Turmeric is a truly incredible spice. Its health benefits are astounding, and it is starting to appear frequently in the media as an ingredient we should all be eating more often. It is a natural antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. It is commonly used to disinfect cuts and burns and to treat arthritis. It is also thought to help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer.
Turmeric is also one of our favourite ground spices because of its rich, beautiful, golden-yellow colour. It is a rhizome that is closely related to ginger, and it smells a bit gingery and citrusy, but with an earthy and slightly bitter taste. Turmeric is combined with other spices to form the basis of innumerable masalas and curry powders. It gives the rich, yellow colour seen in many Indian curries and North African tagines, and in fact is still used widely as a colouring agent, mostly for textiles in Asia and for cheese, margarine and mustards in the west. Try using turmeric in your own dishes to colour rice or sauces. You can also add half a teaspoon of it to your morning smoothie. Be careful, though! Turmeric stains fingers, counter-tops and utensils, so you may not want to use your favourite wooden spoon unless you’re okay with it being yellow forever afterwards.
We sell ground turmeric as well as dried turmeric pieces that you can simmer or grate into a powder yourself – a big difference in flavour! The pieces are very hard, though, so you’ll need a good grater and this method isn’t ideal when you need large amounts.
In addition to our regular ground Turmeric, we also now offer ground Alleppey Turmeric. Alleppey (also known as Alappuzha) is a lovely town near the southern tip of India in the province of Kerala. The turmeric that grows in this region is known for its high volume of curcumin – the compound responsible for turmeric’s bright yellow colour and its anti-inflammatory properties. The high curcumin content makes Alleppey turmeric a little darker and a little stronger than our standard Indian turmeric.