin 1

mg

0.150

Niacin 1

mg

1.350

Pantothenic acid 1

mg

0.542

Vitamin B-6 1 2

mg

0.107

Folate, total 1

µg

20

Choline, total 1

mg

49.2

Betaine 1

mg

9.7

Vitamin B-12

µg

0.00

Vitamin A, RAE 1

µg

0

Retinol

µg

0

Carotene, beta 1

µg

0

Carotene, alpha 1

µg

0

Cryptoxanthin, beta 1

µg

0

Vitamin A, IU 1

IU

0

Lycopene 1

µg

0

Lutein + zeaxanthin 1

µg

0

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 1

mg

4.43

Tocopherol, beta 1

mg

0.01

Tocopherol, gamma 1

mg

0.72

Tocopherol, delta 1

mg

0.00

Vitamin D (D2 + D3)

µg

0.0

Vitamin D

IU

0

Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 1

µg

13.4

FATTY ACIDS

 

 

Fatty acids, total saturated

g

1.838

Fatty acids, total monounsaturated

g

0.449

Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated

g

0.756

Fatty acids, total trans

g

0.056

Fatty acids, total trans-monoenoic

g

0.056

AMINO ACIDS

   

Tryptophan 1

g

0.170

Threonine 1

g

0.330

Isoleucine 1

g

0.470

Leucine 1

g

0.810

Lysine 1

g

0.380

Methionine 1

g

0.140

Cystine 1

g

0.150

Phenylalanine 1

g

0.530

Tyrosine 1

g

0.320

Valine 1

g

0.660

Arginine 1

g

0.540

Histidine 1

g

0.150

Alanine 1

g

0.330

Aspartic acid 1

g

1.860

Glutamic acid 1

g

1.140

Glycine 1

g

0.470

Proline 1

g

0.480

Serine 1

g

0.280

Hydroxyproline 1

g

0.000


Sources of Data

1 Nutrient Data Laboratory, ARS, USDA National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program  
2 S.W. Leonard, K. Hardin, J.E. Leklem Vitamin B-6 Content of Spices , 2001 Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 14   pp.163-167
3 Gu, L., Kelm, M.A., Hammerstone, J.F., Beecher, G., Holden, J., Haytowitz, D., Gebhardt, S., and Prior, R.L. Screening foods containing proanthocyanidins and their structural characterization using LC-MS/MS and thiolytic degradation , 2003 J. Agric. Food Chem. 51   pp.7513-7521

 

Related observations