It’s the spice that stands out on the rack thanks to its vibrant yellow colour. If you like a curry, you’re sure to have enjoyed it in a multitude of yellow-tinged Indian dishes.
Right now, turmeric is having a massive moment as it seems the whole world is waking up to its potential health benefits. It’s being used as an ingredient in some surprising places too – turmeric lattes definitely gave us pause for thought.
So, why is everyone going bananas for the yellow stuff and how can we get more of it in our lives?
The spice is right
It turns out turmeric is pretty good for us. It has a lot of ‘anti’ properties (anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial) so it’s good for creaky joints and irritable skin conditions like psoriasis. It’s also a bit of a zit-zapper, although go easy on the turmeric or you might end up looking like Donald Trump’s jaundiced cousin.
Like ginger, you can either buy turmeric as a powder or a fresh knobbly root (it looks like a smaller and darker skinned ginger root). It has a slightly earthy, peppery flavour and turns all it touches to gold – well, yellow at least – which is why it’s often used to colour food.
Spice up your life
Want to add this wonder spice to your menu? There are loads of ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet, whether for its flavour, colour-changing properties or health benefits. Here are some of our faves:
Beginning with breakfast, golden turmeric porridge promises to set you up for the day. But for us it has to be tasty turmeric scrambled eggs on toast.
Lift the flavour of a summery pea soup by adding turmeric-tinged scallops (or mussels), as in this recipe from Jamie Oliver. Who says quick soups have to be bland, hey?
This sticky glazed honey turmeric chicken recipe is perfect if you want to switch things up on the grill. Serve with rice and fried veg, in an Asian inspired salad or slice it up and add to a sandwich for a cracking lunch.
Tempted by a turmeric latte? Here’s an easy spiced version for you to try. It’s as simple as blending the ingredients and warming up in a pan. Pop the latte in a travel mug for a soul-warming alternative to coffee on the go.
If ever you’re after a healthy, sugar-free ice pop recipe (don’t laugh, you might someday) these coconut peach turmeric popsicles are a real flavour adventure.
Turmeric’s other notable super power is its mission to stain everything. No matter how careful you are you’ll always find a turmeric stain somewhere, be that on your fingers, chopping board or – total nightmare! – your clothes.
If you spot a dreaded yellow splotch, act fast. Fingers are fairly easily rescued with soap and a nailbrush. Chopping boards and wooden spoons also just need a good scrub. As for clothes, tackling the stain immediately with water and stain remover or bicarbonate of soda is your best bet.
Cooking with spices like turmeric can also leave some lingering smells that seem to cling to clothes. If you’ve managed to avoid an actual stain, clothes can be freshened up with a quick steam.