Turmeric is one of my all-time favourite spices. I love using it in my cooking as it adds the colour of sunshine and a warm earthy bitterness. I also love it for its awesome therapeutic properties. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. A daily dose of turmeric is great for general health and especially for those suffering from inflammatory conditions. It also has a wonderful protective and tonic effect on the liver and cardiovascular system.
Homemade turmeric paste is an easy way to include this goodness in your daily diet at a therapeutic dose. Making a week to ten days supply at a time means that it is readily on hand and easy to stir into a base of milk or small pot of yoghurt. Personally, I love it in a glass of homemade frothy almond milk however if I am in a hurry I will stir it into a little cold milk and choof it down whilst running out the door! In winter I like my turmeric paste in warm almond milk with chai spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and a teaspoon of raw honey … YUM!
For your body to utilise the great stuff in turmeric like curcumin, you need piperine, a compound conveniently found in black pepper. You also need a whack of good quality fat, both of which are in this paste. In Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, turmeric has been consumed in spiced milk or ghee since time immemorial!
Before you launch into your first batch of turmeric paste beware that this spice STAINS! I have yellow blotches over my bench tops and cutting boards, a legacy of speed cooking with a toddler hanging off my leg. The colour does fade but it takes time.
- 1/2 cup turmeric powder (preferably organic)
- 1 cup filtered/spring/rain water
- 1 tablespoon of fat - choose from butter, ghee or virgin coconut oil
- 1 tsp of fresh cracked black pepper
- 1. Mix the turmeric powder, pepper and water in a small saucepan until combined and bring to a gentle simmer.
- 2. Add the fat of choice and continue to simmer for a further 6 - 10 minutes. Take it off the heat when it comes to form a soft paste. You might need to add a little extra water if it becomes too thick.
- 3. Store in a clean jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.
The paste is really handy too for stirring into the sauteeing stage for curries and tagines. It can also be a handy base for marinades, I add more spice, fresh herbs, citrus peel etc … and rub it into fish and other meats we are going to barbeque. It certainly provides a vibrant result.
Use quality certified organic turmeric powder when you can. I buy it in bulk, a quick online search will find a supplier near you.
Enjoy your daily dose of sunshine!