The Oct. 15, 2014 LIFE program had a large crowd excited to learn about the spice, turmeric. Usha Dontharaju, Reference Assistant at LSC-CyFair, in full Indian sari regalia, did not disappoint. We learned that this root spice is in the same family as ginger and it is used as a food ingredient and as a tonic for many ailments such as indigestion, liver detox, skin healing, brain function, antiinflammatory, lower cholesterol, anti cancer, and much more. Indian cooks use turmeric in small quantities while cooking, but they put the ground spice in practically everything. It is a beautiful yellow color and a neutral taste (it is not spicy like hot red pepper).
Usha prepared a Lemon Rice dish. She had steamed rice prepared. In a frying pan, she put 5 teaspoons of vegetable oil. When hot she added about a 1/2 cup of raw peanuts and 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds. When fragrant, she added a teaspoon of chick pea flour, the juice of two limes (yes, they still call it lemon rice), two pinches of turmeric, a handful of curry leaves from her garden,and salt to taste. She combined the mixture with the rice. We all got to taste this delightful dish. Usha also prepared a turmeric facial mask (1 teaspoon turmeric and three tablespoons of homemade plain yogurt). This will color your skin yellow so don't put it on before a big party.
Usha had everyone laughing at her witty remarks, admiring her cooking skills and learning about this miraculous little root. Some suggested she do a cooking program on You Tube. Bollywood here she comes.