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Fresh Turmeric Stains, and Choosing Fresh vs. Dry


The Camille
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Is there a way to remove the stain from one's teeth, if one has been foolish enough to have bitten into it? :unsure:

Edited to say: Never mind, it gets better. :biggrin:

But if any Indian cooks look in here - why isn't the fresh stuff used/called for in most recipes? Isn't it the same comparison as fresh v. powdered ginger? Haven't cooked with it yet, so would appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

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Wow, fresh turmeric. I am SO jealous. I wish I could find some. You can make quick indian pickles with turmeric root - don't have a recipe on hand but it's for exact proportion but it's real easy - lemon juice, fenugreek, salt, a touch of sugar.

About your other question - You're right - it is used as a dried spice most commonly in India -I think the flavors of the two forms are quite different. Also, I suspect, since it is most commonly used to season oil in tarkas, the powdered form is better. Believe it or not, most Indians are not fond of the flavor of "raw" turmeric. It has to be fully "cooked" by the oil. It is almost never added after the vegetables, etc. Am I being clear at all?

:hmmm:

This is what it looks like, right?

http://www.foodsubs.com/Ginger.html#turmeric

Now, about the stains. You know this is the first I've ever heard of fresh turmeric staining teeth. I'll ask my Mom about it but the best I can think of now is baking soda or something like that.

And now, The Camille, the better part of the story, please?

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Miss J, is it easy to find where you are? What are you planning to use it for?

indiagirl, it's available frozen as well in some "ethnic" food shops - did you ever check that out? That was how I stumbled on the fresh, in a Chinese market. The irony is, they even had a turmeric toothpaste. :shock:

Anyway, I used baking soda and peroxide and it fades out about as quick as food coloring. The color is gorgeous (except on teeth).

I've got an Indonesian cauliflower pickle recipe that calls for it, but I was curious about whether or not it would make a difference if I used it in place of the powder in some dishes.

About your other question - You're right - it is used as a dried spice most commonly in India -I think the flavors of the two forms are quite different. Also, I suspect, since it is most commonly used to season oil in tarkas, the powdered form is better. Believe it or not, most Indians are not fond of the flavor of "raw" turmeric. It has to be fully "cooked" by the oil. It is almost never added after the vegetables, etc. Am I being clear at all?

Yes, I know what you're saying. I'm certainly no expert, but I lived in Pakistan for three months, and was lucky enough to stay with a friend and her family. Her Mah is from Mumbai, and before that Gujarat (sp?), sister-in-law from Lahore, now they're all in Karachi... so I had a crash course in a few regional types of cooking. They didn't use the fresh turmeric when I was there, and I didn't think to ask about it at the time.

I really like the flavor, myself (even in the raw), but I can understand that some palates could perceive it as musty or medicinal. Then again, I like hing too, so maybe I've got unusual taste.

Sandra, if they call turmeric saffron, then what do they call saffron???

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When I was living in Malaysia, it was routine for housewives to pound fresh turmeric with mortar and pestle every day. Fresh turmeric has a considerably different taste from dried turmeric. Fresh turmeric is orange, wet, earthy, and tasty. Dried turmeric is yellow and a bit musty, though I still like it. I can get fresh turmeric in Manhattan's Chinatown and have offered to bring it up to my parents (who cook; I seldom do nowadays), but they have declined the offer because they don't know how to adjust the amounts in the recipes they've been cooking and don't want to bother with cleaning, peeling, etc.

It surprises me if Indians prefer powdered turmeric because it ostensibly works better in tarkas. Malay housewives make a paste out of the turmeric, along with shallots, garlic, and fresh ginger (all also pounded), and use that paste as part of the base for their curries. It works quite well that way, fried in oil.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Here'a a link to an excellent article on turmeric and some helpful hints on how to get rid of turmeric stains. Not sure whether you would want to try it on your teeth. Perhaps the hint on removing turmeric stains on clothes can be adapted by having some lemonade and milk.

Fresh turmeric ("kunyit") is commonly used in Malaysia and Singapore.

Besides being used in curries as mentioned by Pan, it's also used in a traditional turmeric rice dish (known as "Nasi Kunyit" in Malay or "Wong Geung Faan" in Cantonese) that's eaten for a baby's "full-moon celebration" (i.e. when a baby turns a month old) by Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese and Baba/Nyonya families. Nasi Kunyit is generally served with a chicken curry. Little glutinous rice cakes with green bean filling in the shape of turtles ("Ang Koo Kuih"), hardboiled eggs dyed red and pickled young ginger are also served as part of "full-moon" celebrations.

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Fresh turmeric ("kunyit") is commonly used  in Malaysia and Singapore.

Besides being used in curries as mentioned by Pan, it's also used in a traditional turmeric rice dish (known as "Nasi Kunyit" in Malay or "Wong Geung Faan" in Cantonese) that's eaten for a baby's "full-moon celebration" (i.e. when a baby turns a month old) by Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese and Baba/Nyonya families. Nasi Kunyit is generally served with a chicken curry. Little glutinous rice cakes with green bean filling in the shape of turtles ("Ang Koo Kuih"), hardboiled eggs dyed red and pickled young ginger are also served as part of "full-moon" celebrations.

i love nasi kunyit. it is so fragrant and the glutinous rice with curry is a most perfect combination.

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Selamat datang ke eGullet, Shiewie!

Yes, Nasi Kunyit - glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk with turmeric - is a staple of Malay kenduris (feasts) for weddings, circumcisions, Hari Raya (the two most important holidays in the Muslim calendar), and so forth. For Malays, the yellow color that comes from the kunyit (turmeric) is essential for symbolic reasons: Yellow is the royal color for the Malay sultans. It's interesting but not surprising to me that Chinese Singaporeans also cook and serve Nasi Kunyit, by whatever name. There's been a lot of cultural interchange, and Chinese food in Malaysia and Singapore is a (several?) regional cuisine(s) all its (their) own, different in various ways from food served in China.

I take it you're from Singapore, Shiewie? Are you there now? I'm a New Yorker (yes, by birth :biggrin: ) but spend Standards 5 and 6 (that's 5th and 6th grades for all my fellow Americans :laugh: ) in a Sekolah Kebangsaan (Malay public school) in a village in Terengganu.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Thank you Shiewie - that site was very informative. You should put it in the pinned thread as a reference for turmeric. Has anyone here ever had the "white" turmeric? The article says it's eaten as a vegetable....

Besides being used in curries as mentioned by Pan, it's also

used in a traditional turmeric rice dish (known as "Nasi Kunyit" in

Malay or "Wong Geung Faan" in Cantonese) that's eaten for a

baby's "full-moon celebration" (i.e. when a baby turns a month old)

by Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese and Baba/Nyonya families.

I wonder if Nasi Kunyit is similar to Zarda? I think I've got some of Madhur Jaffrey's Nyonya recipes somewhere, but of course it would be great if anyone on here has a personal recipe :smile:

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Hi Pan and terima kasih banyak for your greetings!

:shock::shock::shock: I'm Malaysian not Singaporean!!!

Where did you go to school in Terengganu? I used to spend Chinese New Year in Kuala Terengganu as my grandfather lived there.

Hi The Camille - :blush: I don't know where the pinned threads are :blush:. Will add it to the pinned thread if someone could point them out to me. See these for more on white turmeric

- http://www.asiafood.org/glossary_1.cfm?alpha=Z

- http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/ingredien...s/turmeric.html

Here's a link to a Nasi Kunyit recipe - the site is trove of Malaysian recipes. The nasi kunyit recipe I use is similar to the one in the link - the difference is that I use fresh pounded turmeric (about 1 to 1 1/2 inches - use a fork to hold the turmeric on a chopping board so that yours fingers won't be stained and scrape off the skin with a knife. Cut the turmeric into pieces then pound it in a mortar and pestle.) in place of the turmeric powder. I also add the coconut milk, salt and peppercorns after the first 20 minutes of steaming.

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Hi Pan and terima kasih banyak for your greetings!

:shock::shock::shock: I'm Malaysian not Singaporean!!!

Where did you go to school in Terengganu? I used to spend Chinese New Year in Kuala Terengganu as my grandfather lived there.

Wow! I used to eat often in a home-style Hakka restaurant in KT Chinatown owned by a woman whose husband was the chef, which made fabulous chili udang galah (huge jumbo prawns the size of a big langoustine)!

I went to Sekolah Kebangsaan Merchang. My mother did research for her Ph.D. in anthropology at the time and plans on returning in July for a few months for the first time since 1982 to find out how village medicine has changed with economic development and greater Islamic orthodoxy. I'll probably spend part of August in Malaysia for the first time since 1977, and I'm very excited, though a little apprehensive for off-topic reasons I won't discuss here.

But getting back to food, perhaps you'd like to post in a thread on the the "Elsewhere in Asia/Pacific" board about your favorite eateries in KT? And which part of Malaysia are you from?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Camille - I bought my fresh tumeric in London's Chinatown (I can't remember which shop specifically). I didn't have a particular recipe in mind, but I've a copy of David Thompson's Thai Food and have seen recipes calling for fresh tumeric in it. I knew if I bought some, I'd find a use for it fairly quickly. :wink:

I'm getting very inspired by the suggestions on this thread, I have to say. Indiagirl's ideas for pickle are particularly intriguing. :smile:

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Wow, this has just grown into a fascinating thread - I never thought of trying to buy fresh turmeric in an Asian grocery store - but I will seek it out the next time. Indian ones almost never have it.

Pan, making a paste and sauteeing it sounds lovely. I've never seen anyone use it that way as a substitute for powdered turmeric. I must try that some day. That and Malaysian food, which sounds excellent ....

The use of a little bit of turmeric as a base ingredient (as opposed to because of it's specific flavor) in a lot of Indian food, I think, was based on it's medicinal/antiseptic properties. I remember having had wounds filled with turmeric when I was a kid - and being really ticked off because I did not want a boring old yellow stain but a neon orange mercurochrome one!

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indiagirl  Posted on Apr 8 2003, 04:17 AM Wow, this has just grown into a fascinating thread - I never thought of trying to buy fresh turmeric in an Asian grocery store - but I will seek it out the next time. Indian ones almost never have it.

Fresh turmeric is readily available at Whole Foods, as well as Asian markets in my neck of the woods (Colorado), so I'm guessing it's available in more places than you might imagine. :smile:

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Here's a link to a Nasi Kunyit recipe - the site is trove of Malaysian recipes. The nasi kunyit recipe I use is similar to the one in the link - the difference is that I use fresh pounded turmeric (about 1 to 1 1/2 inches - use a fork to hold the turmeric on a chopping board so that yours fingers won't be stained and scrape off the skin with a knife. Cut the turmeric into pieces then pound it in a mortar and pestle.) in place of the turmeric powder. I also add the coconut milk, salt and peppercorns after the first 20 minutes of steaming.

Shiewie, thank you again, I've got the rice soaking right now for tomorrow. Only worried about the stain factor (my mortar, and my teeth) :smile:

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  • 9 months later...

Fresh Turmuric pickle

This is the season for it, the days are cooler and mornings have a decided nip in them. I think it has warming properties, and i would guess it is also beneficial for bad throats.

Recipe

Equal parts Amb Halad (bombay name for it) and Turmuric, salt, lemon juice and optionally chillies.

Okie wash and peel the Amb Halad and the Fresh Turmeric. I have always seen this pickle cut into julliennes but I prefer to cut it accross in slices because I feel that that would give everyone an equal shot at the tender inner portion of the root as well.

( I find slicing this stuff therapeutic, but then I like peeling oodles of garlic too)

Once you have everything sliced, put it into a glass bottle, add the salt and Lemon juice. Chillies if you want to spike it. Close the bottle, let it stand at room temp for a while. Once the juices have been released its ready.

Its great to munch on as is, also marries well with Thai curries.

I also add fresh turmuric to my daals if the mood strikes, with fresh corriander, it gives the daal a very nice aroma as well as zing.

Rushina

*** Be warned use gloves as the turmuric stains.

I think Amb Halad is the lesser ginger, it has a tangy fragrance akin to green mangoes. Can Anyone confirm?

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I used to buy fresh turmeric in New Zealand from shops for Fijian Indian immigrants. I don't know what they used it for, but I had a recipe for fish grilled or simmered (can't remember where from or the details now, because it is so long since I've been able to buy the turmeric) in a paste which was mostly grated fresh turmeric. It had an aroma that I was addicted to, and I would eat hapuku or kingfish steak with fresh turmeric, and a nice side of snake beans, every day of the week if I could get my hands on it!

Trying to remember more, because the local vege grower has started selling fresh turmeric as a herb, along with his lavender. Japanese people slice fresh turmeric, dry it, and make it into tea for an "as seen on TV" cure-all which has been popular here for a few years.

It's also popular for dyeing here. For some reason using medicinal herbs to dye things gives an added panache...

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Wow, this has just grown into a fascinating thread - I never thought of trying to buy fresh turmeric in an Asian grocery store - but I will seek it out the next time. Indian ones almost never have it.

I have seen it in all the Indian grocery store in New Jersey. Both the forms amba haldi( orange in color) which is used in pickles in Maharashtra, Gujarat and South India and the traditional raw turmeric is availalble in many Indian shops.

Now the difference between raw and the powder. The raw turmeric is processed to get the powder. The process removes unwanted flavors from the turmeric and gelatinizes the starch in it. The raw turmeric is boiled in vats in alkaline media like soda bicarbonate , then dried, and then converted to powder. There is a distinct flavor difference after this process. Most of this happens in South India.

The amba haldi is primarily used in pickles and has a sour taste. It is also widely used in ayurvedic medicines. It is also known as mango ginger.

Mango Ginger pickle recipe

http://www.bawarchi.com/contribution/contrib3666.html

Edited by easyguru (log)
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