We connect and reconnect Mahabaleshwar with the sweet blush strawberries; however, it’s also a land of unadulterated turmeric. With the Krishna river flowing nearby, about 2,500 hectares of farmland grow this high maintenance antiseptic root. It is harvested in December, laid out to dry, then polished and ground. Two to four kilos of wet root yield a kilo of turmeric powder. Most of the crop would be sold to merchants, who would then supply it to the market places of Satara


Picking fresh turmeric for pickles and ground turmeric for chocolates would raise many eye brows. Try the recipe for hot chocolate laced with turmeric while I experiment with a few chocolate ganaches with turmeric, in my kitchen. A spicy way to offset the sweetness of the strawberries you’ve eaten, perhaps?


We all get sick. No matter how well we eat, how little we drink how often we exercise. But, there are many ways to fight the battle and shorten the effects. One of the many immune boosting herbs available is Turmeric, prevalent in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It has been proven to fight, even stop the growth of breast cancer, prostate, skin, lung and colon cancer. It can reduce the risk and effects of Type 2 Diabetes, prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and kill bacterial and viral infections. It is also a natural blood and liver detoxifier and pain-killer. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, aids in fat metabolism, is used to treat depression and aids in skin health and healing.


Have I convinced you to incorporate Turmeric in your regular diet? How about the anti-aging effects of Turmeric? Will that convince you? Turmeric has been shown to alter pigmentation, reducing age spots, and reduce wrinkles.


So, how do you incorporate turmeric into your diet as a chocolatier?

Turmeric milk has been a long standing recipe for incorporating Turmeric into one’s diet. Try this difference and feel the magic.

Turmeric Hot Cocoa!

Spice mix

1/8 cup fresh turmeric paste \ 1/2 tsp ground ginger \ 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon \  1/4 cup water

Place everything in a small pot and heat on medium heat. Stir continuously to keep from burning, until a paste is formed. This paste can be added to warm or cold almond or coconut milk, cow’s milk, warm or cold coffee or into smoothies.


Now for the cocoa…

1 cup milk \ 1 tsp spice mix \ 2 tbsp grated dark chocolate or cocoa powder \  1 tbsp honey

Place milk and turmeric paste into a small pan and heat over medium heat. Whisk continuously until warm and smooth. Add cocoa and continue to whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in honey. The healing properties of honey can be destroyed under high heat so be sure to remove the pot from the heat before adding.


While I am shamelessly obsessed with dark chocolate, I can be a fair health advocate too.Alternatively, you can also choose to replace dark chocolate with white chocolate and avoid the cocoa powder completely. It will taste like a creamy turmeric milk, reminding you of your childhood, jumping around your grandmother.


Especially with all this “flu epidemic” going on I up the ante on my regular routine because personally I’m not a flu shot fan. So for a little extra nourishment, try this hot chocolate, it’s really comforting and delicious.

Some chocolate also  helps the medicine go down with ease !


This article originally appeared on The chocolate factory