Turmeric powder is an ingredient easily found in many kitchen counters; many recipes make use of it including tea. Food coloring and flavoring agents have Turmeric powder as an ingredient. Many spice blends, such as curry powder use turmeric as the most important ingredient. If you have ever come across any spice blend with a bright orange color, it is most likely that they have incorporated turmeric to it to blend, hence the bright color. This bright golden powder has its many uses and health benefits that cannot overemphasis.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a flowering plant that has a similar appearance as ginger but with a bright orange color. This spice is native to India and Southeast Asia. The rhizomes which grow underground form the roots; and the main spice in curry powder is turmeric powder. Many Asian dishes often use it in their recipes.
Turmeric Powder Recipes
Turmeric root is almost similar to ginger and can be grated into a paste, dried, and ground into a fine powder or minced into various dishes. However, you can use turmeric as a substitute for curry powder when making Nigerian fried rice, coconut fried rice. Apart from fried rice, turmeric can be added to different foods such as jollof rice, coconut rice, gravy sauces, tomato stews especially for its typical bright color and unique taste.
Both fresh and turmeric powder as well be used in the seasoning of meat like this easy chicken recipe. Turmeric roots can be used fresh or dried depending, just the way we use ginger root. when you cook with fresh turmeric, you get to add more of its lively, peppery essence to food like juices, smoothies, and meat.
However, dried turmeric is also quite handy, it allows you to add some bright and eye-catching color to dishes like rice, meat, or scrambled eggs. In fact, there are many turmeric recipes that you can think of, you can use it in almost all recipes and as a substitute for dry mustard and curry powder. Some other turmeric recipes include meat, gravy sauces, stews, seafood, rice, vegetables, BBQ, noodles, porridge, and hot water teas.
How does Turmeric taste like?
Turmeric has a pungent, earthy smell; it almost tastes like ginger with a little peppery and bitter taste like mustard. Most recipes often used it for coloring food and not for the purpose of the flavoring.
Why do you boil turmeric before drying?
Turmeric powder can be made without boiling and it can be boiled before drying, but you should also know that boiling turmeric for too long can alter the color. The reason why turmeric is boiled before drying is explained below.
- To give a uniform color to the turmeric powder after blending.
- In order to remove the raw odor that comes with fresh turmeric.
- For it to reduce the time it takes to dry because boiling the turmeric removes most of the water content in it.
How to take turmeric
Just the same way turmeric has various health benefits; it also has a little side effect, especially when taken in high doses. Hence the amount of turmeric one needs to consume depends on the dish you are making and the purpose for which you want to take it. However, turmeric, if taken in large doses, can cause blood thinning.
Therefore, if you are preparing for surgery it is best to avoid turmeric supplements. This is because it can increase the risk of bleeding; if you are diabetic and are on medication, you may want to consult your doctor first before taking turmeric supplements.
Important Uses of turmeric powder
- It can be used to lighten underarms
- To lighten skin
- As facial mask
- To get rid of pest
- Turmeric powder is also good for treating acne and acne scars
Turmeric health benefits
Before talking about the turmeric health benefits, there is a need to make mention of Curcumin. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric. It is what gives the spice its orange color. This active ingredient is sometimes sold as a dietary supplement. Curcumin is considered a very strong antioxidant having also powerful anti-inflammatory effects. In fact, it is the compound responsible for most of turmeric’s potential health benefits.
It helps in easing muscle strain. When combined with black pepper, its anti-inflammatory properties are potentiated to ease muscle strain.
Turmeric has been proven to reduce heartburn, stomach ulcers, allergies, gallstones, Alzheimer’s disease all because of its anti-inflammatory property.
Antioxidant and Germicidal effects
Some traditional healing practices use Turmeric due to its medicinal properties. People commonly use it because of the antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial effects. It also has anti-fungal property and helps to prevent cancer or the mutation of cells in the body.
Nutritional Contents in Turmeric Powder
Turmeric contains about 300 naturally occurring vitamins and minerals; some of them include potassium, zinc, beta-carotene, (vitamin C), calcium, iron, niacin, and fiber.
Steps to make Turmeric powder
Turmeric powder is made by boiling fresh turmeric root in water; drying them in the sun, oven or dehydrator; and then grinding the dried roots into a fine powder. After making turmeric powder at home, you may have to put on hand gloves as it can easily stain your hands and clothing yellow, but is easy to wash out with lemon juice or white vinegar or baking powder.
- Clean the turmeric root by washing under running water get rid of sand and debris. Place the washed roots in a medium pot and add water to slightly cover them; cook on medium heat for 30 minutes, or until soft.
- When they are soft, strain out all the liquid and leave to cool down completely. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the turmeric into tiny pieces so that they can dry faster.
- Spread them out evenly on a drying rack lined with a parchment paper and set to dry. If you are using the oven to dry turmeric. They finally become dried and crisp after many hours. The dehydrator also helps to dry this faster and better; however, you can sun-dry it if you are leaving in a warm environment at least for 2 to 3 days.
- Once this has dried, process it in a food processor or with a dry mill into a fine powder and there you have your turmeric powder.
How long can Turmeric powder last?
Turmeric powder can stay up to 6 to 9 months if properly stored. It may start to lose its best flavor after that just like any other dried spice. Store turmeric powder in an airtight jar or plastic bag and use it when it is needed.
Marinates and various cosmetic products add it as an ingredient. If you want to learn how to make turmeric, it is very easy to make it at home without any difficulty.
You can get the dried turmeric powder almost everywhere but difficult to get the fresh turmeric roots. Large supermarkets, specialty spice shops, health food stores, and most grocery stores sell the dried turmeric powder. However, it is not bad if you learn how to make turmeric powder at home because there is a lot of difference between the store-bought and homemade turmeric powder.