Turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, holds a significant place in India as it is the largest producer, exporter, and consumer of this versatile spice. Other producers are Thailand, countries in Central and Southern America, and Southeast Asian nations. Turmeric produces flowers as well as a rhizome, which is an underground stem. Rhizome appears in the forms of fingers, bulbs, and splits and resembles ginger. Where splits and bulbs are chopped in half before curing, while fingers are secondary branches.
The Extraction Process
Rhizome is processed into oleoresin (Turmeric extracts) or powder.
Bunches of rhizomes are carefully removed, cleaned, and then either processed or stored in
preparation for planting later. Rhizomes are cooked until they are tender before being dried. After the turmeric tuber's skin is peeled and thoroughly dried, turmeric powder is produced. Turmeric typically loses its essential oils during the processing step after it is produced. For the finest flavour, fresh turmeric is ground from whole fingers.
Types Of Turmeric: On The Basis Of Geographical Region
Hailing from Kerala, Alleppey turmeric is renowned for its vibrant orange-yellow flesh and contains 4-7% curcumin. It is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for its antiseptic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an integral ingredient in traditional remedies.
Hailing from Meghalaya, Lakadong turmeric contains the highest curcumin content in the world, ranging from 7-12%. Its bright golden-yellow hue reflects its exceptional quality. Along with its culinary applications, Lakadong turmeric offers therapeutic benefits, including potential antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.
With a curcumin content of 2.5 - 4.5%, Erode turmeric from Tamil Nadu is highly valued for its medicinal properties. It is sought after for the preparation of oils, ointments, and poultices, offering numerous health benefits. This is one of the most common variety used for making turmeric powder.
Raja Pore and Sangli Turmeric:
Cultivated in Maharashtra, these turmeric varieties contain 5-6.5% curcumin and are extensively used for medicinal purposes. Known for their saffron yellow colour, these varieties possess stomachic, carminative, and blood-purifying properties, making them valuable additions to herbal remedies.
Hailing from Telangana, the Nizamabad variety showcases a darker colour compared to others. With a curcumin content of 5-6.5%, it finds specific application in the treatment of contusions, rheumatism, and jaundice.
From the vibrant Alleppey to the potent Lakadong, these turmeric varieties have made their mark in Indian traditions, cuisine, and medicinal practices. Embrace the richness of turmeric's versatility as you explore the multitude of flavours and benefits it brings to our plates and lives.
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