Turmeric is one of the most versatile spices in the world. That’s just straight facts!
Used in almost every Indian kitchen, this golden spice offers more than just vibrancy and aroma to every dish. It is used in other fields such as medicine, cosmetics, and even traditional home remedies.
Now if we’re going to say that it is India’s favourite spice then it should not come as a surprise to us to know that the country is the leading producer of this spice globally. In fact, if we’re going to crunch in some numbers, according to a report by Statista India exported a whopping 194.35 billion USD in 2019.
But the facts and feats don’t stop here.
India is also home to more than 30 different types of turmeric varieties all unique to their respective regions. From the rich and aromatic Lakadong turmeric of Meghalaya to the IISR Alleppey Supreme variety found in the city of the same name in Kerela. These turmeric varieties are either grown under rainfed conditions or under controlled irrigation environment depending on the region and weather conditions.
When it comes to differentiating amongst the different types of turmeric, mere aroma, colour and quality is not enough. When it comes to turmeric, the most important chemical compound, Curcumin, is the showstopper.
This magical chemical compound is the reason why turmeric is revered for its excellent medicinal properties. And the yellow colour of the spice of course, curcumin is responsible for that as well.
Why don’t we take a look at some of the turmeric varieties found in India.
Different Types of Turmeric in India:
|Name of Turmeric||Approx. Curcumin Percentage||
Types of Turmeric in India: Haldi Types
Dubbed as the world’s best turmeric, the Lakadong turmeric is a beast of a spice when it comes to superiority, mainly due to its high curcumin levels. This amazing spice is found in the pristine hillocks of Lakadong village.
This turmeric variety is known for its high curcumin percentage which stands at a staggering 7-12%. The average curcumin percentage is usually 2-3% which can go to about 5% in some turmeric varieties. It is grown naturally without the use of any chemical fertilizers and the farmers indulge in sustainable farming practices for the cultivation of this special turmeric variety.
This turmeric is grown in the southernmost part of India, in a town called Alleppey, Kerela. Famous for its backwaters and scenic beauty, Kerela is home to this variety to turmeric which has an average curcumin percentage of 5%, making it fairly beneficial as a colouring agent and as a source of medicine.
The Madras variety of turmeric is another turmeric which is found in South India. This turmeric is the most common variety which is seen in the supermarkets. It has a pale yellow colour and a curcumin percentage of an average 3.5%.
This particular turmeric variety acquired a GI tag in the year 2019, after 8 long years of fighting for it. It boasts of a curcumin percentage averaging 2-4%. It has a bright yellow colour and is derived from the Erode local cultivar.
Another GI Tag contemporary, this turmeric comes from Maharashtra. It is supposedly known to have great medicinal properties and accounts for nearly 70% of the state’s total production of turmeric.
Which is the best turmeric in India?
There is still a lot of debate as to which is the best turmeric variety among the different types of turmeric varieties in India.
When it comes to potency and aroma, the Lakadong turmeric stands high above any other turmeric variety out there, mainly due to its high curcumin content. But if we want to be just and fair, then mere potency and curcumin content shouldn’t be the benchmark for this comparison.
Other aspects also have an equal impact in the adjudication of this claim. Aspects such as natural and traditional growing methods, non-usage of chemical fertilizers also play an important role in making this turmeric the best variety in India, and the world.