Turmeric has been used for centuries as a healing food, but modern science also recognises it’s amazing protential for supporting the immune system and improving detoxification processes. Such is turmeric’s power, it can sometimes be contraindicated (meaning it may interfere) with medication. For this reason, it’s always worth checking before using turmeric in large doses.
I use turmeric regularly in cooking, but sometimes – if I am feeling as though I’m about to come down with something – I’ll up the ante, and use turmeric in a more therapeutic way. To do this I’ll take ten minutes out of my day to make this traditional recipe called Golden Paste. Cooking the turmeric along with black pepper, and blending it with fat makes it far more bioavailable to the body; meaning it gets to work quicker and more effectively. This recipe makes enough to fit into a regular sized jam jar.
- 1/2 cup ground turmeric powder (ideally organic)
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Start by putting the turmeric, black pepper and water into a saucepan on the stove and heat at a moderate temperature for around 8-10 minutes, stirring continuously. The mixture should quickly thicken, and after about 5-6 minutes become a thick paste. If the paste is becoming too thick just add a little extra water. You may also find you need to turn the temperature down a little if it’s becoming too thick too quickly.
- Once the paste has been heated for 8-10 minutes it should look smooth, creamy and have a mildly aromatic smell. Turn off the heat and set to one side.
- Wait a few minutes for the paste to cool down to a warm temperature, then add the ghee and coconut oil and stir in well. Note that if the paste is too hot it will become slightly curdled looking as you stir in the oil. This doesn’t mean the paste is ruined – it can certainly still be used – but it’s not as pleasing on the eye! For this reason, I always cool my turmeric slightly before adding the oils.
- Finally, transfer into a clean jam jar for storing in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 2 weeks.
I find the easiest way to use Golden Paste is to turn it into a delicious warm latte style drink. I do this by heating a teaspoon full in milk (I use tinned full-fat coconut milk if I want something filling, alternatively an almond milk for something lighter) in in a pan on the stove. But you can also add it to soups, stews, pasta sauces, even scrambled eggs!