Malaika Arora begins her day with a blended concoction of amla, ginger and an inch of recent turmeric root. She is just not alone.

In a rustic that has nice religion in kitchen cures, COVID-19 has prompted individuals from throughout States to return to old school ‘immunity-boosters’. Within the course of, uncooked turmeric has grow to be a prized ingredient. And it’s used for excess of simply haldi-doodh (rechristened turmeric latte in 2016 and offered at upscale cafes internationally ever since).

Generally out there in winter, recent turmeric rhizomes have a pungent perfume in addition to style. They’re crunchy like ginger and go away a light bitter after style when consumed uncooked. Such is the demand this 12 months that vegetable distributors are seeing a gentle demand for the recent root, which, until date, has been intermittently used for face packs or pickles at residence.

In demand

Iftekhar Ali, 60, a vegetable vendor in Sainikpuri, Telangana, says the demand is excessive however since it’s low season procuring turmeric is troublesome now. “That is haldi sowing time. Recent haldi is harvested in January. All of the low season uncooked haldi that’s coming into the market for the time being is from Ooty, and never the very best quality. Consumers, nevertheless, are shopping for it as a result of they’re determined to put their fingers on uncooked turmeric,” he says.

The water content material within the recent rhizomes is what makes it troublesome to retailer for greater than few weeks. For this reason turmeric farmers boil the harvested rhizomes earlier than powdering. “I by no means purchase greater than four kilograms of recent haldi to promote,” says Ali, including, “However, for the previous couple of months, I’ve been shopping for over 10 kilograms and so they fly off the cabinets inside an hour.”

Hyderabad-based Sridevi Jasti, a holistic nutritionist and chef, explains how a cup of heat milk with a teaspoon of turmeric is suggested, not simply to remedy a chilly or sore throat, but in addition for an excellent evening’s sleep.

Superstar spice: fresh turmeric

“Haldi is a surprise ingredient due to curcumin (a pure chemical compound with therapeutic properties), which provides it the yellow color,” she says. (India’s greatest turmeric reportedly comes from Lakadong in Meghalaya, the place the curcumin ranges from 7-9%, the best within the nation.)

Sridevi says she loves utilizing recent haldi in her salads and natural tea. “I brew a small piece of recent turmeric with a balanced mixture of spices — pepper, cumin, cinnamon and ginger.” She provides a phrase of warning: “When shopping for the foundation, choose haldi with out mould as recent turmeric develops mould in a short time if not saved correctly.” Retailer it for as much as every week in your fridge. Salad staple

Praveen Anand, who’s Govt Chef — South Indian cuisines at ITC motels, says, “I really like the recent turmeric salad ready at my mother-in-law’s residence. Slices of recent turmeric seasoned with salt, lemon and ginger is served as a aspect dish. It’s like a recent pickle.”

Some regional Indian cuisines use recent turmeric as a vegetable just like the haldi ki sabji in Rajasthan, which is a standard winter curry. The foundation is cooked with ghee to make it simply digestible.

kachi haldi ki barfi

Dehradun-based Ayurvedic meals, well being and diet marketing consultant, Sangeeta Khanna, has created an Indian barfi utilizing uncooked turmeric with almond powder and cardamom. She says, “The barfi was developed as a part of a wellness menu for Lodge Suryagarh in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. Ever since, it has been a preferred mithai on their breakfast menu. I get queries from followers on my weblog on progressive methods to incorporate uncooked haldi of their weight loss plan. I direct them to utilizing it in a salad.”

Point out of recent haldi additionally brings again childhood recollections. Kolkata-based meals marketing consultant Sayantani Mahapatra recollects how they used recent turmeric in winter. “Due to its anti-inflammatory and immunity-boosting properties, we have been compelled to chew a little bit of this together with two or three peppers. As youngsters, we hated the recent bulbs because it was a weekly routine for ma to wash our our bodies with a mix of recent malai (cream) and kacha holudh bata (recent turmeric paste),” she says. Then provides, “It felt like torture then however now, as a mom, I’m repeating the identical with my youngsters.”

Blue turmeric

Not all turmeric is yellow. “In Raiganj, Bengal, blue turmeric is being cultivated by an organisation known as Discussion board for Indigenous Agricultural Motion. They’re working with native farmers in cultivating and preserving sorts of indigenous grains, herbs, and greens. This blue turmeric loses its distinct color as soon as processed; after it’s dried, it turns black. Whereas recent blue turmeric is utilized in dyeing materials, black haldi is well-known medication amongst conventional healers,” says meals marketing consultant Sayantani Mahapatra

Historically in Bengal, Sayantani provides, “it’s used to deal with indigestion, loosen up sore muscle mass and heal wounds or insect bites as it’s reportedly excessive in antioxidants. Blue turmeric when boiled and powdered turns into black, and is well out there on-line… however the recent model is a problem to seek out.”

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