Used in nearly all Nepali dishes to add color and flavor, ground turmeric (besar) and fresh turmeric (haledo) are the most important spices in Nepali cuisine. The plant is native to southeastern Asia (probably India) and is cultivated throughout the warmer areas of the world. The plant belongs to ginger family and has a rhizome, which looks similar to fresh ginger but has short, round, finger-like stems and orange color.
Turmeric powder is a bright yellow powder made by dry grinding of mature turmeric rhizomes (underground stems). The use of turmeric for coloring and flavoring food, for cosmetic purposes and for medicinal properties dates back to the ancient Vedic culture of Nepal. Used in almost all Nepal curries, this spice has almost no calories (1 tablespoon = 24 calories) and zero cholesterol. It is rich in dietary fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6. Health Benefits of Turmeric: The wide range of turmeric health benefits come mainly from its ingredient, curcumin. This widely researched component of turmeric is highly therapeutic and is used in various drugs and pharmaceutics mainly because of its immunity boosting and anti-oxidant properties.
When examining the research, turmeric benefits go beyond that of these 10 drugs:
Diabetes drugs (Metformin)
Inflammatory bowel disease drugs
Cholesterol drugs (Lipitor)
To produce ground turmeric, fresh turmeric is boiled or steamed, peeled, dried, and ground to a powder. Ground turmeric is yellow-orange in color, lightly aromatic, slightly bitter, and pungent. A small amount of turmeric is sufficient to color or flavor a dish. Excessive turmeric can overwhelm the other flavors of the food. One has to be very careful when using turmeric powder, as it tends to stain clothes, cooking utensils, cutting boards, and work surface and it is difficult to clean.
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