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Going for the Gold With Turmeric

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— November 15, 2017

Going for the Gold With Turmeric

  • The stuff that colors curry is an old spice with a hot new reputation, in and out of the kitchen.
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Going for the Gold with Turmeric

That deep yellow hue of your favorite Indian dishes is due to turmeric. While it’s known in the wellness world as the source of curcumin, a health powerhouse, this ancient Asian spice is enjoying a rebound with chefs everywhere.

Fast Facts About Turmeric
Venerable wisdom justified: For centuries turmeric has been used to relieve such disorders as liver problems, depression, and stomach pain. Researchers are just now catching up.

One-stop shopping: Among the nutrients found in turmeric are beta-carotene, vitamin C, calcium, flavonoids, fiber, iron, niacin, potassium, and zinc.
The versatile spice:
Turmeric’s peppery flavor and mild fragrance enhance any number of recipes, in which it is generally added at the end of the cooking process to preserve all of its essential oils.
Straight outta India:
The country that has been most famously associated with turmeric is also the world’s biggest producer, although it is grown elsewhere in the tropics.
Golden oldie:
Pots found near New Delhi had turmeric residue dating back as early as 2,500 BC.
Fit to be dyed:
Turmeric has long been used to color cloth and thread, including the robes of Buddhist monks.
Better than a garter:
Turmeric is linked to fertility and luck in both Hinduism and Buddhism, making it a hit at weddings.
Meat protector:
Because it is a natural preservative, turmeric paste makes a good marinade for fish, chicken, and meat.

The aloha root:
Turmeric has been adopted by Hawaiian shamans for use in religious and medicinal practices.
Self-service:
Grow your own turmeric in a pot or your home garden (if you live in a tropical
climate); fresh roots keep in the fridge up to a month. Boil the roots in water, then dry and grind to make turmeric powder (store in an airtight container).
We warned you:
Turmeric pigments can stain clothing (obviously, if it’s used as a
dye) or kitchen surfaces, so handle carefully

Turmeric and Sweet Potato Soup

Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Makes enough for 4 to 6 people who need to warm up

2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 sweet potato, skin on, diced into pieces the size of a penny
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño (optional), seeded and minced
2 tsp ground turmeric (if you can’t find it, use 1 tbsp curry powder)
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp soy sauce or Bragg’s
Liquid Aminos
1 can (15 oz) no- or low-salt diced tomatoes with their juices
5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup small pasta
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 can (15 oz), drained and rinsed
2 cups chopped kale
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and black pepper

  1. In a large soup pot, warm up the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté it around until it starts to look translucent for about 4 minutes. Add the sweet potato, bell pepper and jalapeño (if using), and cook them all around for another 4 minutes. Add the turmeric, basil, paprika, ginger, cinnamon, and soy sauce, and keep stirring so that everything gets coated and the spices get a chance to warm up, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and broth, cover, and let that s–t simmer until the sweet potatoes are almost tender about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the pasta, uncover, and cook until the pasta is good to go, another 8 minutes. Fold in the chickpeas, kale and lemon juice, and simmer away until the kale wilts and the chickpeas are warm about 4 more minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper, or what the–kever you think it’s missing. Serve warm, obviously.

Reprinted from Thug Kitchen 101 by Thug Kitchen.
Copyright © 2016 by Thug Kitchen, LLC, Matt Holloway, and Michelle Davis. By permission of Rodale Books.
Available wherever books are sold.

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