It's been called 'India's holy powder.' And in a slew of scientific studies, researchers have been exploring the healing properties of this mystical spice powder for everything from heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Most recently, a team of British scientists announced they'll be looking at the role turmeric can play in enhancing the ability of chemotherapy to kill bowel cancer cells and improve the efficacy of current cancer treatments.
Curcumin, the disease-fighting agent in turmeric, has also been shown to help with everything from slowing prostate tumor growth, treating tendinitis, delaying liver damage and cirrhosis, fighting diabetes and obesity, and counteracting the negative effects of eating a high-fat meal.
Here are a few recipes that put turmeric, a slightly bitter, earthy warm and gingery spice, front and center in dishes:
Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Turmeric and Ginger
A recipe by Bobby Flay for the Food Network
While cauliflower can be tasteless and bland, it makes for an ideal carrier for strong flavors. Flay's recipe calls for black mustard seeds, a finely diced jalapeno, fresh ginger and a teaspoon of turmeric to lend it a golden color and warmth.
By Saveur editor-in-chief James Oseland's book Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore
This recipe for traditional, authentic beef satays puts the flavor in the spotlight and calls for a piece of fresh turmeric. The alternative is a teaspoon of dried turmeric. The beef satays are packed with flavor from tamarind, shallots, garlic, ginger and whole coriander seeds.
To accompany the beef satay, try serving turmeric rice like the one on Food.com, which calls for butter, onion, garlic, a bay leaf and one tablespoon - that's right, tablespoon - of turmeric.
Mild curry powder
Make your own curry powder and keep it in the pantry for a ready-to-use spice at any time. This basic recipe, on Allrecipes.com, calls for cumin, coriander, turmeric, crushed red pepper flakes, mustard seed and ground ginger.