Healing Foods Part 1 – Turmeric

turmeric

As you may have noticed my recent posts have often made reference to food. I should confess that this is largely because I have been working on refining my own diet.

I am not a doctor or a nutritionist so I am not going to tell you what to eat, but I have decided to share a few of the more interesting things that I have learned and some of the recipes that I have been making. I am starting today with turmeric (curcuma longa).

This intensely yellow spice fascinates me because it is not well known in North America, and yet almost everyone has eaten it as it is the secret ingredient that makes mustard yellow.

Turmeric was cultivated in India and Indonesia more than 5000 years ago. It is widely used in Asia and China as an anti-inflammatory medicine to treat everything from flatulence to, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, toothache, enhancing liver function, bruises, arthritis, joint pain, chest pain, and colic.

A diet rich in turmeric helps in maintaining heart health by reducing bad cholesterol and plaque build-up; and It is also currently being assessed for its ability to prevent Alzheimer’s.

I found the following recipe for Turmeric Chicken online and I have adapted it to be made in a crockpot. I am a huge fan of my crockpot both because I can throw some ingredients together and come back later to a nutritious home cooked meal, and because it does not heat up my kitchen like my oven does in our intense tropical summer. (If you have not used one before, I highly recommend you give it a try. There are literally hundreds of healthy meals that can be made with very little effort).

The green peas are not exactly authentic – but hey, I like them and they added some appealing color to the dish. Also – I never cook with salt so you might want to add a little:

Turmeric Chicken

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

1 can low sodium chicken stock

Freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon grated ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 lb frozen chicken pieces

2 cups cooked brown rice

Plain Greek yogurt, with minced mint leaves to garnish

Directions:

Mix fish sauce, chicken stock, pepper, turmeric, onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, curry, cinnamon, and cumin together in a crockpot. Add frozen chicken pieces and cook on low for about 6 hours. Add peas and brown rice about 30 minutes before serving and stir to incorporate throughout.

Serve with yogurt mint sauce. Makes about 4 servings.

Namaste

* For further reading on turmeric click here

 

 

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