|1. Fresh turmeric rhizomes|
Young turmeric rhizomes are light orange while matured ones are a darker orange in colour. Thinly sliced/finely grated fresh young rhizomes can be eaten raw as "ulam" (herbs and vegetables eaten raw, usually with rice and sambal belacan for health and beauty). It is an ingredient in "jamu" (traditional Malay herbal remedy) for beauty (anti-aging) and health after delivery.
To make turmeric powder, the rhizomes are boiled and dried before being pounded into powder form.
Turmeric rhizomes are grated/pounded/juiced and used in marinades and seasoning for meat dishes before roasting, grilling, frying or cooking. Turmeric is also used to flavour meat in kebabs and satay. For convenience many modern cooks have switched to using turmeric powder made from pounded dried turmeric rhizomes. But we believe that the secret to excellent taste lies in the freshness of the ingredients used. Frozen/refrigerated/preserved turmeric can never achieve the authentic taste of our Asian cuisine because the fresh aroma is missing.
Long ago, before the invention of the refrigerator, turmeric used to season meat also helped as a natural preservative.
Turmeric impart a natural yellow colour to rice, glutinuous rice, meat, sauces and other dishes. So if you come to Asia and get hold of a packet of spice powder with turmeric as an ingredient, the yellow colour that stains you fingers and utensils may not be the toxin/poison you worry about. Turmeric stains are yellow and temporary, it can be washed off with a dishwasher.
|2. Sprouted turmeric plants|
“How to grow turmeric from store-bought rhizomes”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on September 6th, 2012.
|3. Turmeric plants|
Turmeric plants can reach a height of 0.5-1m tall. Light green leaves overlap to form a pseudostem. The rhizomes grow underground and branch out into a dense clump. Inflorescences are borne at the end of the leafy shoots.
Tumeric leaves add a distinct flavour to rendang (dried curry) and curry dishes. Fresh turmeric leaves are knotted and cooked in the curry. The young shoots can be eaten as ulam.
|4. Turmeric inflorescence|
|5. Closeup of turmeric flowers|
The flowers and inflorescences can be eaten as ulam (salad).
This is my entry for Fertilizer Friday hosted by Glenda at Tootsie Time, here.
Updated on 19th April 2016 : Further Reading
1. Further reading on health benefits and recipes with turmeric, visit this link - The Health Benefits of Cooking with Turmeric at www.echnoherbalist.com founded by Dr. Kevin Curran.
2. Further reading about the turmeric plant, visit this link - Background on Turmeric, also from Dr. Kevin Curran website.