Red Chinese Mulberries
The Red Chinese mulberry tree is a broad, spreading bush or small tree dotted with small thorns. Like its mulberry relatives, the fruits are technically not a berries but rather aggregates of tiny fleshy drupes clustered around a single stem
Monterrey pears are a large variety from northern Mexico, botanically a cultivar of Pyrus pyrifolia. The Asian pear hybrid was selected from the tree of a popular southern Texas variety. Monterrey pears are a cross of European pear and a Japanese pear.
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Fresh Turmeric leaves are light to medium green in color. The oblong, lance-shaped leaf blades grow up to 115cm long, and 48cm wide. Fresh leaves should be relatively firm and un-wilted. Turmeric leaves sprout erect in thick stems from the root of the Turmeric plant, which is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows up to 1 meter tall. Fresh Turmeric leaves have a neutral aroma, although once they are cut, pounded or chewed, they release a distinctive tart flavor with elements of grass and mint. When cooked, they impart a surprisingly floral flavor, combined with that pungent, gingery, Turmeric character that one associates with the root.
Fresh Turmeric leaves are available in the spring through fall, while dried Turmeric leaves are available year-round.
Turmeric is botanically known as Curcuma longa and is a member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Although Turmeric is widely known for its edible roots, all parts of the Turmeric plant – including the leaves and flowers – are edible. They also contain natural oils, which have been studied as an alternative biofuel for petrol. Today, fresh Turmeric leaves are widely used in India, mostly along the coastal regions. India is the world’s largest Turmeric producer, and consumes 80% of it. Turmeric leaves are commonly used in curries in Goa and Kerala, India, and are often added to ghee-based sweets in India, which supposedly prevents the growth of bacteria and thus extends the shelf life of the treat.
Turmeric is considered to be a superfood, with its rhizomes having anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties, and Turmeric leaves may offer similar health benefits. Turmeric leaves contain antioxidants, as well as organic compounds such as a-Pellandrene. which gives eucalyptus its minty aroma, and terpinolene, which is also found in allspice. They also contain the compound 8-cineole, which has therapeutic properties as an antispasmodic, antiviral, analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
Turmeric leaves are used in the cuisines of India, Indonesia and Malaysia. In India, Turmeric leaves may be found in curries, soups, and even in chutneys, or prepared pickled. A popular way to use Turmeric leaves is as a wrap for steamed dishes. One famous Turmeric leaf dish in Goa is Patholi – a sweet dumpling dish where Turmeric leaves are used to wrap sweetened coconut and rice flour before the parcels are steamed. Indonesian and Thai cuisines also feature dishes that are steamed in Turmeric leaf parcels. The heat intensifies the flavor of the leaf, which imparts flavor to other components of the dish, usually something delicate such as fish or seafood. Turmeric leaves are a component in Malaysian rempah, a spice paste made with Turmeric leaves, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind, chilies, garlic, onion and coconut milk. Rempah, which is traditionally pounded with a mortar and pestle before it is fried, is considered to be the backbone of cooking across the Malay archipelago, and it is used in dishes such as beef or chicken rendang - a dry curry meat dish infused entirely with rempah. Store fresh Turmeric leaves in the refrigerator, and consume them within a week. Store-bought dried Turmeric leaves should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated, and can last for several months.
Turmeric leaves are used extensively in India, where most of the world’s Turmeric is grown and used. Turmeric leaves have many cultural medicinal uses that date back to ancient times, since Turmeric was used in both traditional Indian and Chinese medicines. In India, Turmeric leaves also are heavily used in Ayurvedic medicine. They are said to have antiseptic properties, and are used to treat everything from colds, to jaundice, to intestinal worm infestations. Turmeric leaves are believed to help improve digestion and can prevent bloating and abdominal discomfort. They are known as a cooling herb, and can pacify pitta, or fire, constitutions. Turmeric leaves can be pounded and made into a paste to be used externally to relieve swellings and sprains. The paste may even be used on the face as a beauty treatment as it is said to soothe the skin. Turmeric leaves in India are also used or cooked in conjunction with religious months or festivals. They are considered to be a Sattvic food, which promote clear thinking and calm thoughts.
Turmeric is native to India, where the use of Turmeric as a spice, a medicine, and even in religious ceremonies dates back some 4,000 years. It likely reached China by the year 700 AD, and spread to Africa and Jamaica by the 18th century. Today, Turmeric is found in Thailand, the Malay Archipelago, and northern Australia. It is cultivated primarily in the tropics, as the Turmeric plant needs temperatures between 20-30 degrees Celcius to thrive. It prefers well-drained, fertile soil and a considerable amount of rainfall. Growing Turmeric leaves is relatively simple from the rhizomes. Once planted and watered, Turmeric shoots should appear aboveground within four to six weeks in warm weather. Leaves will grow to a reasonable size within 10 to 12 weeks.
Recipes that include Turmeric Leaves. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Enjoy Indian Food||Turmeric Leaf Scented Rice|
|The Roasted Root||Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie|
|Just as Delish||Beef Rendang Malaysian style|
|Aayi's Recipes||Mackerel in Dry Coconut Masala (Bangade dhoddak)|
|Aayi's Recipes||Sugarless Rice Pudding (Cheppi Kheeri)|