Do you know these Worldwide Culinary Applications of Turmeric?

A key ingredient in several Asian cuisines, Turmeric imparts a unique flavour to foods. The popular spice adds in some authentic earthy mustard-like aroma and slight bitterness to food. Most essentially used for spicy and savoury cuisines, turmeric can be used with sweet dishes too like the dish cake sfouf. Most of the turmeric used in cooking is in form of powder extracted from grinding of turmeric rhizome. The rhizome powder imparts a golden yellow colour to the dish and is used in an array of products including canned beverages, dairy products, yogurt, yellow cakes, orange juice, ice cream, biscuits, cereals, sauces, and gelatin.

Often used fresh like ginger, the turmeric rhizomes are even boiled and then dried before grinding into fine deep orange-yellow turmeric powder. It’s warm, black pepper-like flavour is highly suited for flavouring curries. It is even used for colouring in the dyeing industry. Turmeric rhizomes share quite some structural resemblance with ginger which may create slight confusion at times. Globally, turmeric is used in diverse culinary applications. In few East Asian recipes, large chunks of soft turmeric are used to make pickle. In South Asian as well as Middle Eastern cooking, turmeric enjoys a special place when it comes to flavouring.

A number of Iranian Khoresh cuisines involve caramelization of onions in turmeric and oil and other ingredients. It is also used in the famous Moroccan spice mix ras el hanout and to impart golden yellow colour to white rice in South Africa. In Vietnam, flavours of dishes like bánh khọt, and mi quang are enhanced using turmeric powder. Fresh turmeric is used in the popular Cambodian curry paste kroeung while fresh turmeric rhizomes are used in a range of dishes in Thailand.

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