Vancouver doesn’t exactly have the climate required to cultivate one of Sula’s Indian Restaurant’s favorite spices, Turmeric. Note: turmeric requires a moist environment that has a temperature above 20°Celsius minimum year round.
What Vancouver does have is a vibrant culinary community who can truly appreciate all of its magic. Turmeric is the type of spice that can make any dish a little bit spicy, or a lot. It will start off with a subtle hint of heat then seconds later it’ll follow through with the remainder of its intensity. Personally, it’s what I want in a broth if I’m stuck with a cold, it manages to clear everything and you feel much better afterward. Basically, turmeric is the type of spice that can make any dish a comfort dish.
It is turmeric’s golden, almost reddish color that represents its richness and intensity. Native to South and Southeast Asia, turmeric looks much like a white lily with large banana leaves with red ginger at its root. The red ginger part is the rhizomatous structure is where the spice comes from. Also, the reference to ginger isn’t that far off as turmeric is also part of the ginger family.
A common ingredient for several different cuisines across South and Southeast Asia, turmeric can be found in many of your favorite Indian curries, in many Malaysian dishes and is also used for ceremonial, cultural and medicinal purposes—it is the spice used to dye Buddhist monks traditional robes and is also part of Indian wedding ceremonies as well as several other types of other religious ceremonies.
Turmeric is an amazing spice, it’s something we use a lot at Sula Indian Restaurant and we’d very much like to share with you a recipe so you can try it out at home.
Sula’s Coconut Chicken Recipe – a great representation of turmeric’s spicy magic!
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 1 ½ lbs. chicken legs, boneless
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 onion
- 1 Turmeric powder 1 teaspoon
- 2 tbsp. Thai red curry paste
- 1 Green chili
- ½ cup basil leaves
- 1 cup coriander leaves, chopped
- Lemon juice 1/2 tablespoon
- Basmati rice, cooked
- Coriander leaves, to garnish
- 2 lemon wedges, to garnish
- Heat 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan
- Add chicken and cook on high heat for 3 – 4 minutes until partially cooked
- Transfer onto a plate
- Add the other tbsp. of oil into the same pan
- Add garlic, onion and sauté till golden brown (this part is key to all curries)
- Add the turmeric, red curry paste and chili then sauté for 1 min
- Add coconut milk, basil leaves, then mix well
- Once the milk comes to a boil, add chicken and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes Add coriander leaves, lemon juice, then mix well
- Serve over rice