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Turmeric


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I'm pretty sure that the woman from whom we bought the fresh turmeric -- which looks like small ginger rhizomes...

Hmm. I'm pretty sure I remember one of my Indian cookbooks saying "turmeric's too hard to grind at home, only buy powdered".

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Blether, I imagine that refers to the whole dried root. The fresh root is much the same as ginger, only smaller. It has the most wonderful floral scent which is not so discernable in dried turmeric.

I love it grated and used when panfrying fish.

In Japan it's also quite popular as a tea, and I had some recently combined with jasmine tea. I surprised myself by liking it! The clean taste of the turmeric went very well with the slight astringency of the jasmine tea.

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Fresh turmeric is easy to chop or grate, although it stains like the dickens – our food processor and cutting board have a permanent orange tinge. In Cradle of Flavor, James Oseland calls for fresh or ground turmermeric in several recipes. One would be hard-pressed to taste the difference between fresh or ground in a highly seasoned curry, but perhaps one could distinguish the difference in a more delicately seasoned dish.

Have fun with your turmeric, and please do report back.

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I like to add extra tumeric either fresh or powdered to curries because it pulls it together ..softens the flavors and just makes it what I like in a final product ..you will not distinguish it but you will know it is there ...

oh yeah it does stain I agree ..that is why my girlfriend from Fiji has all black appliances!!!

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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And just to be different, here is a non culinary use! If you are bitten by any flying insect, mosquito etc or suffer a rash from hairy caterpillars or even from nettles etc in the garden, just cut one end of the rhizome flat across, then using a paring knife, cut shallow cross cuts in the open face about 2mm or 1/16" deep, as many as you can without the end falling apart, use this to stipple the itchy area on your skin and within less than one minute all the itching will disappear!

"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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Now. Hmm. What would be a good recipe...

Here is a page I just found. It has a bunch of recipes, many Indian, some African tagine, Thai.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Herbs-and-Sp...rmeric/Top.aspx

The "easy chicken korma" would allow you to use a whole tablespoon of your termeric! Any dish that has a yellow color to it, whether you're using sweet potatoes, yams, golden raisins, red lentils, saffron, would have an intensified color with turmeric's addition. It is also called Curcuma, haldi, haridra, gauri - I see haldi a lot in Indian recipes. Here's one that's very good (just made some) but only uses about 2 teaspoons turmeric. It's a yellow dal and it comes out looking sophisticated with the unpopped black mustard seeds distributed evenly in the final product: http://bawarchi.com/contribution/contrib5380.html

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Here's a bit from 2005 when I did a class with Cyrus Todiwalla from London's Cafe Spice Namaste when he came through Bangkok:

"Our other spice topic was turmeric. My main reaction to turmeric in the past has been an interest in the alacrity with which it manages to run through my system and come out my fingernails, making me look even more jaundiced than usual. But, it appears, turmeric is the new wonder drug. It is one of the best disinfectants, killing all surface bacteria, and also a coagulent. When Cyrus cut himself on a knife awhile back, a quick dab of turmeric cleaned and clotted the wound quite nicely. Talking with some of my Thai friends about this later, they agreed, it was an old folk remedy to rub tumeric on a wound. Likewise, if a child is hurt, they’ll feed them turmeric in a drink, to address possible internal injuries. A jar of turmeric is also standard issue in most Indian autos, acting as a sealant for radiator failures. In breaking news, Cyrus noted that new research from the US indicates that it can stop the spread of breast cancer cells. Coming back to cooking, it turns out that it is not only important for the colour it imparts, but also, as a coagulent, it will thicken the dishes in which it is used, working from the bottom up."

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Fresh turmeric is easy to chop or grate, although it stains like the dickens – our food processor and cutting board have a permanent orange tinge. In Cradle of Flavor, James Oseland calls for fresh or ground turmermeric in several recipes. One would be hard-pressed to taste the difference between fresh or ground in a highly seasoned curry, but perhaps one could distinguish the difference in a more delicately seasoned dish.

Have fun with your turmeric, and please do report back.

I began looking for fresh turmeric when I was on a Burmese cooking kick, which consisted mostly of cooking out of Under the Golden Pagoda: The Best of Burmese Cooking by Aung Aung Taik. I think Burmese food is interesting because it is in many ways similar to Thai food, but less heavily seasoned (at least I think it is, based on my limited research). Many recipes call for turmeric as the main seasoning, and I think there is a discernable difference between fresh and dried in such cases. However, I also can't tell the difference in highly seasoned dishes.

Edited by Khadija (log)
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Wear protective gloves!

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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If you google "fresh turmeric" and "chutney" you'll get

dozens of hits for great recipes.

Chefadamg: if you ever get hold of some fresh turmeric

I hear it's not that hard to grow, stick it into a flowerpot and

it will grow like ginger....

Milagai

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^ I've grown it in a pot with good results. If you have extra, it will also keep very well if you peel it and cover it with a high-proof neutral spirit. I had some in a little glass jar in the fridge like that for months. After a few weeks, a spoonful of the liquid will add color and flavor just like the grated flesh. -L

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  • 5 months later...

Bumping this thread because I've heard some amazing stories about the curative properties of turmeric lately, and I'm wondering, does anyone have any especially turmeric-heavy recipes they can suggest? Like more than you'd find in a typical Malaysian or Indian curry or pickle.

Just fishin'....

Thanks!

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Bumping this thread because I've heard some amazing stories about the curative properties of turmeric lately, and I'm wondering, does anyone have any especially turmeric-heavy recipes they can suggest? Like more than you'd find in a typical Malaysian or Indian curry or pickle.

Just fishin'....

Thanks!

The powder is really great rubbed onto whole fish and fried. I'd say white-flesh fish, like mackerel. Yummy with coconut rice.

I'll come back with the details of my mama's new dish tomorrow because I can't remember what's in it.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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There is a reason most recipes use very little tumeric; it overpowers very easily. Tumeric lends itself to an inumerable number of dishes, with its subtle, earthy taste. Soups, stews, pilafs, spice rubs, dals, and many simple Indian vegetarian dishes work well with a bit of tumeric.

If you are looking to eat a lot of tumeric I would suggest getting some fresh and making soups with it. Here are a few recipes: 1, 2.

I wouldn't really worry about overdosing on it though, if you are eating food with 1/2tsp of tumeric in it 3-4 times a week you are getting as much as you need.

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Dried turmeric ruins dishes. The anti-caking agents dry everything out and make your formerly liquid paste into a gel. It also stains everything. I have fresh turmeric, and while it does taste better, it too stains everything and is just a general pain in the ass. As far as I'm concerned there's no dish where leaving it out would make an appreciable dent in the flavor, but then I didn't grow up eating the stuff daily.

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  • 5 months later...

This is my first post on eGullet, so first I'll say Hello. I've recently discovered the delights of homestyle Indian food. I'm completely overwhelmed! There are so many regions and new ingredients and recipes and variations. And even the same food goes by different names and different spellings. It isn't easy! I hope you'll bear with me, because I'm sure to have many questions. But I truly want to learn -- so please let me know if I say something dumb. It wouldn't be the first time! :biggrin:

My first question is about turmeric. Even in the same shop, there are bags of it that are rather yellow, ranging to gold, dark gold, and almost orange. Does the colour reflect the taste? If so, which is considered best? Or does one choose on some other basis? In the past I've occasionally bought some that tasted somewhat more bitter than usual. Is there a way to avoid that?

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My first question is about turmeric.  Even in the same shop, there are bags of it that are rather yellow, ranging to gold, dark gold, and almost orange.  Does the colour reflect the taste?  I

Hiya Channie.. Welcome...

Certainly not an expert on Indian cooking, and turmeric is not high on my list of things in indian spices to get all picky about...

http://mccormick.com/content.cfm?id=10077 if it is of any help...

Perhaps the growing conditions/variety effect the color?

Does the color effect the taste?

You will have to let one of the Pro's handle those questions...

I guess, if you are looking at buying jars of the stuff for comparison taste tasting, it could get spendy...

If you can buy small quantities... from bulk containers, you might have a chance to determine which taste you prefer...

IMHO, if you find one with a flavor that suits you, then use that...

Just wanted to welcome you aboard...

Peace...

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That is an interesting question Channie, and welcome.

I have only seen turmeric available in three forms: whole, Indian and Chinese. These are simply the names that I have seen on the packaging and may not reflect where they actually come from. The whole kind I know looks like a piece of ginger root, the Indian kind is a bright yellow powder, and the Chinese kind is more of a brown powder.

I see it as one of those ancient spices that probably has numerous names, colours and medicinal uses. Let's wait and hear from the turmeric experts . . .

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Turmeric is used for the color it imparts to a dish rather than its virtually non-existent taste. It's simply overpowered by other ingredients used in Indian cooking, no matter the region. So, let your eyes and color sense be your guide.

Its tasteless coloring properties are why turmeric is frequently used as an ingredient in prepared mustard, yogurt and other commerical foods.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Turmeric is used for the color it imparts to a dish rather than its virtually non-existent taste.  It's simply overpowered by other ingredients used in Indian cooking, no matter the region. So, let your eyes and color sense be your guide.

Its tasteless coloring properties are why turmeric is frequently used as an ingredient in prepared mustard, yogurt and other commerical foods.

Tasteless? You must be kidding. Any more than about a teaspoon of powdered turmeric destroys most dishes. It's a strong flavour that is not all that nice.

I prefer to always use fresh tumeric root which does not have the harsh flavour of powder.

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