Turmeric (Curcuma long) is most certainly the coolest spice on the block at the moment. I've seen it added to almost everything now, including soups, smoothies and teas. However, it's main active ingredient, curcumin, is notoriously difficult to absorb and rapidly excreted by our bodies. This leads me to question how much therapeutic value is gained by adding it to our food in these weird and wonderful ways. The solution?
BioPerine is a patented compound derived from black pepper (Piper nigrum) which research suggests increases the bioavailability of curcumin by 20-fold (1). Some manufacturers even claim it increases the effect of curcumin by as much as 2000%, although this figure seems a little extravagant to me. I am more interested in the pairing of turmeric and black pepper in many traditional foods, such as curries from around the world. Is this another example of ancient wisdom being confirmed by modern research?
Turmeric's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects have the potential to reach many parts of our body. Positive effects have been noted on joints, muscles, the digestive tract, liver and lungs. It shows promise for cancer prevention, diabetes management and cholesterol-lowering. The people in countries with the highest intake of turmeric seem to have a related reduction in many chronic diseases (2). Honestly I could fill a book with reasons to consume turmeric in your diet. But the bottom line is: it's REALLY good for you.
The reason why I have chosen to add it to a mayonnaise is that I was looking for a way to pair it with it's symbiotic spice pepper in a quirky and fun way! By all means, please carry on eating your traditional Indian curries also, or any other way that you enjoy it.
Homemade mayo is a healthy condiment, as you can choose your base oil to avoid vegetable oils and trans-fats. It is relatively quick to make, and very rewarding as your friend's will think you are terribly clever. You will need a food processor or a lot of patience to pour the oil by hand while someone else mixes it with a hand-blender or whisk. This really does work, but I prefer to use my Thermomix on speed 4.
Caution - Turmeric's vibrant yellow colour gives it the potential to stain your kitchen, utensils and hands. Try to use non-porous bowls or jars, and if you are worried about a particular bowl or utensil you can coat it in oil before you start. Also, watch your bench tops.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Start with all of your ingredients at room temperature, by taking them out of the fridge well before you plan to make your mayo. Don't just think it will be ok, it won't. You will end up with a split curdled looking mess that won't impress anyone. Please learn from my experience in this matter.
I have used light coloured/refined olive oil in this recipe as it gives the best flavour. Extra-virgin is too strong for this recipe in my opinion. An alternative would be macadamia oil which also tastes great.
1 cup of light-coloured olive oil
2 egg yolks
Juice from a lime
1 Tbsp honey or rice malt syrup
1 Tbsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
- Ensure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature
- Place the turmeric, salt and pepper in a food processor or mortar & pestle
- Grind this mixture as fine as you can
- Place the spice mix, egg yolks, honey or rice malt syrup and lime in your food processor
- Blend for 30 seconds until combines well
- Scrape down the sides of your food processor
- With the blades turning safely pour your oil in a drizzle through the top.
- Aim to add the oil slowly over a 5-minute period
- You will see the oil being emulsified into the egg mixture
- Transfer it into a clean jar and store in the fridge
This Mayo will last for around a week in the fridge, with the use-by date being largely determined by the freshness of the eggs you use. Still I feel most comfortable using it with-in 5-7 days.
The earthy and slightly floral flavour of this mayo goes well mixed through shredded chicken, on a nice sourdough sandwich or as an interesting addition in your summer coleslaw.
I hope you love this recipe!
2. Braun, L. 2015. "Herbs & Natural Supplements: An evidence-based guide" Volume , Elsevier Australia.