Turmeric

schwebende Curcumaknollen

Ground turmeric has a slightly hot flavor that is similar to ginger. This rhizome is used to add color and is perfect for adding to fish and rice dishes.

Curcumaknollen in einer Schale

Turmeric as a Spice

Turmeric has a resinous, spicy flavor with hints of ginger and orange. It is often the main ingredient in curry powders and is predominantly used in Indian and Asian dishes, though it is becoming increasingly popular in European cuisine. As with saffron, substances and foods like butter, cheese and mustard will take on turmeric’s strong yellow color after it has been added. Its name actually means “yellow root” in many languages.

Tasse Golden Milk neben einem Honigglaszu einem Kreis geformtes Curcumapulver

Usage

The subtly warming flavor of turmeric is perfect for curries. It also tastes great in fish, vegetable and rice dishes, as well as soups and sauces — plus it can be used to enhance the flavor of preserved vegetables and chutneys. Turmeric complements the flavors of many other spices, including chili, cardamom and pepper. Always wear gloves when preparing fresh turmeric to prevent your fingers turning yellow. Fresh turmeric has a vegetable-like flavor — the spice only acquires its characteristic warmth once dried.

Tip!

A generous pinch of turmeric gives scrambled eggs a spicy, fresh flavor and a beautiful bright color.

Curcuma Pflanzen in der Natur
Ursprungsgebiet von Curcuma auf der Weltkarte: Indien

The Plant

Turmeric belongs to the ginger family and is related to ginger, galangal and cardamom. The turmeric plant looks similar to reeds and grows to around one meter tall. It has yellow/pink flowers and long, pointed leaves. The rootstock (rhizome) of the turmeric plant is used as a spice: It is usually harvested, dried and ground by hand in a time-consuming process. Turmeric reached the Mediterranean region from India thousands of years ago via the spice route. In its native county, it is considered to be sacred and a symbol of fertility — at Hindu weddings, the bride wears a thread dipped in blessed turmeric paste around her neck.

Factbox

Scientific Name
Curcuma longa (syn. domestica)
Family
Ginger family (Zingiberaceae)
Other Names
Curcuma, common turmeric, yellowroot, Indian saffron
Origin
India