Turmeric – India’s Special Spice

Turmeric – India’s Special Spice

Turmeric, that pungent, bitter spice usually incorporated in curry powders giving it that deep yellow color, offers many health benefits.

In the Ayurvedic medicine tradition, Turmeric is regarded as a “cleanser of the body”. The root and powder are used in drinks, ointments and poultices to treat sore throats, indigestion, sprains, inflammation and wounds. Traditional Ayurvedics believe that it’s a powerful antibiotic, strengthens digestion and helps improve intestinal flora.

Despite this long tradition in Asia, it was not until the early 1070’s that laboratory researchers discovered the inflammation-fighting compounds prevalent in curcumin (the active ingredient in Turmeric).

One of the easiest ways to incorporate this beneficial spice into your diet is to use to eat it, so cook yourself a batch of delicious vegetable curry, or alternatively take it in supplement form.

Vegetable Curry (serves 4)

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon salt
½ butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
¾ cup water
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
½ head cauliflower, cut into small florets
¾ cup frozen organic peas
½ teaspoon garam masala
Cilantro (optional)

1. Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onions are soft and opaque.

2. Add the spices and salt and sauté a few minutes, until you can smell the aroma of the spices.

3. Stir the spices from the bottom of the pot occasionally.

4. Add the butternut squash and sauté about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to prevent sticking.

5. Add sweet potato and sauté about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Add the rest of the water and scrape all the spices up from the bottom of the pot.

7. Add cauliflower and peas on top of the butternut and sweet potato, do not stir.

8. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 – 15 minutes.

9. Just before serving, add garam masala and stir through.

10. Sprinkle with cilantro.