The usage of turmeric in food has a rich history in India and China. Its active ingredient, curcumin, is a natural compound (polyphenol) with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is recognised for its medicinal benefits too in Ayurveda. But, turmeric in excess in your food is not appetising or healthy. What can be done if you sense that extra turmeric content in your food?
Why turmeric is added to dishes
The yellow spice is added to dishes not just for its taste and colour. Turmeric is laden with phytonutrients that neutralise free radicals, protecting the body from diseases and preserving cell integrity. Studies have indicated its effectiveness in addressing conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and other arthritic diseases, allergies, ulcers in the large intestine, and microbial infections. Additionally, curcumin has shown promise in reducing the impact of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.
Perils of excessive turmeric consumption
While turmeric offers numerous health benefits, excessive consumption can lead to health problems. Turmeric contains 2% oxalate, and in higher amounts, this can contribute to the formation of kidney stones in some people. Moreover, the inclusion of starch, barley, wheat flour, and artificial colours in commercially available turmeric powder may impact human health. Excessive intake of turmeric can result in digestion issues, headaches, nausea, and skin disorders.
How to correct excessive turmeric in curries
There are some tricks to mitigate the unpleasant taste of turmeric that has been accidentally added to curries excessively.
Add sliced potatoes to the curry and the pieces will absorb excess turmeric.
Add coconut milk which will mellow the overpowering flavour.
Acidic ingredients such as tamarind paste, lemon juice, or tomato sauce can be effective in balancing the taste.
Prepare a mixture of curd, salt, red chilly powder, and water, and add it to the curry.
The addition of sugar and fresh cream also can counteract excessive turmeric.