The exact origin of this golden spice is not known but it is believed to have originated from Southern India and Indonesia. Turmeric has been popularly used in these parts of the world for thousands of years as a condiment, dye, drug and cosmetic in addition to its use in religious ceremonies.
This common cooking spice is a part of the ginger family and is grown as a root in diverse tropical conditions. Once ripe, it is dug out and boiled until it turns soft and its colour and flavour gets enhanced. Then its skin is peeled away to reveal the beautiful yellow colour inside before it is dried and ground into the fine yellow powder we use in our dishes.
In order to retain its bright colour and flavour, make sure the turmeric is stored in a cool dark place, in a tightly sealed container that is kept away from direct sunlight or heat.
Though turmeric has been around for thousands of years, the spice continues to surprise researchers with its wide range of health benefits. Turmeric is a natural painkiller, it helps clear your skin, reduces the risk of cancer, acts as a metabolism booster, an antidepressant, and an immune system booster.
So how do you add a bit of this magical yellow powder to your daily diet? Well the easiest and most trendy way is to add it to your drink of choice. Today turmeric latte is considered to be a drink fit for the kings and has a cult like following. They are being sold at cafes around US and is gaining fans in the UK as well.
Since turmeric has a bitter, warm and peppery taste and its fragrance is slightly similar to orange and ginger, a couple of dashes of this powder will go well with smoothies or milk based teas. You can start your day with a boost of energy by making turmeric coffee, lattes, mochas or hot chocolates. If you would like to wind down in the evening, then just infuse it with hot water or broth for a healing beverage to sip before you hit the bed.
Whichever drink you choose, you can be almost assured that you will be healing from head to toe with the medicinal powers of the humble turmeric root and your body will thank you for it.