Turmeric is an incredibly versatile product both dried (as a spice) and fresh. Unlike other spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg, it is not prized for its flavour so much as its colour (and medicinal properties). Please note that we do not sell turmeric as a therapeutic/medicinal product. We sell it as a food item. We believe in the old adage “you are what you eat”. If you are using turmeric medicinally, you will need to rely on your own research sources to understand any health benefits associated with turmeric.
Dried or Fresh?
People often ask us if it is better to have turmeric fresh or dried. Of course, everything thinks “fresh is best” but turmeric has been made into a spice for thousands of years and there is a reason for that. Firstly, it extends the life of the product. Fresh, locally grown turmeric is only available for around three months of the year but as a dried spice it has an 18 month shelf life.
It is also worth noting that good drying practises might change a product but will not do any harm to the product. In fact, drying has the advantage of concentrating the end product. We use 7kg of fresh product to make 1kg of dried spice – now that’s concentrated! It also means that our turmeric is packed with all the wonderful properties you would expect in fresh turmeric. During the drying process some of the bitterness is taken out of the turmeric so it is a more pleasant tasting product. So the added benefits of the dried spice make it as viable as the fresh product.
Preparing Fresh Turmeric
Preparing is easy. Simply wash the turmeric rhizome until it looks clean. If you want to go a bit further, rub the rhizome with a scourer until you are satisfied the rhizome is clean or the husk (thin outer layer) has been removed. If you are still not satisfied it is clean (I know, I know, some of us are pedantic), peel the rhizome so the vibrant flesh is exposed.
We thought that we might put together some ways in which our customers tell us they use our turmeric. We will continue to grow this list as our customers continue to give us feedback. Bear in mind that we have not tried all these methods so you will have to use your own discretion to decide whether they are your “cup of tea” as the saying goes.
- Here are a few examples:
- grate fresh turmeric (or sprinkle our dried turmeric) over your porridge
- add fresh (chopped) or dried to chicken stock for a beautiful vibrant colour
- add a small amount to any casserole or stew (use fresh or dried)
- make turmeric ice cream (search the internet for recipes)
- make turmeric rice and serve with a curry or use as the base for a middle easter salad (see our Turmeric Recipes page)
- use dried when pickling daikon radish – it creates a beautiful looking pickle
- add fresh or dried to any smoothie.
How Much to Use?
How much you use is up to you – play with it a little. If we are using dried turmeric in a new recipe (one we haven’t tried before) we always start with a teaspoon, taste it and then add more if we need to. Turmeric is not a strong flavour but if you add too much you will certainly notice it. Remember, turmeric is prized in cooking more for its colour, than for its flavour.
Fresh turmeric is a little different. It has not had any of the bitterness taken out if it (a benefit of the drying process) so, again, you will need to play around with it.