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.
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.
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:
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.