A golden-colored spice featured in both traditional Indian cuisine and in Ayurveda treatments tumeric, has been used for thousands of years around the world. The health benefits and unique flavor of turmeric have made this ancient spice newly fashionable, topping several top food trends lists.
Turmeric is made from the rhizome (rootstalk) of the Curcuma longa plant and is a member of the ginger family. Its health benefits come from curcumin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Uses of turmeric date back over 4,500 years and in ayurvedic medicine turmeric was used both externally for healing wounds and internally for helping to purify the blood and aid the circulatory system. Turmeric is also seen as auspicious and sacred within the Hindu religion and has been used to dye Buddhist robes their distinctive orange color.
Most turmeric is sold as a ground powder and similar to ginger, it’s sold in root form as well. Fresh turmeric is peeled to remove the outer skin and then can be grated or sliced. Turmeric adds heat, color, and flavor to both sweet and savory dishes. It can be added to smoothies, in meat marinades and rubs, and included in dips, dressings, and sauces.
Two hot health trends, turmeric and bone broth converge at New York City’s Springbone. Their Liquid Gold drinking broth features free-range chicken broth, organic coconut milk, and turmeric. The combination is said to boost immunity.
The island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean has a unique specialty that gets its kick from turmeric. Vindaye can be made either with firm white fish or octopus and fried and coated in turmeric and other exotic spices. La Terrasse at the recently refurbished One & Only Le Saint Géran is the ideal spot to enjoy this delicacy while sitting at a dining pavilion overlooking the surrounding ocean.
Turmeric flavors in ice cream are very popular and they don’t have to involve dairy. At Frankie & Jo’s, a popular plant-based ice cream includes coconut milk, coconut cream, fresh turmeric root, cardamom, pepper, and both candied and fresh ginger.
Sfouf, a traditional Lebanese cake made with turmeric, semolina, molasses and topped with pine nuts can be found at Lebanese bakeries and restaurants around the world. Amal Bohsali, a Beirut bakery, that had its origins in 1878 when Salim Bohsali opened his first outlet, ships sfouf throughout the country.
AT THE SPA
Turmeric’s healing qualities also work well externally, especially in scrubs that soothe and invigorate. Several of the Banyan Tree spas offer a Turmeric Honey Cleanser a body scrub that mixes together turmeric and honey, tamarind and sesame seeds for a scrub that exfoliates and moisturizes.
At the luxurious Four Seasons Bali at Sayan, a Rice and Spice treatment combines an exfoliation using temu lawak roots with cloves, turmeric, fenugreek and ginger with a traditional gayung rice and spice wine shower followed by a back massage with aloe and ginger.
To read the full article, check out the Spring issue of Luxury Portfolio Magazine here.