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Real Lakadong or Ordinary Turmeric – Know Different Varieties of Turmeric

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Real Lakadong or Ordinary Turmeric – Know Different Varieties of Turmeric

Turmeric is like no other spice. That golden powder, ubiquitous in Indian kitchens and many Asian cuisines is also an incredible health and beauty giver.

Turmeric’s amazing health benefits lay in its bioactive phytochemical components such as polysaccharides, curcuminoids and essential oils like curcumol and curdione. But what gives turmeric its wide-spectrum therapeutic properties and it's bright yellow hue is the now well-known and active curcuminoid, curcumin.

turmeric widely researched plant great food medicine

Turmeric - Widely Researched Plant, Great in Food & As Medicine

As spice turmeric is a must-have in the kitchen. Curry is simply colourless and tasteless without it. And when it doubles up as a disease-fighter and giver of preventive health benefits, especially in fighting inflammation, kicking out free radicals and boosting your immune system, its consumption becomes necessary.

No wonder turmeric is among the most researched plants in the world, resulting in a huge wealth of information now being available about its therapeutic potential and efficacy against human diseases.

Research findings say that turmeric exerts curative effects on about 581 diseases. Curcumin alone has a curative impact on over 560 diseases. However, to get the maximum benefit you need to consume it in quantities somewhat like this:

  • Powdered form - ¼ to 1 teaspoon per day, or
  • Turmeric slices – 3 to 6 grams per day, or
  • Curcumin extracts or tablets – 1000 to1500 mg per day (for adults).

To reap all benefits you must obtain that kind of turmeric that contains those desired levels of ingredients, especially curcumin. Levels of curcumin vary with different species and growth regions. Most turmeric plants yield an average of 3%, or less, curcumin per 100 grams.

Question is, where do you get that one perfect turmeric and how do you tell the difference?

Different grades of Lakadong turmeric

Different Varieties of Turmeric, Only One Best – Lakadong Turmeric

There are about 133 known different varieties of turmeric but there is only one that is best. This turmeric grows nowhere else in the world except in tiny Lakadong village and its surrounding areas in Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya, in Northeastern India - That's why it is called Lakadong turmeric.

Lakadong turmeric grows in areas around the coordinates of 25°10’N and 92°16’E. The area nestles at an altitude of 610 metres above mean sea level and gets an average annual rainfall of 4000mm. We call this area Lakadong Country.

The soil there in Lakadong Country is acidic, deep to very deep in colour and light to medium in texture.

The farmers have experienced that when they tried growing Lakadong turmeric in any other soil or under any other climatic conditions, the quality declines.

Is Lakadong turmeric is an heirloom turmeric variety? Read about it here.

difference between lakadong and ordinary turmeric

Differences Between Lakadong Turmeric & Ordinary Turmeric

All turmeric powders may appear the same to the uninitiated.

A closer examination, however, will reveal a good many differences between Lakadong turmeric and ordinary turmeric.

  1. The most glaring difference is the curcumin content. Lakadong average curcumin content is 7.5% while most other turmeric varieties can boast of only 3% or less. With Lakadong you get more curcumin per gram. But then you first have to recognize it is Lakadong turmeric.
  2. Which brings us to the colour. Lakadong turmeric has a bright, golden yellow hue that can only come from the high curcumin content. This gives the food that rich and appealing deep yellow colour that gourmets appreciate. Other turmeric types, by comparison, give the food a not so appealing, even dull, appearance.Best curcumin color taste aroma naturally grown Zizira Lakadong turmeric
  3. The taste or flavour of Lakadong turmeric is definitely an edge over the others. This comes alive as you sample the food. There is a clear earthy and subtly nutty taste to it that’s indescribable. With other turmeric powders that defined taste is clearly lacking.
  4. A pleasant aroma wafts through the air as you put in your Lakadong turmeric into your curries. Pure, mouth-watering aroma. In some preparations, such as herbed and spicy potatoes, where you add at the last moment, the aroma sizzles in the air and lingers in the mouth. The feeling that accompanies is one of intense satisfaction any other turmeric cannot bestow.
  5. High Potency of Lakadong turmeric means you need a lesser quantity of it in your cooking. It might appear that you are paying a higher price but you only need half a teaspoon to spice up a meal for about six people with fantastic results. With other powders, you will definitely need at least double the quantity but you will certainly not get the same results. So you save money too.
    naturally farmed zizira lakadong turmeric

Lakadong turmeric grows only in one place in the entire world.

The spice is naturally and traditionally farmed, without chemical or artificial fertilizers and no pesticides, the way it was done for centuries.

How is Lakadong turmeric grown by farmers? Read about the turmeric growing practices in the Lakadong Country here.

The farmers know Lakadong’s value lies in cultivating it that way and they will not change their methods. Attempts have been made to grow Lakadong elsewhere too, or clone it. There was a success in higher yields, but the flavour, punch and curcumin content was always short of true Lakadong.

Lakadong geographically belongs to Jaintia hills and nowhere else. Once you taste Lakadong, every other kind of turmeric tastes inferior.

Zizira team displaying perfect specimen of Lakadong turmeric

How to Know If Your Powdered Turmeric Is Lakadong or Not?

We learnt from a farmer how to distinguish the difference between Lakadong and other turmeric rhizomes.

Lakadong rhizome has fingers like those in another turmeric (and ginger) species. They look very much alike in shape and structure. The roots, however, are the tell-tale signs.

Lakadong roots are thin, long and parallel in diameter throughout their lengths. Any other turmeric will have roots that are thicker in diameter at the base. The thickness tapers off towards the tip.

However, once it is powdered, it is difficult to tell Lakadong from ordinary turmeric.

Though colour, taste and flavour are good pointers, the ordinary buyer will not have a fool-proof option except to obtain it from reputed suppliers. This is especially important because powdered turmeric is often heavily adulterated, despite stringent anti-adulteration laws and measures.

Even turmeric slices can contain a mixed lot because once dried the slices look alike whether they are Lakadong or not.

Do you know how adulteration in turmeric powder happens? Learn about it here and see what you can do to avoid.

at zizira we take every precaution satrting from source

At Zizira We Take Every Precaution

We know the high value of Lakadong and the ease with which it can be adulterated. So we have eliminated every possibility of all that happening by sourcing it from the farmers themselves. It is like we farm it ourselves.

We follow our farmers through seasons and stages: planting, nurturing, harvesting, sorting and grading.

We transport the rhizomes ourselves to our own and exclusive processing facility.

The result?

True and pure Lakadong. Nothing less.

Why? Because your health and money are at stake here. And our reputation too. So we cannot settle for anything that is in any way short of Lakadong turmeric.

Every year once the harvest of Lakadong Turmeric is over, we fill our storehouses with fresh Lakadong turmeric as well from our farmer partners.

Have you ever tried Zizra's Lakadong turmeric before? If not give it a try and you'll know the difference.

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5 Responses

Tapas Bagchi
Tapas Bagchi

July 08, 2020

I want to know more about the local herbs of Meghalay and their efficacies.
Where can I find those in Kolkata?
I want to know especially on those herbs which are comparatively less known but extremely beneficial.

T.P.S.Katiyar
T.P.S.Katiyar

July 08, 2020

Can I get few root stems for seed purpose?

Risabet
Risabet

July 08, 2020

Hi T.P.S Katiyar,

We are sorry to let you know that we do not have perishable ingredients like raw turmeric or stems.?

Y.Mathur
Y.Mathur

July 08, 2020

We want to know more about the spices and their details.

Miramon Suting
Miramon Suting

July 08, 2020

Hi Y. Mathur,

Glad to know that you are interested to know more about spices and their details. Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter where we’ll send you essential information about herbs and spices, our farmers stories, discoveries and much more. Here is the link.

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