This week’s highlighted spice is Turmeric.
Turmeric is that yellow powder you’ve probably been neglecting in your spice rack, which is mostly known as the spice in curries. Often dubbed the poor man’s saffron, it is used not only for it’s warm and bitter flavour but also for it’s colouring (it’s the colour used in yellow mustard) and most recently known for it’s health benefits. I have to admit that when this spice was voted for, I was excited yet I knew I was in for a challenge. We’ve experimented with turmeric many times, trying to perfect what our local Indian restaurant does so well with their curries (we’re still working on that) but after testing new ideas we were able to nail a few great recipes which I’ll share with you all week long!
Today’s first installment, Spiced Bindi, is our star.
You’ve probably heard that turmeric is the new wonder spice. At a bbq over the weekend I eavesdropped on a funny conversation that went a bit like this:
“I have some theories about food. Think about it–when’s the last time you’ve seen a bald Mexican or have heard of a Indian dying of cancer? It’s because avocados are good for the hair and spices, such as turmeric, are cancer fighters.”
Though I’m not sure about the avocado theory (but I have a feeling I’ll be eating more of ’em!), I have found substantial research that supports the amazing benefits from turmeric, most notably for slowing the development of Alzheimer’s disease, a practically unknown condition in turmeric-addicted India. Also a rare occurrence among men in India is prostate cancer (the second leading killer in American men) whose low risk is attributed to a diet rich in brassica family vegetables and the curry spice, turmeric. Believe me, the list goes on and on so the bottom line is get cooking with turmeric!
If you’re not too familiar with okra, this is a brilliant way to try it out. Also known as ladies fingers, gumbo or bendi, okra is best when purchased fresh and eaten within 3 days of purchase, but it’s also available canned and frozen.
2 cups fresh Okra – trimmed and sliced
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup onion, fine dice
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1/4 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup low-sodium veg or chicken broth
Preheat large saute pan on medium heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil and saute onions for 30 seconds, stirring — Do not brown. Add garlic and ginger and saute for another 30 seconds then add cumin seeds for an additional 30 seconds. Add in okra, saute for one minute stirring. Begin adding in spices: turmeric, coriander and garam masala, combining all ingredients together.
Cook for 10 minutes then add in broth, scraping all browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Continue cooking for 15-20 minutes total until softened and all the broth has been absorbed.
Taste and season. Serve warm or at room temp.
Want another great recipe using turmeric and a brassica family veg? Try this delicious Gobi Mattar. Brilliant like — and don’t forget to check back all this week for more turmeric recipes!
All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.