Part of the Ginger family, Turmeric is a root with a light to medium colored brown skin and a rich yellow-orange inside. This is one of the most widely used ingredients in Southeast Asian cooking as part of curries, soups and rice dishes. Used both in its fresh root form and as a powder, turmeric is revered in Southeast Asia as a multi-functional healer. Beyond its many uses in the kitchen, turmeric is often used in herbal tonic drinks, known to cure different ailments ranging from cancer to indigestion.
Turmeric is extremely difficult to remove if spilled on clothing so take great care when cooking with it. Take all precautions to keep turmeric away from white materials. If you have an accident with it, wash the material immediately by itself in warm water with detergent. Depending on how bad the stain was (i.e. staining with turmeric powder versus spilling yellow curry), you may have to use bleach if the material allows.