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This article was published 22/3/2013 (1464 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
What it is?
The fleshy and vibrant rhizome root of the turmeric perennial plant. A native of Southeast Asia, it belongs to the species Curcuma longa and is a close relative of ginger root. It has long been considered one of the most powerful medicinal plants on the planet, especially in the Ayurvedic tradition, where it is prized for its purifying and balancing properties.
Turmeric is thinner, darker and less knobby than its common ginger cousin. The flesh is a deep orange-yellow.
Fresh turmeric has an intense, mustard-like taste with light, peppery overtones. Dried forms, which have a milder form of these flavours, tend to lose potency over time.
Fresh turmeric, shredded or pounded, adds a flavour-enhancing vibrancy to any meat, poultry or seafood dish. It's often the main spice in a curry. It can also be added to rice, lentil or vegetable dishes, as well as soups and stews. When added to melted butter and drizzled over pasta, it provides a splash of bright colour as well as a flavour boost.
A large part of the crop is evidently used as dye, both in and out of the food industry.
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