A lot of us have grown up with sunny turmeric. At school, when everyone else brought coffee into textiles class to create their own dye, I had a trusty jar of haldi. I've always known turmeric as a dangerous friend. It's not a question of whether I'll get a yellow stain on my clothes from it, but a question of when. Before I had my roti scooping technique down, it was also the reason why the fingers and nails on my right hand had a permanent yellow hue to them.
I'm curious if Londoners think about whether their 'turmeric chai lattes' can really have much of a health effect given that the vast swathes of the world's population that eat it everyday have much lower life expectancies than we do. Oh well. They do look pretty.
I'll see it on the menu in Whole Foods, along with the matcha chai latte (your choice of mylk) and it'll take me straight back to watching my dad smear turmeric paste on my brother's ankles. (A fairly spherical family, we were always spraining them just in the everyday act of walking around.) Or it'll remind me of my mum chasing me around the house trying to make me drink milk with crushed up almonds and turmeric in it to ward off a cold. This horrified me not for the spice in the milk, that was normal. It was the fact of the hot milk itself that I still can't abide.
The mildly smoky flavour of turmeric, along with its pretty cheerful colour, makes it a strangely nice addition to sweets. Inspired by the onset of spring (if I pretend it's happening, it'll happen) I tried adding it to some muffins made from corn and almond meal. They worked out well with a crumbly texture inside, and crisp exterior from the cornmeal.
The recipe is below, although its so easy there's barely a method. If you want, you can douse them in a lemon syrup after cooking but I quite appreciate them on their own.
Ingredients - makes 6 muffins
150g coconut oil, melted
150g ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
Juice and zest of one lemon
1. Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees Celcius and line a muffin pan with six cases.
2. Whisk together the oil and honey. Add the eggs and continue whisking until thick.
3. Pour in all of the dry ingredients into the wet and then fold together with the lemon juice and zest.
4. Add the mixture to the prepared cases. Bake for around 15 minutes in the middle of the oven and check. If the top starts to brown too much cover each muffin with a little foil. Bake for a further 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out mostly clean. Careful not to overbake as these can get very dry very easily.