TURMERIC: Seen in the two centre dishes.
This is a root that belongs to the ginger family and in some oriental shops can be bought fresh, but the powdered version has been dried and pounded.
It has a very fragrant aroma and a brilliant yellow-ochre colour, which is what makes Indian pilau rice that lovely pale yellow. It is also a major ingredient in our own beloved piccalilli. I always use a little in every curry mixture, as much for its fragrance as for its colour.
Because it comes ready-ground, it doesn't have a long shelf life, so keep an eye on the date stamp.
DID YOU KNOW? The rhizomes of the turmeric plant are boiled for several hours then dried and ground to the deep orange-yellow powder. In Medieval Europe, turmeric was known as Indian saffron as it was often used like saffron to colour dishes but in a much cheaper way
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