Rasoi – Inside the spice cupboard series: Turmeric.

Rasoi are one of Swansea’s most renowned Indian dining brands, bringing authentic, flavoursome Indian food into the very heart of South Wales. Over time, Rasoi have won numerous awards for their beautiful, home-cooked dishes and the talented chefs behind Swansea’s inspired fusion kitchen are continually striving to deliver the best in Indian cuisine. But have you ever wondered what makes the food taste so good here?
The menu, featuring a vast range of typical Indian favourites including their creamy korma, signature tikka masala and slightly hot-to-the bite jalfrezi, are all infused with a generous helping of aromatic herbs and spices – the foundations, so to say, of some of Swansea’s best served Indian dishes.

Today, we’re delving deep into the contents of Rasoi’s spice rack, bringing you everything you need to know about the history of turmeric and how it’s used to enhance dishes, intensify flavours and cultivate the most inspiring Indian tastes.

In most recent years, turmeric has made headlines for its plentiful health merits and positive influence on physical and mental well-being. As we’ve become more educated about turmeric across the West, we’ve seen Yoga Masters passionately promote the benefits of increased flexibility and its effectiveness for ‘cleansing the chakras’. Not just a spice for yoga lovers though, turmeric has become a staple for various other health practices world-wide, including tongue scraping and oil pulling, meaning it has now become renowned for significantly improving oral health and hygiene.

An exciting and diverse spice for holistic practitioners, science is now proving what Indians have attempted to teach us for years – turmeric is without doubt, a hero of spices, packed with numerous anti-inflammatory compounds and potent antioxidants. Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric is now also considered to improve cardiovascular health and potentially lower the risks of brain-associated disease. Even the high street is beginning to promote turmeric, with herbal health shops selling capsules by the bottle and cafés utilising the spice through hot drinks, such as detox teas and the very popular ‘turmeric latte’.

Interesting, most definitely; but at Rasoi, it isn’t the health benefits of turmeric that makes this  powerhouse of a spice so exciting. Here, it is a key ingredient across the menu, used frequently to enhance the flavours throughout some of Rasoi’s most popular and beloved Indian dishes. Its vibrant burnt yellow pigment intensifies the colours of many classic curries; though not simply thrown into recipes entirely for it’s aesthetic value, turmeric also lends a mild but beautiful background tone to most dishes. A must-have ingredient for Indian cooking, from the flavoursome, sweet-spicy pilau rice right through to the rich aromatic range of main dishes to complement, turmeric takes pride and place here in each of Rasoi’s established restaurant kitchens, and is likely to remain centre stage for many years to come.

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