December 31, 1997 in Food

Ever Wonder About The Illustrious History Of Turmeric?

Steve Petusevsky Knight-Ridder/Tribune
 
Tags:recipe

Most of us are familiar with turmeric, the spice that gives curry powder and mustard a bright yellow color. What you may not know is that it has quite an illustrious history.

Turmeric, which contains high levels of free-radical-fighting compounds called curcuminoids, has been used for centuries in ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine to treat illnesses ranging from stomach ailments to liver disease to cuts, wounds and blood disorders.

In the kitchen, turmeric can be used in any curry or most Indian dishes. It can also be used as an inexpensive alternative to saffron.

It can also be used as a substitute for the annato or acchiote spice called for in many Hispanic rice dishes.

To use turmeric to make Spanish yellow rice, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1 chopped onion along with 1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric and 1 cup basmati rice. Saute 2 minutes, add 2 cups of water or broth, cover, and simmer about 35 minutes or until rice is tender and fluffy.


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