Tumeric, a spice from the root of the Curcuma Longa plant, is best known for its use in curry and has been used for centuries in Chinese and Indian medicine. Tumeric, or curcumin has become a recent hot health topic for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Research studies have found that curcumin may help treat inflammatory diseases including IBS, crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and cystic fibrosis. Other research has also found powerful benefits in preventing cancer and decreasing cancer cell growth. Curcumin may also provide cardiovascular protection by helping lower "bad cholesterol" or LDL and preventing oxidation of cholesterol, reducing risk of stroke and heart disease. Tumeric or curcumin alone has low bioavailability, but with the addition of black pepper your body is able to absorb more. So whenever using tumeric in cooking, add some black pepper to the dish!
Easy places to Add Tumeric:
- Scrambled Eggs
- Rice (add to water when cooking rice)
- Meat marinade
- Homemade salad dressing
- Sauted or Roasted Vegetables
- Toss with roasted vegetables
Chicken Tikka Masala
Total Cooking Time: 40 minutes
- 4 teaspoons garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 28-ounce can low sodium plum tomatoes, undrained
- 1/3 cup low fat milk
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- Stir together garam masala, pepper, salt and turmeric in a small dish. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of the spice mixture and dredge in the flour. (Reserve the remaining spice mix and 1 tablespoon of the remaining flour.)
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
- Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the reserved spice mix and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sprinkle with the reserved 1 tablespoon flour and stir until coated. Add tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and the onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in milk. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.
- Serve over brown rice (sprinkle in additional 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric to water while rice cooks)