Turmeric has been used as a condiment and pigment since ancient times and is cultivated primarily in Bengal, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Australia and the West Indies. Turmeric has been used as a culinary spice and had some religious significance since the Vedic culture in India, and this practice dates back over 4000 years. Being organic, unprocessed, and inexpensive, turmeric is still utilized in Hindu rituals and as a dye for sacred clothing.
Turmeric has numerous uses that are still evident today, such as a spice, pigment, preservative, and medicinal. It has a long history of use for blood purification, treating sleeplessness, colds, and coughs. Turmeric has been used medicinally in South Asia for a very long time, according to Sanskrit medical texts, as well as Ayurvedic and Unani systems. Curcumin, a principal bioactive substance of turmeric (Curcuma longa L.), is reported as a strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent.
History of turmeric in Traditional Culinary
One of the most fundamental ingredients in Desi cuisine is turmeric. Turmeric is undoubtedly the Star component in kitchens. It is a common spice that heals illnesses, purifies our houses, enhances our meals, and, as we have long believed, provides us charm. The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glass published turmeric-based Indian pickle recipe in 1747; a subsequent edition includes a turmeric-based Indian curry dish.
At this time, commercial curry powders started to be sold, where Sorlies Perfumery Warehouse with the claim advertised the curry powder stating that it "renders the stomach active in digestion, the blood naturally free in circulation, the mind lively and contributes most of any diet to an expansion in the human race.
The turmeric flavor is strong and earthy with a hint of pepper, it can be bitter if used in large quantities. Turmeric aids in blending tastes when used to curries together with other spices including coriander powder, red chilli powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and cumin. Only a truly absorbed epicurean, though, would notice the difference if you left it out.
Turmeric in Indian Cooking
In India, turmeric is used in a wide range of main dishes, sweets, and beverages in addition to curries. Due to the yellow colour of turmeric, which also gives the dish a pleasant tinge and flavour, many pickles, soups, chutneys use it to add color and flavor. Delicious flavour is added to a straightforward lentil meal by adding a dash of turmeric and green chilli. Additionally, it is a component of other meat and vegetable dishes, including turmeric chicken or steamed cauliflower etc. In a same vein, turmeric is used to khichdi to create the lovely yellow colour. A few kinds of garam masala, an Indian spice blend that is almost as common as curry, also contain the yellow spice.
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