Are you a fellow turmeric fan? Don’t let Jamu Kitchen slip under your radar (don’t worry though – we’ll make sure it doesn’t happen)! This brand has just launched our turmeric tonic du jour – the Turmeric Tamarind Tonic – a strong herbal healing drink with an all-natural kick, which we like to consumer neat first thing in the morning as an immunity and anti-inflammatory shot. Although it’s just landed on our shores, Jamu is big news in Indonesia, where it is drunk daily and enjoyed for its healing, purifying and beautifying properties.
The brains behind the brand Tanita de Ruijt uses freshly ground herbs and hand-makes the Jamu in small batches herself to preserve maximum freshness. We’ve picked her brains about this beautiful vibrant gold liquid and how it came to be, as well as tips on how to drink it.
Try it instore yourself on Saturday the 31st of October between 12pm and 2pm at our wellbeing pop-up tasting! You can meet the maker, sample the product and if you’re one of the first three people to arrive, you’ll receive a free full sized bottle of Jamu Kitchen’s Turmeric Tamarind Tonic all for yourself! Get the details.
- What inspired you to create Jamu Kitchen?
I guess you could say it was a natural reaction to the constant flood of mixed messages and opinions about health – they’ve caused for a lot of confusion. We’ve become so concerned with what we can and can’t eat, that we’ve overcomplicated things. As a result for many, just the thought of eating healthy has become intimidating, complicated or expensive. We’ve lost track of the joy of food and the simplicity of eating well: it’s in simplifying what we have that we will come to eat better. It’s not about having all the latest healthy ‘superfoods’ in the world on hand, but about making the most of the good ingredients and produce that we have available all around us. I’m highly passionate about the traditional foods movement, and I’m constantly influenced by traditions from around the world – the ethos of Asian food cultures in particular. Asian culture and food is all about balance – a concept that we, as increasingly health-conscious westerners, can all benefit from.
The journey began in Indonesia, where I discovered Jamu: an integrated system of inner and outer health and beauty. Just as India has Ayurveda and china has its traditional medicinal system, Indonesia has Jamu. Each system relies solely on the power of natural ingredients that they use everyday in their kitchens, such as herbs and spices, to maintain the whole body health. Jamu Kitchen aims to bring you what our ancestors have known for generations: foods for pleasure as well as healing, using influences from traditional Asian food cultures. Ultimately, our mission is to share the importance of wholesome, nourishing foods and traditions with others, but also to encourage a more mindful approach to food, and to celebrate old-world culinary traditions that have sustained healthy people for centuries. Our first step towards this goal was sharing our tonic. We hope you like it!
The key ingredient is turmeric – what is it about this ingredient that you love most?
Probably the smell. Fresh whole root turmeric has a peppery, warm and bitter flavour and a mild fragrance of orange and ginger – there’s a lot going on all at once. Every time we brew our tonic, the whole room fills with warm, uplifting notes of spice. It’s wonderful. But above all, I’d say I love its versatility the most. Turmeric is known as “the granddaddy of all spices”: not only does it add incredible colour and depth of flavour to our food, it’s also been used as a spice and medicinal herb for thousands of years. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is very high in antioxidants. It also promotes blood and liver purification, supports the immune system; fights cold and flu, and maintains a good digestive system.
What are your favourite ways to enjoy the drink ie – hot, cold? Any tips?
Spices need to be warmed gently in order to fully activate their vital nutrients. Adding a fat such as coconut oil and/or black pepper also increases the bioavailabilty of the curcumin found in turmeric. I love making fresh curry from scratch using turmeric, as well as other spices and coconut milk for example. Or try slicing up some fresh turmeric, ginger and lemongrass for an invigorating cup of tea. Also – adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to your tea makes it fantastically creamy and warming.
Where/how do you source your ingredients and how important is quality to you?
We only use fresh whole roots in order to ensure our ingredients are packed full of nourishment. We never use dried turmeric or gingers as these tend to be blanched before they are ground and lose their freshness over time. Our turmeric tamarind tonic is made in small batches for maximum freshness and taste, using fresh herbs and spices such as turmeric, ginger and galangal, that are hand-ground and brewed to fully activate their nourishing properties.
RECIPE: Can you share a favourite recipe with us using turmeric?
Yes! Try our chai spiced turmeric tamarind milk.
- 1 bottle of Turmeric Tamarind Tonic
- ½ Cinnamon Pod
- 1 Green Cardamom
- 2 Cloves
- 1 Star Anise
- 100ml Coconut Milk (or other milk of choice)
- Empty our tonic into a saucepan, add the cinnamon pod, cardamom, star anise and cloves and warm gently.
- Once warm, add the milk, and pour into a large mug.
- Enjoy it warm!
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