Spices are what make Indian cooking. Besides giving flavor to Indian dishes, spices carry a lot of antiseptic properties and the reason why they are used in a lot of Ayurvedic medications. While I love adding ajjwain (carom seeds) in the pastry I use for samosa, ajjwain is also perfect for upset stomachs. When mixed with water and boiled, it works as a great remedy for gastritis. Cinnamon is great for cinnamon rolls, but it is also a great anti-oxidant, is anti bacterial, controls blood sugar and has anti-cancer properties.
The award for the most multi-purpose spice though, at least in my dictionary, has to be given to turmeric, or what we Indians call haldi. Besides being a part of most of the Indian dishes we cook, turmeric is also a great healing spice. The anti-inflammatory elements we have always known about for ages, are starting to make rounds with foodies. The spice is trending online right now and is being predicted “super food of the year”.
And rightly so.
Turmeric, which has been used medicinally for over 4,000 years in India, is excellent for arthritis, the skin, digestion, our immune system, and cancer. A recent article by Time of India, mentioned that India’s premier medical institution, AIIMS is now testing alternative therapy that uses turmeric as a treatment for epilepsy.
It’s rich with anti-oxidants, which is why it’s been part of the beauty rituals of Indian women for years now. When I got married, like all other brides-to-be, my skin was rubbed with a mixture of haldi and besan (gram flour). This mixture of haldi and gram flour, results in a clearer, brighter skin and lends the bride-to-be to the perfect glow. Turmeric is an effective treatment for dark circles too. Mix turmeric with buttermilk and apply on your face. Wash, repeat and be amazed. For acne free glowing skin, use this treatment by Farah D for your face.
And while turmeric is excellent as a topical treatment, its real benefits shine when you consume it. So today as part of Garam Masala Tuesdays, I am sharing a recipe for turmeric milk/ haldi doodh. It’s so easy that I kind of feel like I am cheating by calling it a recipe. You can’t call two steps a recipe- can you? Recipe or not, this turmeric drink is a gold mine of health benefits.
The only strife I have with turmeric is that my ladles, white utensils and cloths turn yellow on contact. Recently though I learnt that putting turmeric stained cloth out in the sun for a few hours will remove the stain. Problem solved.