Turmeric

Turmeric

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

One of the principal spices of India, and an ingredient in most commercial curry powders. The powder is obtained from the dried root of a plant of the ginger family. Fresh turmeric rhizomes resemble ginger and need to be peeled and grated or finely chopped before use.

The most obvious characteristic of turmeric is its colour – ranging from brilliant yellow to deep gold. It may be used as a fabric dye as well as for colouring and flavouring foods, such as curries and Indian rice dishes, as well as chutneys and pickles.

Turmeric can be used instead of saffron to give a yellow colour although the flavour is quite different. It goes into almost all vegetable curries in India, and many other vegetarian dishes. Indonesian curries, too, often call for turmeric.

Like all aromatic spices, turmeric loses its pungency if stored too long; it should be bought in small quantities and replaced when its aroma fades.

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