Pollination system and hybridisation of Tabernanthe iboga: successful crossing of two forms with different fruit morphology.
Tabernanthe iboga (family Apocynaceae) is native to Western Africa; Angola, Cabinda, Cameroon, Central African Republic,…
I wanted to share a recipe for Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and Ashwaghanda (Withania somnifera) ghee I have been making recently. When I posted pictures on Instagram I had quite a few people asking me for a recipe. I feel the herbs combine really well together, and I just eat a teaspoon of it daily. Ghee is renowned in Ayurveda, where it is used instead of oil everyday and to carry the essence of many herbs into the body’s tissues, for better absorption of medicinal compounds.
I make my own ghee, it’s really easy, you just need a couple of sticks of unsalted butter in a saucepan, you melt it and let it simmer slightly until it clarifies and the milk solids are left at the bottom of the saucepan. After about 15min you can remove it from heat, let it cool slightly and then strain into a jar, which will keep for a month or more at room temperature.
I use fresh grated turmeric for this but you could substitute dry powder, you obviously wouldn’t need to simmer it for anywhere near as long, as this boils off the moisture present in the fresh turmeric. So just use fresh if you can. Turmeric is so prolific, once you have grown it once you normally have more than you know what to do with.
Add your freshly grated turmeric and ginger to a saucepan (make sure the saucepan is tall enough as later on when the ghee is simmering, bubbles can get quite high. I’m not going to give quantities as I do it all by feel, you obviously want enough ghee to cover the turmeric and ginger but you also want to pack as much in as you can to increase levels of curcumin.
You only want to keep the heat setting on the lowest, as ghee has a low boiling point and I feel it will do the least harm to the active ingredients. Simmer for approximately 10min, just keeping an eye on that you don’t burn the turmeric (I never have). You want to drive off the moisture in the fresh turmeric and ginger, you will notice the bubbles get smaller after 10-15min.
At 10-15min add the crushed black pepper and cinnamon bark. Black pepper combines well with turmeric, increasing the bioavailability of curcumin (reported up to 2000%). Once again, just use your own judgement, I use about 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns and crush in a mortar.
Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes before turning the heat off and adding Ashwaghanda powder; if you want to, you can also just make a turmeric infused ghee for cooking. Normally the Ashwaghanda sinks to the bottom anyway as you can’t filter it out, and there is a rich layer or yellow ghee sitting on top. Stir in as much as you can, but without it becoming a thick paste.
Let mixture sit and infuse for 10-30min, before reheating slightly so it is easier to filter. I use a fine metal sieve and press down on the solids with a silicone utensil (it won’t stick to the silicone so you don’t end up with yellow oil on everything.
That’s it! It will thicken as it cools and will be a oily paste like consistency. An interesting experiment you can try is to use a black light (UV torch) to check out how the curcumin fluoresces, its quite incredible and a good way to see how much is in your ghee. Check out your mouth too after you’ve eaten some 🙂