Turmeric is an Indian spice used in many recipes.   It is the dried root of the plant Curcuma longa, is bright yellow, and its taste is similar to a combination of ginger and pepper.  Turmeric is also used for coloring mustard, pickles, relish, rice, butter, and cheese.  It is known for its anti inflammatory capabilities, and some believe it is one of the best natural methods of fighting cancer and Alzheimer's disease.  Turmeric is mostly imported from India, but can also be found in China and Peru.  Here are a few examples of recipes made with turmeric.

Curcuma LongaCredit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turmeric_powder

Tangy Turmeric Chicken Wraps


1 cup of plain yogurt                       1/2 onion chopped                       2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp ground turmeric                  1/4 tsp ground cumin                1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt                                      1/8 tsp ground ginger                  1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

ground black pepper to taste        1/4 cup of water                             1 tsp vegetable oil

4 pita breads                                     1 cucumber, diced                         1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

2 skinless boneless breasts cut into strips

  1. Whisk together yogurt, onion, lemon juice, turmeric, cumin, paprika, salt, ginger, cayenne pepper, and black pepper in a large glass or ceramic bowl.  Add the chicken and toss evenly to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator for one hour.
  2. Preheat outdoor grill on high, and lightly oil grate.  Remove chicken from marinade and shake off excess.
  3. Cook chicken on preheated grill until well browned and no longer pink in the center, about five to seven minutes.  Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and set aside.
  4. Pour water, oil, and remaining marinade into small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until thickened and bubbling, about ten minutes.  Stir in chicken.
  5. Serve chicken on pita breads, and top with cucumber and parsley.


Turmeric powder(90243)Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turmeric_powder Mustard Pickled Eggs


six hard-cooked eggs          1/2 tsp mustard powder            

1  1/2 tsp cornstarch            1 tsp white sugar                 

1/2 tsp ground turmeric     1 tsp salt

                                               2 cups apple cider vinegar

  1. Place hard-cooked eggs into one quart jar.  In a saucepan, stir together mustard, cornstarch, sugar, turmeric, and salt.  Pour in just enough of the apple cider vinegar to make a paste, then gradually stir in the rest.  Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.  Pour into the jars with the eggs.  Put lid on jar, and refrigerate for a few days before eating for best flavor. 


Peanut Rice


1 cup uncooked basmati rice         2  1/4 cups water                                 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground turmeric              1/2 frozen petite peas, thawed          1/2 cup dry, roasted peanuts

  1. Mix rice, salt, water, and turmeric in a pot and bring to boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes. 
  2. Stir the peas and peanuts into the cooked rice and serve.


Curried Winter Soup


1 onion, chopped                              3 cloves crushed garlic                       1 tbsp olive oil

1  1/2 tsp curry powder                   1 tsp ground cumin                           1 tsp ground turmeric

8 cups vegetable stock                     1/4 cup dry lentils                                28 oz can diced tomatoes

1/4 cup uncooked white rice          1 cup frozen corn                                 1/4 cup elbow macaroni

1 small spaghetti squash

  1. Place cut side of squash down in a lightly oiled baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes.  Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool.  Shred cooled squash with a fork.
  2. In a large soup pot, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil.  Add curry powder, cumin, and turmeric.  When onions are transparent, add stock and lentils and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer and add tomatoes.
  3. If using brown rice, add 10 minutes after lentils along with can of corn.  If using white rice add 25 after lentils along with can of corn. 
  4. After 35 minutes, add macaroni and spaghetti squash.  Simmer until rice and pasta are cooked.


Sweet Pumpkin Palya


1 sweet pumpkin                              2 red chilies                                         1/2 cup grated coconut

1/8 cup chopped cilantro               1/2 tsp mustard seed                       1 pinch of hing

1/4 tsp turmeric                              1 tsp channa dal                                1 tsp urad dal

2 tsp oil                                             1/8 tsp salt

  1. Wash pumpkin, peel skin, remove seeds, and chop evenly.  In a medium pan add oil.  Once heated add mustard seeds, hing, turmeric, channa dal, urad dal, and red chilies. 
  2. When dal changes color, add pumpkin and a few spoons of water.  Cover and let cook.  When pumpkin softens, add salt to taste and mix well. 
  3. Add coconut and cilantro.

Serve with rice or chapathi.


Thai Style Shrimp


4 cloves garlic, peeled                       1 inch fresh ginger root                      1 fresh jalapeño, seeded

1/2 tsp salt                                        1/2 tsp ground turmeric                  2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium onion, diced                     1 lb shrimp, peeled and devined       2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 cup coconut milk                            3 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves

  1. Combine garlic, ginger, jalapeno, salt, and turmeric in food processor and blend.  Process to a smooth paste and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until transparent.  Mix in spice paste, and cook for a few minutes to release the oils.
  3. Add shrimp, and cook for a few minutes until pink.  Add tomatoes and coconut milk.  Cover, and simmer for five minutes.  Remove lid and simmer additional five minutes.  Stir in basil leaves.


Semolina Turmeric Cake


1  1/2 cups semolina flour                  1/2 cup all purpose flour                  1 tsp ground turmeric

1  1/2 tsp baking powder                  1  1/8 cup white sugar                       1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil                            1 tbsp pine nuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9" round baking pan. 
  2. In small bowl, mix semolina flour, all-purpose flour, turmeric, and baking powder.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir milk and sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Add flour mixture and beat with electronic mixer at medium speed for five minutes.  
  4. Pour into prepared 9" inch round baking pan.  Sprinkle top with pine nuts.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes. 


Learn to experiment with your own recipes.  Remember when adding turmeric, a little goes a long way!