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Turmeric (Curcurma Longa)

A member of the ginger family, its golden-yellow colour makes it a common, and cheaper, alternative to saffron.

It's flavour and colouring properties are traditional in the cooking of India and North Africa, and some areas of the Middle East. The colour it produces come because it contains curcuminoids (which are a form of phenolic acid), these also have preservative, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties - so retard age-related diseases by preventing free-radical damage. It is an ingredient of piccallli and an essential ingredient of curry powder. Mostly found in powdered form in the UK, one level teaspoon equals a 5mm slice. See 'Turmeric; Medicinal uses'

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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