During my visit to Ghana, my host family taught me to use turmeric powder to flavor jasmine rice. I loved the idea so much, I took it and added a few more ingredients!
What is turmeric? Turmeric is a plant whose powder is most commonly used to give curry its yellow hue and spice. Commonly referred to as “Indian saffron,” this spice contains curcumin, a bioactive substance that reeps anti-inflammatory effects, helping to ease joint pain. It’s also known for its ability to improve brain, skin, heart, liver, and digestive health. Studies have also shown that turmeric can protect against colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Note: Unlike my recipes for baked goods, this recipe is not as precise and calls for a bit more experimentation on your end. Have fun with it!
The amount of some of these ingredients depends on your taste buds. You’ll have to use your own judgement and get creative!
2 cups jasmine rice
extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup spinach, chopped
1 branch fresh basil
¼ cup onion, chopped
½ can black beans, rinsed
ground black pepper
1. Rinse the grains of rice in a rice cooker or pot until the water becomes clear. Then pour 2 cups of water into the pot. Add a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle salt into the pot. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until tender. If you’re using a rice cooker, it will tell you when your rice is ready!
2. Heat a large pan. Drizzle olive oil and chopped garlic and heat for 2-3 minutes, until garlic is slightly browned but not burnt. When finished, pour half of the oil-garlic blend into a small bowl and set aside.
3. Chop mushrooms, spinach and basil and throw into the pan of garlic and olive oil. Add chopped onion and scallion. (You may need to add slightly more oil.) Cook until the mushrooms are tender.
4. Throw black beans into the pan, then sprinkle pepper and salt. Squeeze half a lime and mix over heat for 5 minutes.
5. Once the rice is ready, first pour the oil-garlic blend into the pot and mix. Then sprinkle turmeric into the pot and mix thoroughly. Be sure that each grain has a hint of turmeric.
6. Mix the vegetable blend into the rice pot and mix well. Have a taste and see if you’d like to squeeze some more lime or add salt or pepper. If it’s too dry for your liking, drizzle some more olive oil. Play around with it until your taste buds are satisfied.
I served my turmeric rice with chicken breasts cooked with salt, pepper and everyday seasoning for a simple yet flavorful protein booster. I also served it with a side of cucumber, tomato and basil salad soaked in vinegar, pepper and a hint of lime juice (Japanese sunomono-style!), for a refreshing end to a slightly spicy meal!
Interested in other turmeric recipes? Try my Turmeric Ginger Orange Iced Tea!