The monkeys in our garden are a real pain, they eat everything what looks edible and leave a big mess behind. After some time we figured out that they do not like digging in the earth and so we started to grow turmeric in our backyard. It was a success, the monkeys didn’t look at it for 2 years till we could harvest the slowly growing root. It’s not only monkeys who don’t like turmeric, all kind of bacteria flee it. Every Indian grandmother knows about its curative power and turmeric is maybe the most Indian of all spices, there is hardly any dish which doesn’t contain ‘Haldi’ as it’s called in here.
Haldi is not only antiseptic and slightly analgesic, it is also used in cosmetic treatments and religious ceremonies. One day before our wedding the ‘Haldi Ceremony’ took place, where bride and groom get smeared all over with a paste made from fresh turmeric root. This ceremony is supposed to bring the new couple luck, ward off the evil eye and put a sparkling shine on the bride. I was very yellow afterwards, but I think it helped.
When my family is feeling under the weather I often make a lemonade with turmeric, ginger, lemon and honey, a real treat when you are not feeling that well.
Turmeric Honey Lemonade
A fresh and spicy lemonade which is best taken in small glasses with a grind of black pepper. Makes 1 liter.
- 2 tablespoons turmeric powder
- 50 gram fresh ginger root
- Juice from 3 big lemons
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 85 gram honey
- 750 ml water
- black pepper for serving
Clean the ginger and grate it finely (no need to peel). Put the turmeric, lemon zest, grated ginger together with the water in a pot and bring to a gentle boil. Let it boil for 3 minutes and then strain it through a sieve.
Let it cool a bit and then add the honey to the still warm liquid. Stir till the honey has dissolved.
Finally add the lemon juice and cool properly. When serving grind a bit of black pepper on top (it helps to absorb the cumarin). You will have to shake it up before serving as the turmeric tends to float to the bottom.
You can drink it also warm as a kind of tea. If you like it spicy you could add the black pepper while boiling.
The lemonade keeps well for a few days in the fridge.