Hide and sikh I can´t believe its not buddha

What better ingredient for a "cooking with colour" board on Pinterest than my favourite spice with a kick -turmeric.My colour inspiration comes from here in the  Algarve. Amarelo metallico (yellow ochre) is a natural powdered pigment geologically sourced from the Alentejo and used to pigment colour paint  for the exteriors of buildings.You would not be far off if you mistook it for Turmeric.

Two good example of the three natural powdered pigments one sees on the old buildings  all around us in the Algarve

You would be not far off 
if you mistook this for turmeric

Terra cotta, raw /burnt umber and ochre represent the rich soil and clay of the Mediterranean.If I remember correctly on that wonderful Grand Designs programme, Ben Law built a house and painted his walls with turmeric and chilli dyed paint. I can't remember what his paint base was but what I do remember was that the colours were gorgeous.... I quite fancy trying paprika at some point... and maybe heather or lavender...hmmmmm
Turmeric comes by many names here in Portugal- açafrão da India,  açafrão de terra,and curcuma. 

A Goan Risotto 
with turmeric rice

serves 4
250g/8oz basmati rice
625ml/1 pint fish stock
1 heaped teaspoon each cumin seed and turmeric powder
3 cloves garlic chopped
handful of coriander leaves 
1 tablespoon each chopped ginger,green chilli and chopped coriander stalks
1 red onion,peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons plain yoghurt,whisked with a fork
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste
40ml / 11/2 fl oz cooking oil

12 medium prawns

Heat the oil with a little butter on amedium heat,add the cumin until it splutters.Add the garlic,sauté for a minute.Add the ginger,chilli, coriander stalks and onion,sauté for two minutes.add the turmeric and rice and stir well to combine for a couple of minutes.Add the warmed stock,bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and cook until the rice is three quarters  cooked and the stock absorbed.Add the yoghurt and continue cooking until the rice is cooked.Finally stir in the butter and coriander leaves into the rice.
While the rice is cooking stir fry the prawns in some butter garlic and chilli.
Serve the risotto topped with 3 prawns per serving.



  1. You wouldn't happen to know where to source this pigment from, would you? Around here (central POrtugal) I can only seem to find artificial pigments for limewashing (we're hoping to do this interior and exterior).

    1. I buy all my pigments from the local Drogueria here in Castro Marim and assumed it was available all across Portugal.Good luck.


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