For the longest time, I have looked for an explanation of what “palillo” is. It is a spice and coloring agent that is commonly used in Peruvian cooking. I typically replace turmeric and saffron with palillo simply for costs reasons. Palillo has been said to be the Peruvian Saffron and seems to be much more cost effective.
One day, while at the organic market, I saw the palillo root for the first time. It resembled ginger but with an orange color that seemed to brighten the skin. Of course, I had to buy it although I had no idea what I would do with it.
As I continued to look for information on palillo, I wondered just how much similarity there was between palillo and turmeric. As soon as the page loaded about turmeric, I was staring at what everyone told me was palillo. You see, even in the stores in Peru they sell both palillo and curcuma (turmeric) so how was I to know one was imported turmeric and the other domestic turmeric! It was as though a light bulb went on in my mind! they are truly one in the same!
Turmeric is part of the ginger family, which is native to tropical south asia. The root must be boiled for several hours, dried in hot ovens and then ground in order to be used as the ground turmeric so common to recipes. In recent years, many studies have been published regarding the medicinal properties that turmeric contains. It has anti-inflammatory properties and has proven to be a help with other medical ailments. it is a source of iron and manganese as well as vitamin B6, fiber and potassium landing it a position in the World’s Healthiest Foods. Turmeric is often part of curry dishes that are found throughout the world.
- 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 4 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 pounds of stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- Cooking spray
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 red jalapeño peppers, minced
- 1 can of light coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- Cook coriander, cumin, and turmeric in a small saucepan over medium-low heat 7 minutes or until toasted, stirring occasionally.
- Combine toasted spices, black pepper, salt, and beef in a large bowl. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, ginger, garlic, and jalapeños; sauté 3 minutes or until onions are tender. Remove onion mixture from pan. Recoat the pan with cooking spray. Add half of beef; cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining beef. Return onion mixture and beef to pan; stir in milk and vinegar, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours or until beef is very tender. Serve over hot white rice.
Sri Lankan Beef Dinner is being served up for Weekend Herb Blogging. WHB was created by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen and this week hosted by Amy and Jonny from We Are Never Full. Check out the round up soon!!