Spice And Science: The Powerful Potential Of Turmeric
For centuries, the bright yellow spice turmeric has been used in Asian kitchens to alleviate everything from the common headache to stomach ailments and even arthritis. But now new scientific studies are showing that turmeric and its compound curcumin could be effective in fighting viruses, including HIV. We explore the science behind this powerful spice, and find out how we can incorporate it into our everyday dishes.
Monica Bhide's Turmeric Recipes
Bread And Corn Salad
From The Everything Indian Cookbook by Monica Bhide. Adams Media, 2004
This simple recipe tastes best as soon as it is prepared. I often serve this dish for breakfast — just like toast or corn flakes. For the cooked corn you can cut kernels off roasted, steamed or boiled ears, or use well-drained canned corn or thawed frozen kernels. (One medium ear yields 1 to 1 1/4 cup kernels.)
2 slices white sandwich bread
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 small red onion, minced
1 green serrano chili, seeded and minced
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 dried red chili (any heat level), roughly pounded
2 cups cooked corn kernels
1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
Cut the bread into small pieces. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and ginger. When the mustard seeds crackle, add the onion, green chili, salt, turmeric and red chili.
Saute until the onions are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the bread and corn kernels.
Mix well and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until heated through.
Remove from heat and transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the coconut, lemon juice and cilantro. Serve warm.
Pan-Fried Zucchini and Yellow Squash with Cumin
From Modern Spice by Monica Bhide. Simon & Schuster, 2009
This has got to be one of my favorite Monday night recipes, because it's so simple and quick. You can vary the taste by changing the spice from cumin to coriander or mustard seeds. I don't peel the zucchini but you can if you prefer.
Prep/Cook time: 15 minutes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 large zucchini, diced
1 small yellow squash, diced
1/2 organic red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds. When the seeds begin to sizzle, add the zucchini, squash, and bell pepper.
Fry the vegetables over high heat until they soften and begin to brown, 8 to 9 minutes.
Add the turmeric and chile flakes and cook for another minute, until the spices are well mixed with the vegetables. Stir in salt to taste.
Serve hot, sprinkled with lemon juice and garnished with cilantro.