White Lotus in blossom…

Turmeric : From garden to kitchen

Posted in Garden stroll by ytelotus on February 8, 2014

Some years ago, I happened to buy a few turmeric plants from a vendor by the road-side in Bangalore.  With some festival just around the corner, there were plenty of vendors selling these turmeric leaves/plants.  I planted them in our kitchen-garden, hoping to reap some turmeric leaves for kitchen use.  Turmeric leaves are used for preparing a sweet dish called patholi by the konkani community.  Little did I care to think of any other use of these plants.

Over time, the plants grew effortlessly, with almost no care other than the occasional water that it would receive.  One of those times, I happened to read a blog of a friend who accidentally unearthed 1.6 kg of turmeric rhizomes when he uprooted the plants.  I thought I need to do this too, but just never did it.

Finally, this January, when the leaves on the plants dried up, I set out to dig the soil around the roots and try my luck too.   It paid off well.  I had about 1.75 kg of turmeric rhizomes in my basket.  It was a moment of instant gratification…

The next few days had me occupied with the process of transforming these fresh rhizomes into turmeric powder.  At the end of it all, when I managed to churn out 200 gm of fragrant turmeric powder,  it definitely felt worth the experience!

Procedure to prepare Turmeric powder :

Wash the rhizomes well until they’re absolutely cleaned of all the soil.

Fresh turmeric rhizomes

Peel them all. (This is optional.  Many find it tedious and hence prefer to skip this step.)
Peeled turmeric rhizomes

Slice them into small pieces.  This is to ensure uniform drying of the rhizomes.
Sliced turmeric

Steam the slices in a large container filled with enough water for steaming.  It’s preferable to keep the slices in a perforated container if you have one.  This ensures uniform steaming.  Also, you need to steam-cook until the slices are softened enough to take the prick of a pointed knife.  For me, this took about 30 min, but it may vary.  Apparently, the boiling/steaming of the rhizomes ensures maximum retention of curcumin in the turmeric.  Curcumin is the yellow pigment that is responsible for the colour of turmeric.  It also has high medicinal benefits.  Therefore, you could say, steaming/boiling turmeric enhances the medicinal value of turmeric as well as its colour.

Steamed turmeric slices

Spread these steamed slices on a flat tray.  Dry them in the direct sun for about two days until their moisture content is gone.  Thereafter, place the tray in semi-shade for a few more days until all the slices have dried well.

Dried turmeric slices

Grind the dried turmeric in a mixer.  You may sieve them (to eliminate any remnants of the peel) and grind the sieved powder once again to get a fine powder.

Turmeric powder

The turmeric powder is now ready for use.

Ready for use



One Response

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  1. Sowmya Nayak said, on February 12, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Good work!!!!!

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