Let’s Soothe That Sore Throat!
Curry might be the last thing on your mind when you are nursing a sore throat. Who wants a spicy burn to add to the problem! However, could I indulge you for a few minutes to discuss turmeric, the bright yellow spice synonymous with curry? It is the first item South Asians reach for when treating bruises, cuts and sore throats. I grew up with yellow paste applied to my knees when I scraped them in play, or to heal a painful paper cut on my finger. And as for sore throats, nothing worked wonders like a cup of warm turmeric milk to ensure a good night’s sleep.
What is Turmeric?
So what exactly is turmeric? It’s the root of a flowering rhizome in the ginger family called the Curcuma Longa, native to India and South Asia. In its powdered form, it is a common spice used in curries. However, it was also used as a food colouring and for dyeing. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, a natural chemical that also gives it the trademark bright yellow colour. Scientific clinical trials and studies have not yielded conclusive evidence of how it can be used medicinally, yet. However, curcuminoids are well known to have natural anti-inflammatory properties. That may be why it featured prominently in Ayurvedic medicine and continues to be a popular product recommend by naturopaths to relieve common inflammatory ailments.
Turmeric As A Spice
With its warm, mustard-like flavour, turmeric lends itself well to curries, and we use it extensively in all Tiffinday curry stews. Contrary to popular belief, curries don’t always need to be spicy.
Our Mixed Vegetable Curry with Lentils is the mildest one in our lineup, with NO chilli peppers at all in the recipe. We balance the flavour with ginger, garlic, turmeric and our house-blend garam masala, which contains cinnamon. Even without chilli peppers, these flavours come together perfectly in a thick stew that contains split black lentils along with vegetables, like potatoes, carrots, french beans and green peas.
When we first launched Tiffinday curry stews and sold them at farmer’s markets in Toronto, this was the preferred choice of families with young kids for its delicate flavour that was not spicy at all. Kids loved it on a bed of Basmati rice, and we fondly referred to it as “curry for beginners“. Grown-ups often added chilli peppers to punch up the flavour for themselves. Regardless, it became the perfect way to introduce young children to curry dishes without shocking their developing tastebuds.
Convenience During ‘Flu Season
And that is the same reason why it works so well to soothe sore throats! This hearty product is delicious and loaded with plant-based protein from black lentils, and vegetables. Having a jar handy in your fridge during the ‘flu season will provide you with three portions of a convenient and wholesome meal that you can simply heat and eat when you lack the energy to cook. You can also reduce the thick stew with a little bit of water to enjoy as a flavourful soup with crackers or a slice of bread. The turmeric, along with ginger, garlic and cinnamon will offer you comfort and warmth to get you through your healing journey.