One day, in Dr. Salerno’s office, a beautiful Israeli woman was sitting with me in the waiting room. She told of getting a serious gash on her forehead which seemed to require stitches. But she remembered what an aged Indian nanny had done when she was a child, and that was to pack the wound with turmeric. With that, the woman, pulled her hair back and showed me that all that remained was a tiny, faint scar. Surely an outcome as good or better than the modern medicine treatment using stitches.
Turmeric (sometimes misspelled tumeric) is a wonder spice with many health benefits. For those on a diet, it’s just terrific. Not only does it give a wonderful satisfying lift to the flavor of many foods, but it also is such an anti-inflammatory, that the dieter feels the good effects almost immediately.
Native to South Asia, it’s available cheaply all over the world.I bought a large plastic bag of it in the Caribbean at an open market for a buck. It is a plant in the ginger family most widely known as an ingredient in Indian cooking (in India it is known as Haldi). It is also used as a cheap alternative to saffron. The root is ground down into a yellow powder, it can also be used in it’s root form like ginger. It is often sold as curcumin capsules (turmeric capsules) for health purposes.
Turmeric health benefits include the following:
•antiseptic for cuts, burns and bruises (applied as a paste with water)
•turmeric anti inflammatory agent (great for hives, swollen glands etc…)
•stomach ailments (calms gastric problems)
•scar removal (applied as a paste onto the skin)
•antioxidant (imroves liver function)
•general skin care (Indian women use it for glowing skin)
•acne treatment (applied as a paste for 10 minutes everyday)
•cancer and liver disorders
•treatment for depression
•multiple myeloma and pancreatic cancer
It is really easy to take turmeric either as a herbal supplement as curcumin capsules which is a turmeric capsule. Or it makes a tasty tea cooked using turmeric powder mixed with simple ingredients like ginger, honey and lime juice. This tea is excellent if you have anything swollen in your body as the curcumin inside the spice is a powerful anti inflammatory agent. I have used it to help reduce swollen mosquito bites on my face and friends have used it for swelling from allergies and hives. I also use the tea when I have a hangover as it improves liver function and stops liver swelling.
If cooking at home try using one of the tinned curry pastes with a can of crushed Italian tomatoes, a little extra turmeric powder, and fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves. Indian curry is so popular in the UK one variation is now the most popular dish in the country. You can also add a little powder to rice, or buy so-called yellow rice in the grocery store, It doesn’t really affect the taste but will the give the rice a more fragrant smell and color it yellow.
Salmon in a Bengali Mustard Sauce
Epicurious | October 2010
by Madhur Jaffrey
At Home with Madhur Jaffrey
Eat this with brown rice and make the sauce as hot as you like. In Bengal, the mustard seeds are ground at home, but you can substitute ground mustard powder.
Ingredients to rub on the fish
3/4 pound skinless salmon fillet
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
you also need
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons mustard oil (use extra virgin olive oil as a substitute)
1/4 teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
2 fresh hot green and/or red chilies (bird’s-eye is best), slit slightly
print a shopping list for this recipe
Cut the fish into pieces that are about 2″ x 1″ and rub them evenly with the salt, turmeric, and cayenne. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes–10 hours. Put the mustard powder, cayenne, turmeric, and salt in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water and mix thoroughly. Add another 7 tablespoons water and mix. Set aside.
Pour the oil into a medium frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the mustard seeds. As soon as they start to pop, a matter of seconds, add the cumin and fennel seeds. Stir once and quickly pour in the mustard paste. Add the green chilies, stir, and bring to a gentle simmer. Place the fish pieces in the sauce in a single layer. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through, spooning the sauce over the fish all the time.
Serve on a bed of yellow rice with a fresh chive and flower garnish. Yum!