The turmeric plant is native to southwest India, where it has been cultivated for its rhizome –science talk for “underground stem”- for thousands of years. This deep orange colored root like portion of the plant has long been used for culinary, medicinal, and dyeing purposes -even playing a spiritual role amongst early Hindu monks, who used the powder to color their robes!
Today the most common usage of this globally coveted plant is in the form of turmeric powder. This powder is used to give a flavor boost to foods and is nutritionally celebrated for acting as an anti-inflammatory and digestive aid. In order to attain this powder, the root like portion of the plant is harvested, boiled, dried, and finely ground. The resulting deeply orange and slightly yellow powdered spice has an impressive ability to meld with nearly all savory dishes –allowing it to become a staple in cuisines all over the world. In South Africa, it’s used to give a golden color to steamed rice; in Persian cuisines, its mixed with oil to caramelize onions creating the base for stew like dishes; in Okinawa, it’s often enjoyed as a savory tea; and, of course, we can’t forget the role of this golden-orange spice in its globally-loved staple dish…curry.
Using it at home
The mouth-watering flavor symphony of turmeric is often described as peppery-mustard like, with a slightly bitter taste –and almost earthy scent. However, despite the complex flavor profile, our organic turmeric powder is truly a versatile spice, that can play a role in all kinds of simple healthy recipes. When first getting use to the flavor and potency, try out some simple turmeric uses, like: mixing in a pinch with your scrambled eggs, adding a dash to a pot of quinoa or rice, or using it with other spices to create your own curry-style dish. From soups, stews, braises, and even smoothies… used in moderation with your favorite savory dishes, you really can’t go wrong. So don’t be afraid to get creative!