Curcuma langa L.
Bengal Turmeric, Indian saffron
GINGER Family (ZINGIBERACEAE)
The saffron robes of Buddhist monks and most of the saffron rice of Indian cusine owe their colour to turmeric rather than to true saffron (Crocus sativus). Turmeric, used as both dye and spice, is a far more abundant and cheaper product than true saffron, the most expensive of all food dyes. As a spice, turmeric has a flovour that is mild and subtle, but its major culinary value lies in teh yellow colour it imparts to carries adn other dishes. It is one of the traditional ingredients of many Indian and Southeastern Asian curries.