Long Live King Turmeric
by Akta Adani
Just sipping my coffee feels like a porcupine and my tonsil are having a catfight in my throat. My head throbs and my sinus feels like its spreading just like how the ‘evil wind’ spreads in the Netflix movie - Bird Box. My temples feel like dumbbells carrying the mucus weight on both sides. Somehow, impossibly wearing my scrunchie makes me feel better. I haven’t been this ill by a cold in years. I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself, so I call my mom.
“Everything hurts,” I wail. “What’s that thing you used to make us when we were sick?”
My mom on the other line “Haldi doodh beta i.e. Turmeric milk, honey. Take some warm milk, add a tablespoon of fresh turmeric root. No sugar. Mix it and sip it while it’s hot, and stop wallowing.”
My mom is a genius. The drink - and many hours of sleep - did the trick. Turmeric, in fact, has been used in India for more than 4000 years as Ayurvedic medicine. It is used everyday in South Asian households in recipes including the chicken tikka masala and also by to-be brides and grooms to get that ‘perfect wedding glow”.
Being Indian, like many things I’ve taken turmeric for granted. That means we’ve always had it at home and never paid a rupee leave alone a dollar to buy it. So of course, when I read that Starbucks is offering a new drink called “Golden Latte” I was piqued. And turns out it IS my mom’s recipe to cure my sickness. Now anyone who is Brown or South Asian - felt like:
Of course, then the “Googler” in me, kept researching all the different tweets that I’ve been seeing how turmeric latte today is part of the “Stay Woke” culture. Now suddenly every magazine I read or coffee shop I go to has their version of turmeric tea - the same one my mom has! Suddenly, turmeric is all I see everywhere.
If I go to Amazon, their recommendation engines start showing me all sorts of turmeric products. And here I learned, that it is now a superfood. Wowzaa!
On searching for events, I now find Eventbrite showing me meetups I should go for over turmeric lattes to nurture friendships.
If I decide to buy makeup, Sephora recommends me exfoliating masks and of course, they are turmeric based.
And for a coffee addict like me, seeing my local coffee shops serve the Golden Milk for $4.50 versus a drip coffee with Colombian beans being sold for $2.00! I feel the spice (in my pocket)!
While America is trying to be great again, and India is trying to get all things “Make in India”, I just can’t help but wish that my mom, or one of our great great great grandmothers would have patented that recipe so that they could collect royalty from the world, in turn making my world great again!
Now sitting my my home office, read more like a second hand Ikea desk, I feel like my world is in turmoil, I mean in turmeric.