Turmeric is one of the most important spices in the world. It is not only used as the rest of spices in various Asian curry dishes but in dyeing and treating many diseases.
Turmeric has many names in various countries of the world, and the most famous of these names, Indian saffron, spices of life, and many other names, which indicate the prevalence of turmeric among people, and the extent of people’s association with it.
The turmeric, which came from southwestern India, is a species of jasmine and perennial herbaceous plants and of the Zyngelic species and is therefore very similar to normal yellow ginger in its corrosive form.
Turmeric usually needs high temperatures and plenty of water to grow, so its roots come in warm, bitter, and mustard-like flavors. When fresh roots are not used (with or without their husks), they are boiled before being dried and grinded to become powders sold in markets.
Although turmeric is widely cultivated in many countries such as Jamaica, Haiti, Taiwan, Pakistan, India, Indonesia and China, turmeric came originally from southwest India and Indonesia; Archaeologists had found traces of turmeric in one of the ancient jars dating back to 2500 BC near New Delhi in India. Turmeric powder has been used for more than 5,000 years and has played a major role in the heritage of many Asian peoples, Plants used in India for physiotherapy had become a sacred place in Indian medicine.
Arab traders spread turmeric in Europe as well as many other spices in the thirteenth century. The use of turmeric in the modern world has become so common, especially in Europe and UK, it has spread due to the fame of its health and therapeutic benefits. It is an essential source of vitamin B6, fiber and minerals (Sodium, copper, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, etc.), sugar and amino acid, and this is why turmeric always comes at the top of the world’s most healthful substances and spices.
Marco Polo is said to have referred to turmeric as the Indian saffron used for dyeing clothes in 1280. Michael Castleman says that despite the ancient Greeks’ awareness of the importance of turmeric, it did not receive the attention of Europeans and Americans, as Ginger did for medical and culinary benefits. Its use in Europe was limited for a long time for dyeing purposes.
Historical books add that turmeric was sacred in India and has been used by Hindus in religious ceremonies and weddings since ancient times. Turmeric played an important role in the spirituality of Hinduism; the Hindu priests wore their clothes, and its orange color was associated with the sun in ancient Tamil religious myths. Turmeric is still one of the nine sacred plants in Tamil, along with bananas, taro leaves, barley, apples, wood, pomegranates, and rice.
It is said that turmeric has moved to China in 700 AD, and 100 years later moved to East and West Africa in 1200 and Jamaica in the 18th century.
Turmeric was mentioned in one of the recipes of the Indian pickle in turmeric in a cookbook called “Facilitation of Cookery”, published in 1747, and it remained so until the Germans began studying it at the beginning of the 1920s and were able to produce oil from it, And to identify some of its medical and therapeutic properties.
Over the past 25 years,
More than 3,000 books have been published on the benefits and uses of turmeric.
There are many species, including 70 species. The most important is “Curcuma longa”, which is called Indian saffron, its native Sri Lanka, and also “Madras turmeric”, which is widely used in Britain and America, Grown in the Tamil regions of India, “Alleppey”, the thick, tasteful, and light-colored “Finger” coming from the Indian state of Kerala, and many chefs prefer it to its delicious taste. There are many other species associated with the Curcuma Lunga, a land-rich species-rich in China, such as “Zedoaria”, Manga & Xanthorrhiza, which are cultivated in Malaysia, Aromatica, Cassia, »Caesia, which are grown in Bangladesh and northern India.
Many sources point out that turmeric is an integral part of many recipes and dishes in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. It is often used in delicious salty and fine dishes and some dessert dishes, such as “rows” made from flour of semolina, pine, almond, and turmeric. Indians use its leaves to prepare and make sweets, and of these types, the type Patoli, or the so-called turmeric paper cake, which is very much known in the coastal areas of western India. Biruli is usually made from crushed coconut, rice, and date paste (jagger) before being placed in turmeric leaves and left on low heat for steaming. The use of fresh leaves is not limited to sweets but is used in many Indian states to cook and prepare many dishes.
Outside South East,
Asia Turmeric is used for the manufacture and production of ice cream, in dairy products, cheeses, cakes, orange juice, biscuits, popcorn, various kinds of sauce and alfalfa, and an integral part of well-known curry powder, canned beverages, and others.
In addition to the use of leaves and powder, turmeric is used freshly as ginger in cooking and pickling. People in Iran use it to use the “kharoush” frying dishes by frying onions with oil and turmeric.
Turmeric is used to produce local curry dishes and various kinds of soups. Indonesians use its leaves and powder to produce curry.
Vietnamese add it to fast-food foods called Steer Frey. While Nepalese people use many vegetarian dishes and meat dishes, people in South Africa use it only to dye rice and turn it from white rice to yellow rice. This is normal and traditional in many countries.