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Spice Up Your Life

Explore a world of flavor from the comfort of your home. Each month we will explore new spices, their history, and how to use them. Kits can be picked up in the Library or curbside.

(While supplies last.)

May Feature: Turmeric

Recipe: Grilled Turmeric & Lime Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

  • ½ teaspoon chile powder

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh or crushed dried rosemary leaves

  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

  • Salt & pepper to taste if desired

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

Preheat your grill or the broiler of your stove. Pour the oil into a mixing bowl. Add lime juice, chile powder, turmeric, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to blend well. Add the chicken to the marinade and coat each piece evenly. Place bowl to the side. (Note: if you wish to marinate the chicken longer, place back into the refrigerator until ready to cook.

 

Place the chicken on the grill or on the rack underneath the broiler. Cover grill / close broiler door. Cook about 6 -7 minutes and then turn the chicken over. Continue cooking until done, this should take an additional 3 - 5 minutes, possibly longer under the broiler depending on heat output. Take off the grill / out of the broiler and brush the tops with melted butter. Eat & Enjoy!

History

The use of turmeric dates back almost 4,000 years to the Vedic culture in India. There, it was used as a culinary spice and had additional religious significance as well. Historians estimate that it arrived in China by 700 AD, East Africa by 800 AD, West Africa by 1200 AD, and Jamaica / United States by the 18th century.

The botanical name is Curcuma longa. The plant reaches about three feet in height and produces both flowers and rhizomes (the golden yellow root you grind / eat.) While found throughout the tropics, the main producer is India.

 

Industries like medicine, cosmetics, and culinary find great use in Turmeric. In food, it is a main ingredient in curry powders, giving the dish its distinctive yellow color. Foods like cheese, butter, popcorn, and even yellow cakes use Turmeric as natural food dye. People will also rub Turmeric into the skin as a cosmetic application. Turmeric is used to help reduce the growth in facial hair, reduce acne, and improve the complexion of the skin. Curcuminoids also have potential in cosmeceuticals as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and skin lightening agents. Turmeric is used as an herbal medicine for rheumatoid arthritis, chronic anterior uveitis, conjunctivitis, skin cancer, small pox, chicken pox, wound healing, urinary tract infections, and liver ailments. It is also used in digestive disorders; reduce flatus, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, colic, abdominal pain, and distension.

 

Note: We do not endorse the use of turmeric as an alternative to traditional medical advice.

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