Turmeric.As the harvest begins here it is worth refreshing why turmeric is held in high regard in India.
Turmeric is one of the most traditional and versatile of spices used in Indian cooking. Its used prolifically in a host of Indian dishes ranging from starters, lentils, beans and vegetables. It has been used for centuries as a curative and cleansing agent. Since early times, it has been associated with purification so that even today, an Indian bride and groom are ritually anointed with turmeric as part of a cleansing ceremony.
Turmeric paste is used as a quick household antiseptic for minor burns and wounds. Also used to sooth inflamed sinuses and is said to help purify the blood.
Turmeric, boiled with milk, sooths an irritating cough. Mixed with water it is used as a skin cleanser.
Turmeric is considered sacred by Hindus.
On festive days, Hindu women apply an auspicious dot of red powder ( Sindoor) on their forehead and one of turmeric on each other’s foreheads as a mark of respect, friendship and goodwill.
Turmeric is an excellent preservative and is used extensively in pickles. I add it, grated, in the hot oil for stir fry, before I place in my other ingredients.