Ayurveda, Spiritual Nourishment, Third Culture Mothering

Turmeric Paste

My most interesting discovery recently has been Turmeric Paste. It is incredible how we think we know something, and then we talk to someone else, read more… and arrive at that “Aha!” moment when we realize we knew a fourth of what is really out there. Through my studies of Ayurveda, and nourishing holistic-cooking I found the power of Turmeric in its amazing component Curcumin. I’ve used it as much as I could, even in ice cream for my kids and in a million anti-inflammatory smoothies. The flavor mixes better with creamy-tasting like fruits such as papaya, mango and banana.

Then one day talking to a mother at my daughter’s preschool I learned that turmeric actually needs black pepper to fully be activated in the body and work at a 2000%!! So she sent me this link and I did my research from this source and many others. Yes!, Indeed we need to add the components of black pepper to fully extract all the million benefits of curcumin. 

In a nutshell, what I learned is that curcumin is absorbed fastly into our bloodstream through the liver and intestine wall. Thus, during this process is when we start losing the full benefits of it. The perfect mix comes from black pepper. It happens that this spice has piperine, an inhibitor which slows the absorption process. So in essence, black pepper enhances turmeric’s bioavailability making it extremely potent and fully absorbed by the body. Just 20 mg of piperine added to curcumin increased its bioavailability by 2000% as this study suggested. For more facts and benefits on curcumin here is a good article.

As for the breakdown of the ingredients of this paste, here are some facts:

Turmeric: Its active ingredient, curcumin is a compound that has a potent anti-inflammatory agent which inhibits the activity of nuclear factor kappa-B, a protein that regulates the inflammatory process. 

Black Pepper: Its content of piperine slows the liver from removing curcumin from the blood, thus it allows more curcumin to stay in the body. 

Cinnamon: I saw a recipe that had cinnamon in it, and now I add it to my paste as it also has been ranked the top 1 herb for its protective antioxidant level, generating as well positive effects on sugar levels and digestion. Here are more details on cinnamon. 

Coconut Oil: 62% of this superfood has healthy fats called medium-chain fatty acids, and 91% is healthy saturated fat.  The healthy fats in coconut oil are the perfect source of energy for it takes only a 3-step process to be converted into fuel, while other fats need a 26-step process!

  • 1/4 cup of organic turmeric powder (aprox. 63 mls)
  • 1/2 cup of filtered water
  • 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon (*optional)
  • 1/8 cup of coconut oil (organic/unrefined)

Bring to low-medium heat the water and the turmeric mixing gently. Bring to simmer, then, add the black pepper and cinnamon and continue to stir until the mix  becomes a smooth paste. Finally add the coconut oil. Mix for a couple of minutes and then pour in a sealed glass container. Let cool before placing in the refrigerator. As for the time it will stay good, some people say 4-5 weeks, others say no more than 2 weeks. I found myself that mine has lasted about 3 weeks, for this reason I have designed a recipe that is half of what most suggest in what you make. I think it is too much quantity so, half of the paste spoils before use. 


I like to use this paste in as many edibles as possibles. Add one teaspoon to any of the following:

And this is how I learned about Turmeric Paste, something that is always present in our kitchen. A simple process [more than a recipe] that will take your healing cooking to a whole nother level.

And now we can say, “you are the black pepper to my turmeric”.  Stay healthy! Namaste.


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