By: Soha Darwish
Food writer & Critics – Menu Consultant – Diploma in Food Journalism – London, UK
Why Turmeric? Turmeric is one of the most versatile and beneficial spices on earth with powerful medicinal properties. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been long used in Asian medicine to treat a wide variety of diseases. It has strong antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-carcinogenic properties. It also provides high amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc along with vitamins K, E & C – a true nutrient gold mine.
Thousands of studies have confirmed turmeric’s magnificent powers and countless healing qualities. It has a myriad of benefits ranging from; boosting the immunity, supporting heart functions, protecting the liver, healing wounds to body weight control.
Ultimately, with its anti-carcinogenic properties, turmeric is now becoming a new health staple when combating cancer. Studies show that curcumin does have anti-cancer effects and is able to kill cancer cells and prevent them from growing – specifically cancers of breast, colon, prostate, lungs and childhood leukaemia.
Now the fun part! I have always been intrigued by this root spice with its earthy subtle flavour yet vibrant yellow colour, giving a golden hue on everything it touches. I prefer to use it freshly grated in its root form, similar to ginger roots but much thinner. Turmeric is used vastly in curries and can also be added to soups, rice, meat and fish.
Here are a few recipes for turmeric packed dishes that can fit different parts of our day:
Turmeric Frittatas: Serves 4
Start your day by tucking into those fluffy colourful frittatas, they will surely awaken your senses and set you up for the day.
6 eggs – 1 tbsp freshly grated or powder turmeric– 1 diced red bell pepper – 2 tbsp vegetable oil– 1 finely diced courgette – handful of chopped chives – salt & pepper.
- In a large pan, sauté the onions, red pepper and courgette. Add the turmeric and stir fry for another minute.
- Pour the whisked eggs and sprinkle the chives.
- Put it under in the oven grill until eggs are cooked.
- Drizzle with chilli infused extra virgin olive oil when served.
Coconut Chicken Curry: Serves 4
For lunch or dinner, this fragrant light curry will warm your heart and make your taste buds dance!
- In a blender, blend the coconut milk together with the grated turmeric, grated ginger, sugar, lemon juice, 1 cup of water and half of the coriander leaves.
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil then add the powder spices (curry- cinnamon) to release their aromas and maximum flavours.
- Add chopped onion and garlic, stir-fry until onion is translucent.
- With the chicken fillets cut into medium cubes, add them until seared. Then cover with the blended mixture, and simmer until chicken is tender.
- For an added health boost, you can stir in the raw veggies and let them simmer in the curry for a further 3 minutes.
- Sprinkle with remaining coriander leaves and spring onions. Serve with basmati rice or a light leafy salad. Enjoy!
1 kg chicken fillets – 1 ½ can coconut milk – 1 chopped onion – 3 tbsp vegetable oil – 4 crushed garlic cloves – 1 tsp freshly grated ginger or ginger powder – 1 tbsp fresh grated turmeric or turmeric powder – 2 tbsp curry powder- ½ tsp cinnamon – 2 spring onions – handful of fresh coriander – ½ tbsp sugar – ½ lemon- ½ a broccoli, 4 chopped asparagus spears & handful of spinach leaves (veggies are optional) – salt & pepper.
Golden Milk: Serves 2
‘Golden milk’ is the name of the new health darling everyone swears by from celebrities to influencers and housewives – it’s basically turmeric infused milk. I personally tried it and it’s the perfect way to end a long day. Simply delicious, instantly soothing and relaxing- works miracles on your body while putting you in deep sleep and don’t forget the weight control part!
2 cups of almond, coconut or cow milk – ¼ tsp vanilla extract– ¼ tsp freshly grated ginger or ginger powder – 1 tsp fresh grated turmeric or turmeric powder – 1 tbsp honey – ½ tsp cinnamon.
- Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Pour into a small saucepan and heat for 3 to 5 minutes over low heat without boiling.
- Drink immediately.