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Turmeric: Using This Superfood Creatively

Nandita Iyer

Nandita Iyer
30 June 2020

This article is authored by Nandita Iyer. Nandita is the author of the book The Everyday Healthy Vegetarian and blogs at The Saffron Trail. She has studied medicine and nutrition.

Eat Breakfast

A spice, a superfood, a natural colouring agent, turmeric has been an integral part of Indian cuisine since ancient times. Turmeric has over 50 names in Sanskrit, each descriptive about its various properties. For example, the name varavarnini refers to its colour and auspiciousness, kanchani to its golden hue and hattavilasini indicates that it shines in the marketplace and has a great commercial value.

The active ingredient Curcumin is best absorbed in presence of fats. Adding turmeric to a tadka of oil or ghee, mixing it in an oil-based salad dressing, combining it with paneer or eggs is therefore one of the best ways to ensure maximum absorption of this antioxidant.

Here are 12 ways to use turmeric more than just in your sabzi:

Radish

1. If you like a breakfast of scrambled eggs with toast, add turmeric while whisking eggs for a lovely sunshine yellow colour. Add crushed black pepper to the eggs because curcumin is absorbed best in presence of piperine in the black pepper.

2. Mix turmeric into a spoon of oil or melted ghee. Add this to half the batter to stain it yellow. Pour the white and the yellow batter with two ladles simultaneously into the idli mould and gently swirl with a skewer to get marbled idlis.

3. I have noticed that adding turmeric and lime juice along with some sugar to coriander-mint chutney keeps the chutney bright green for even 10 days in the fridge.

4. Turmeric can be added to all your home baked goodies, be it tea cakes, muffins, cookies or brownies. Turmeric, sun-dried tomatoes, grated garlic, chillies and coriander in a muffin batter makes delicious desi masala muffins.

5. You can add turmeric to the dough that is used to make rotis or to the filling of parathas, be it mashed potatoes, paneer, grated cauliflower or sattu.

6. Turmeric added to homemade pasta dough gives it a beautiful colour. Adding to it freshly picked leaves of herbs gives it a lovely stained effect when rolled out.

7. Make your own Subzi masala or curry powder by mixing turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder, garam masala and amchoor. Store in an airtight bottle and use as required in dry subzis or curries.

8. Turmeric roasted vegetables is a delicious side dish to serve with any meal. Add turmeric, salt, garlic powder and onion powder to oil and use this oil to coat root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, radish or carrots. Spread on a baking tray and roast at 1800C for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. Serve warm.

9. Add the beneficial properties of turmeric to homemade nut butters such as almond butter and peanut butter. A savoury sunflower seed butter with the addition of turmeric, dried red chillies, garlic and salt will taste delicious on toast or with parathas.

10. Turmeric adds a nice touch to traditional hummus. Blend either with pieces of roasted pumpkin or ripe or raw mangoes for a unique flavoured hummus.

11. A pinch of turmeric can be added to almost any salad dressing to impart a golden colour and a warming flavour.

12. Use turmeric in soups such as carrot-coriander soup or any lentil-based soup while sautéing the mix of onion, carrot and celery.

Do you have favourite way to incorporate this versatile spice in your food? Share your ideas in the comments below!


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