The food of the people consists as a rule of boiled rice with salted fresh or dried fish, salt, sessamum-oil, chillies, onions, turmeric, boiled vegetables, and occasionally meat of some sort from elephant flesh down to smaller animals, fowls and almost everything except snakes, by way of condiment.
When chewed a small piece is wrapped up in a leaf of the betel vine or pan, with a pellet of shell lime or chunam; and in some cases a little cardamom, turmeric or other aromatic is added.
- Among spices, for the preparation of curry and other hot dishes, turmeric and chillies hold the first place, being very generally cultivated.
Many of the roots and vegetables of Europe have been introduced, as well as some of those peculiar to the tropics, including maize, millet, yams, manioc, dhol, gram, &c. Small quantities of tea, rice and sago, have been grown, as well as many of the spices (cloves, nutmeg, ginger, pepper and allspice),' and also cotton, indigo, betel, camphor, turmeric and vanilla.
Tea, indigo, turmeric, lac, waving white fields of the opium-poppy, wheat and innumerable grains and pulses, pepper, ginger, betelnut, quinine and many costly spices and drugs, oil-seeds of sorts, cotton, the silk mulberry, inexhaustible crops of jute and other fibres; timber, from the feathery bamboo and coroneted palm to the iron-hearted sal tree - in short, every vegetable product which feeds and clothes a people, and enables it to trade with foreign nations, abounds.
Miscellaneous crops: sugar-cane, requiring a rich soil and a perennial water-supply, and only grown in favoured localities, red pepper, potatoes, turmeric and tobacco.
An alkali is distinguished from an acid or neutral substance by its action on litmus, turmeric and other indicators.
Its action upon turmeric is characteristic; a turmeric paper moistened with a solution of boric acid turns brown, the colour becoming much darker as the paper dries; while the addition of sodium or potassium hydroxide turns it almost black.