The Golden Touch

The healing herb that gives depth of character to Indian food and global fusion cooking.

By Suvir Saran

Photography by Angel Tucker


The turmeric may seem dark in the pan once you begin cooking it with oil, but do not worry. As you add some liquid, it will dilute the color and make the dish yellow. (Just take care to wear an apron while cooking; stains are difficult to remove.) Begin with a little bit of turmeric, then add more as you see fit. You can always add more, but taking away the unpleasant taste of too much of a good thing is impossible.

Comfort Zone
turmericAs an adult now living in America, I find it comforting to think that I always have turmeric—not just to take me home in a sensory way when I am homesick, but to embrace for its healthful characteristics and beautiful color and soulful flavor.

It’s also nice to see Americans adopting the herb as an inexpensive way to add brilliance to their food and their lives. I predict that in the next couple of decades there will be a renaissance in American life. In our earliest days, herbs and aromatics were there for us during uncertain times, times of rebuilding. But Americans became lethargic about using them. After the industrial revolution, the herbs were seen as just another thing to buy, and the very essence of cooking was lost. Now there’s a revolution happening. We’re connecting again with what we’re eating—and with each other—at the dining table. We’re also finding that cooking is a great form of catharsis, and that itself is another form of healing.

Turmeric beautifully reflects the power of intelligent cooking. And I believe it will ensure healthy living for an eternity. Try some of my favorite recipes as a way to get started.