Turmeric, that beautiful golden Indian spice, is valued for its anti-cancerous, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. While using the dried form is great in a pinch, you shouldn't overlook fresh turmeric root.
Fresh turmeric is less bitter than its dried counterpart and possesses an earthy aroma that will add oomph to everything from soups and stews to rice dishes and smoothies.
Unlike dried turmeric, which is easy to find in the spice aisle of your local grocery store, fresh turmeric is sold mostly in Asian food stores.
When you have to buy fresh turmeric, look for firm turmeric roots with intact skin.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is the main spice in curry and is what gives it its yellow colour. It is the root of a plant in the ginger family and has large, white tubular flowers. It needs abundant rain to grow and has high spiritual value in the cultural traditions of Southeast Asia, where it has been used as a medicine and dye in addition to its culinary applications. The compound curcumin is extracted from turmeric and is used for flavouring, colouring, cosmetics, and herbal remedies.
How To Use Fresh Turmeric
Fresh turmeric is less bitter than its dried counterpart and possesses an earthy aroma that will add oomph to everything from soups and stews to rice dishes and smoothies. Unlike dried turmeric, which is easy to find in the spice aisle of your local grocery store, fresh turmeric is sold mostly in Asian food stores. When you have to buy fresh turmeric, look for firm turmeric roots with intact skin.
Use fresh turmeric the way you would ginger. You can grate it, chop it, puree it and add it to your favourite recipes to provide a gorgeous golden colour and a healthy kick.
You'll need to wash and dry the fresh root with a towel. Peeling is optional but if you desire to do so use the back of a spoon to 'scratch' off the skin.
Cooking with Fresh Turmeric
When using fresh turmeric in place of dried you'll have to use about three times the amount called for in recipes. That's because dried turmeric is very concentrated and a little goes a long way.
One teaspoon of dried turmeric equals about one tablespoon of grated turmeric root.
Recipes Using Fresh Turmeric
This video from Abel and Cole illustrates three great ways to use fresh turmeric:
- Blended with ginger to make a restorative tea. The addition of honey and lemon amp up the sweet and sour in this potent brew that would scare a cold virus stiff.
- Shredded over a salad.
- An anti-inflammatory drink called golden milk. This elixir calls for cinnamon, honey, turmeric, coconut oil, black pepper, and almond milk. You add all the ingredients accept for the cinnamon into a saucepan and warm it up (without boiling), all while stirring constantly. Put in the cinnamon stick while it’s still on the stovetop, then, enjoy.
Take a look at the video:
Turmeric is especially delicious in this recipe for seabass cooked in a coconut curry from acclaimed British Indian chef Atul Kochhar.
Still hungry? Try these exciting recipes with a dash of turmeric: