My founding journey for turmeric goes back to my earliest memories when I was only six years old. Life was plain as black and white, so was rice, it was either white or the home-grown red rice from the rural folks. I vividly remember attending a wedding and behold I set my eyes on the golden grains of a peculiar type of rice. I recall the distinct flavour, as I slowly chewed and savoured the taste. It was love at first spoonful. Whatever they put in that rice, I wanted more. This is how I met turmeric and I knew that one day I had to find this special seasoning. I compartmentalized this memory in a special place in my mind. In subconscious and subtle ways, the need to discover turmeric always gnawed at my thoughts.
It was years later when I could finally cook that I retrieved a memory in a bid to give it life. The golden grain. I tried madras curry powder and yes it gave my rice the Yellowstone hue, but it was not deep enough, and the flavour was not there. I fell in love with baking and discovered egg-yellow food colouring and my hopes soared in what I thought was a eureka moment. The colour was perfect, but the flavour was bland as water.
Until one day I came across this yellow powder on the spice rack in a high-end supermarket in Harare (The capital city of Zimbabwe). Culinarian intuition told me that this was the highly sought secret ingredient. Turmeric. It was expensive (well for me) but I sacrificed my last penny and purchased it. I can not describe the excitement when I rushed home to try it out! Finally, the eureka moment. Thee mysterious yellow powder gave life to a beautiful memory. The rice was perfect, the colour and flavour tugged me back to that wedding when I was six. I ultimately found it!
Now everything I cooked had turmeric from rice to potatoes, I even thought of trying it on sadza (Zimbabwean staple similar to pap or ugali.) My family was simply fed up and my brother did not like the flavour at all. It took a lot for me to apply some sort of moderation with turmeric in my cooking.
But as soon as I started cooking in my own kitchen, I can now use it anytime I feel like it. I use it on rice, chicken, fish, oven-roasted chicken, you name it the list is endless.
You will find that most of my recipes will include turmeric and I am sure now you understand where I am coming from.
My cooking journey stems from experimental findings. I am still on a discovering quest, and the wonderful adventure of cooking is an endless journey.
Did you know, you can also have it as a tea. Not the best taste, but exceptionally good for the bone health.