I’m sure we’ve all used ground turmeric from the spice jar often in our lives but I’d never seen it fresh. I was given a few pieces yesterday and honestly, I didn’t know what to do with it. I’m not one to leave anything untried so I turned to my trusted Twitter friends for advice.
It seems that I’m not alone. Marni & Raphe of Kensington Kitchen haven’t see fresh turmeric in the flesh either. Alas, I didn’t feel so gastronomically alone. Here’s what it looks like. Isn’t that orange color wild?
The first bit of information I learned when looking it up on the net was “always wear gloves and don’t put it in anything that can stain, like plastic.” That doesn’t scare me. I’ve made pickled beets before and had red fingers for days. I thought it made me look “cheffy”.
Shirley Lum of A Taste of the World suggested I plant one of the roots in a pot and grow some more! So I’ve done that already. Apparently turmeric grows in a similar fashion to ginger and more ginger is grown here on the Sunshine Coast of Australia that just about anywhere in the world. I should be lucky with my pot of turmeric. Shirley also recommends adding slices of fresh turmeric when I cook rice.
I received another tweet from Genevie Jacobs suggested using turmeric on warm, buttered basmati rice or any Indian dish or curried “anything”.
Finally, Emma Gardiner-Deans from SheGoes.com.au had a suggestion that started me salivating before I finished reading her advice. “Pound it up with some garlic and ginger in a mortar and pestle and use it as a curry base with coconut cream and kaffir lime.” Doesn’t that sound good?
So, I’ve got some chicken and some coconut cream and I even have 3 kaffir lime leaves so I’m off to cook. Hopefully I’ll remember to take photos. Have you ever meant to take photos but got caught up in the moment and only realized later that you missed your moment? I do that way too often. I’m heading to Sydney soon for a food styling class so maybe that will put me in a better frame of mind. It also means the family eats cold food but that’s a small price to pay for my pleasure I think. heh.
Thanks for the picture! Raphe says it looks like a yam from a Tim Burton movie.
LOL Marni! The color’s much too bright for Tim Burton, don’t you think? Just touching it got my fingers all yellow. Imagine if I chewed it?
Jennifer is Always Sick says
I read somewhere that turmeric is good for energy. My mom takes supplements as well, I think.
Ollie, thanks for the comment and I hope you have a wonderful time with your new granddaughter. I’m envious! I looked up recipes using turmeric and we can substitute any recipe that calls for ground turmeric with fresh but use about twice or 3 times what you’d use ground. Just grate it using a microplane. I’m going to try a lamb tagine today.
Jennifer, that’s an interesting point. I have heard that turmeric is still used in India and China for colds and liver ailments.
Ollie McKay's says
Wow ~ Had no idea that’s how turmeric grows??!! At first glance I thought it was some strange looking Yams (which I do Love!) Thanks for all the info on it too! I am going to see our new grand-daughter 2 weeks after she is born (which should be any day now), and my son wants me to cook as one of my assignments when I’m there :)) they love Indian food, which I’ve never really cooked – anyway you could pass along a couple of fairly “easy” recipes for me that I could do when I’m there?? :)) Happy weekend!
business review says
There are many ingredients that can be pounded into the herb paste but the eight most commonly used are and . .Kroeung that are pounded for specific single dishes or have only one unique use falls into this category. It is also worth noting that many Kroeung recipes specifically for curries requires whole spices to be ground with the herb paste.
Michael Carabini says
Recipe challenge guys…lets try to find a really unusual recipe that uses kaffir lime leaves! cool thanks…I found a website that sells fresh Thai produce and these were on there so was wondering about them!..