Lakadong, a small village located in the Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya, India, is renowned for its high-quality turmeric. This particular variety of turmeric, known as Lakadong turmeric, has gained popularity for its distinct flavor, vibrant color, and exceptional medicinal properties.
The unique characteristics of Lakadong turmeric can be attributed to the geographical and climatic conditions of the region. The village is situated at an altitude of approximately 1,500 meters above sea level, providing it with a favorable microclimate for turmeric cultivation. The fertile soil, abundant rainfall, and cool temperatures create an ideal environment for the growth of this spice.
Lakadong turmeric is known for its high curcumin content, which is the active compound responsible for its bright yellow color and numerous health benefits. Curcumin has been widely studied for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties. It is believed to have a positive impact on various health conditions, including arthritis, digestive disorders, and cardiovascular diseases.
The cultivation of Lakadong turmeric follows traditional farming practices, with most farmers relying on organic methods. The turmeric plants are grown using natural fertilizers and pesticides, avoiding the use of synthetic chemicals. This emphasis on organic farming not only ensures the purity and quality of the turmeric but also promotes sustainable agriculture practices.
The harvesting process of Lakadong turmeric is meticulous and labor-intensive. The mature turmeric rhizomes are carefully dug out from the ground, washed, and boiled to remove any impurities. After boiling, the rhizomes are dried under the sun, preserving their natural goodness. The dried turmeric is then ground into a fine powder, ready to be used in culinary preparations and for various medicinal purposes.
The distinct flavor profile of Lakadong turmeric sets it apart from other varieties. It has a robust, earthy aroma with a slightly citrusy and peppery taste. This unique flavor makes it a sought-after ingredient in both traditional and contemporary cuisine. Lakadong turmeric is often used in curries, stews, soups, and beverages, adding depth of flavor and a vibrant golden hue to dishes.
The popularity of Lakadong turmeric extends beyond the local region, with increasing demand from national and international markets. The government of Meghalaya has recognized the significance of this spice and has taken initiatives to promote its cultivation and support the local farmers. Efforts are being made to establish Lakadong turmeric as a Geographical Indication (GI), highlighting its distinct identity and protecting its authenticity.
Lakadong turmeric has gained a well-deserved reputation for its exceptional quality, unique flavor, and potent medicinal properties. The pristine natural environment, organic farming practices, and traditional cultivation methods contribute to the superiority of this variety. Whether used in cooking or for its health benefits, Lakadong turmeric stands as a testament to the rich agricultural heritage of the region and continues to captivate the taste buds and minds of people worldwide.