A member of the prolific ginger familiy, turmeric is cultiviated for its flavour and vivid yellow colour. In India, the rhizomes are dried and crushed to form powdered turmeric, but in Southeast Asia, the fresh rhizome is generally preferred.
The juice extracted from crushed turmeric is favoured for giving bright yellow colour to ceremonial rice dishes in Southeast Asia. It was also widely used as a dye for cloth, but has been replaced these days by commercial dyes.
As the flavour and colour of fresh turmeric rhizomes is so intense, it is used in small quantities, often no larger than the sizes of a pea. Care should be taken not to sain clothing or utensils when using fresh turmeric.
Fresh turmeric leaves are used as a herb in some Malay and Indonesia dishes. In Thailand, young shoots and inflorescences can also be cooked with eggs to make an unusual omelette.
The rhizome us used in folk medicine throughout the region.
Botanical Family : Zingiberaceae
Thai name : Khamin
Malaysian name : Kunyit
Indonesian name : Kunyit
Tagalog name : Dilaw
source : Hutton, Wendy; (1997); Tropical Herbs & Spices of Indonesia; Periplus Editions