Turmeric is renown world-wide for its vibrant colour and numerous health claims. In ancient Ayurvedic medicine it was used to treat many conditions including breathing problems, pain and fatigue. Current research has shown that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may reduce inflammation, especially in osteoarthritis, and protect against cancer. However, the anti-inflammatory effects are mostly seen when curcumin is taken in supplement form (±5g/day) and not in amounts used in cooking. In saying that, turmeric may have added benefits that a curcumin supplement alone does not have. Also, supplements may pose additional risks (such as contamination with harmful substances). Therefore food sources remain the prudent choice.
Turmeric adds brilliant colour and flavour to dishes such as curry sauces, roast chicken, sweet potatoes and rice. It can be used both fresh and dried.
Do-it-yourself Curry powder
This recipe makes for great store-cupboard staple. Packaged beautifully, it’s a lovely gift. It stays fresh for ± 3 months.
1.5 tbsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp cayenne pepper or ground chillies (optional)
Add all the spices to a small jar and mix.
Golden milk paste
A benefit of this drink is that the bioavalibility of curcumin in the turmeric is enhanced by combining it with piperine, a component of black pepper and fat (coconut oil). Store paste in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Double the recipe if you intend to use it daily. You can store in the freezer by filling ice cube trays for up to 3 months.
4 tbsp turmeric
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil
1-2 tbsp hot water
- Mix all the ingredients and store in refrigerator or freezer.
- To make golden milk add 1 ½ tsp of the paste to 1 cup of your preferred milk or milk substitute (e.g. cow, almond, or coconut).
- For a hot drink, add to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until hot (not boiling). Alternatively, you can serve it cold, poured over ice.
- If you prefer it sweetened, you can add a teaspoon of either honey, maple syrup or choice of sweetener.