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Turmeric

incorporating Recipes and Cooking
UncleEbenezer
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Turmeric

#129810

Postby UncleEbenezer » April 3rd, 2018, 7:50 pm

It's been a while since I've seen turmeric in a supermarket. So when I saw it today, I picked some up.

But it only came in packets far too big for me to consume in a reasonable time. Anyone know if it freezes well, or any alternative techniques for lengthening its life?

johnstevens77
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Re: Turmeric

#129843

Postby johnstevens77 » April 3rd, 2018, 10:17 pm

Strange, plenty available around here but yes, like most spices it can be frozen. I keep garam masala for 6 months or more in a jar in the freezer. (And voelkels will tell you that he keeps his spices in the freezer too).

john

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Turmeric

#129851

Postby UncleEbenezer » April 3rd, 2018, 10:57 pm

Thanks. Yes, it looks like something that should freeze OK, but you never know ...

Not sure where the comparison to garam masala comes in. Surely garam masala is a blend of spices? I've only ever encountered it as a powder sold in jars. And yes of course I can always get turmeric in that form, and I'd expect it to keep more-or-less indefinitely in a jar.

Not all spices freeze well. I will freeze chillies as a least bad option when (as today - they're what I was buying when I saw the turmeric) I have a new pack of five scotch bonnets and know I won't get through more than half in their fresh lifetime, but they lose quite a lot in the freezing.

Thinking of the freezing issue, I used to freeze coffee once a pack was open. Then my plastic jar cracked, and its metal replacement would get too painful to handle if frozen, so I stopped. Keeping it at room temperature works fine too, over the lifetime of a packet.

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Re: Turmeric

#129873

Postby redsturgeon » April 4th, 2018, 12:37 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:Thanks. Yes, it looks like something that should freeze OK, but you never know ...

Not sure where the comparison to garam masala comes in. Surely garam masala is a blend of spices? I've only ever encountered it as a powder sold in jars. And yes of course I can always get turmeric in that form, and I'd expect it to keep more-or-less indefinitely in a jar.

Not all spices freeze well. I will freeze chillies as a least bad option when (as today - they're what I was buying when I saw the turmeric) I have a new pack of five scotch bonnets and know I won't get through more than half in their fresh lifetime, but they lose quite a lot in the freezing.

Thinking of the freezing issue, I used to freeze coffee once a pack was open. Then my plastic jar cracked, and its metal replacement would get too painful to handle if frozen, so I stopped. Keeping it at room temperature works fine too, over the lifetime of a packet.


Freezing coffee is not good. Turmeric root freezes fine.

John

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Re: Turmeric

#129876

Postby swill453 » April 4th, 2018, 2:45 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:And yes of course I can always get turmeric in that form, and I'd expect it to keep more-or-less indefinitely in a jar.

Your OP didn't mention what form of turmeric you were asking about.

Scott.

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Re: Turmeric

#129888

Postby JMN2 » April 4th, 2018, 8:45 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:... Surely garam masala is a blend of spices?....


In some Indian language it means "curry spices" but if your first language is Malay you might get confused in a spice shop because garam means "salt", ie Masala Salt, which does not exist.

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Turmeric

#129907

Postby UncleEbenezer » April 4th, 2018, 10:26 am

JMN2 wrote:In some Indian language it means "curry spices" but if your first language is Malay you might get confused in a spice shop because garam means "salt", ie Masala Salt, which does not exist.

Could that be two different evolutions from a word that originally just meant generic "flavour"?

Did you know that our modern word "salad" derives from salt?

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Re: Turmeric

#129918

Postby johnstevens77 » April 4th, 2018, 11:22 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:Thanks. Yes, it looks like something that should freeze OK, but you never know ...

Not sure where the comparison to garam masala comes in. Surely garam masala is a blend of spices? I've only ever encountered it as a powder sold in jars. And yes of course I can always get turmeric in that form, and I'd expect it to keep more-or-less indefinitely in a jar.

Not all spices freeze well. I will freeze chillies as a least bad option when (as today - they're what I was buying when I saw the turmeric) I have a new pack of five scotch bonnets and know I won't get through more than half in their fresh lifetime, but they lose quite a lot in the freezing.


Ah! So it was whole root that you were talking about, sorry. Well I keep ginger, chillies, lime leaves, lemon grass, galangal and curry leaves in the freezer, also home made ginger/garlic paste. As I said in a previous post, I finished of some galangal a few years after freezing but was as good as fresh after being well trimmed. (I had asked my son to bring me some from Edinburgh when he came to visit, he brought a kilo!)

john

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Re: Turmeric

#130388

Postby voelkels » April 6th, 2018, 2:28 pm

Turmeric root, like ginger (axe-u-lee it is one of the eatable gingers) freeze fairly well. It also grows fairly well as an interesting show plant. Plant some in well drained potting soil and it’ll usually sprout when the soil temperature gets above 20 or 18 degrees C. It likes bright shade (I have two pots of it out by my swimming pool) and warm temperatures. If you have it in a large enough pot, it’ll get up around 1 meter tall. It’ll freeze back in the winter but the roots will survive temperatures of at least -10 degrees and will re-sprout in the spring when the soil warms up.

(See; http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff26 ... G_1048.jpg )

C.J.V. - hopes that photo works, me

genou
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Re: Turmeric

#130401

Postby genou » April 6th, 2018, 3:03 pm

voelkels wrote:it’ll usually sprout when the soil temperature gets above 20 or 18 degrees C.
C.J.V. - hopes that photo works, me


Which rules out almost all of the UK. The bit that might get that warm will manage it around July/August only. Conventional wisdom is that turmeric is an indoor plant here. Nice photo.

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Re: Turmeric

#130993

Postby DiamondEcho » April 9th, 2018, 8:56 pm

Turmeric, ginger, galangal, are all members of the ginger family. I've frozen all of them. It seems to freeze well, barring coming out fractionally less rigid, ie a touch more 'flexible'. The flavour does not seem to be impacted.
I suggest before using turmeric root to either rub oil into your finger-tips, or wear some kind of gloves/barrier as the roots pigment will stain your fingers deep yellow/orange for a week or more.

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Turmeric

#131015

Postby UncleEbenezer » April 9th, 2018, 10:24 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:Turmeric, ginger, galangal, are all members of the ginger family. I've frozen all of them. It seems to freeze well, barring coming out fractionally less rigid, ie a touch more 'flexible'. The flavour does not seem to be impacted.
I suggest before using turmeric root to either rub oil into your finger-tips, or wear some kind of gloves/barrier as the roots pigment will stain your fingers deep yellow/orange for a week or more.

Ginger will always be the one of those I consume in larger quantities. Turmeric's earthy taste is one to take in moderation, and galangal somehow seems to me like mixing ginger with the fragrance from something like a washing up liquid.

I chopped up a chunk of turmeric root to go in my stir-fry this evening. No problem on the hands: I'm much more concerned that having handled hot chilli, I need to avoid touching anywhere sensitive. But that's something I've grown hardened to over years chopping chilli to make the hands dangerous at the same time as onions to make me want to rub the eyes!

Anyone else use these roots in a juicer to mix fruit&veg drinks? Well, apart from ginger, which is mainstream. Roots impart powerful and distinctive flavours: not just the likes of turmeric, but even the relative mildness of a couple of juiced radishes can easily become dominant.

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Re: Turmeric

#131233

Postby DiamondEcho » April 10th, 2018, 4:06 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:Ginger will always be the one of those I consume in larger quantities. Turmeric's earthy taste is one to take in moderation, and galangal somehow seems to me like mixing ginger with the fragrance from something like a washing up liquid.

What we call ginger is generally called yellow ginger in SE Asia, and I agree it's certainly the most versatile.
I don't recall seeing turmeric or galangal(!) in the UK when I headed abroad 10 years ago. Last time I bought turmeric was in New York from a specialist grocer. I'm pleased but somewhat amazed these can now be found in the UK!
Galangal (blue ginger) is something I've used occasionally, in SE Asian dishes cooked out in that region. As I recall it's a challenge to prepare being SO woody. Impossible to grate, the best possible seems to be to slice it but you need a heavy and very sharp knife, and even then I don't find it a fun job at all. IDR it's specific flavour but if a recipe called for it and I could find it I'd use it.
Turmeric root I've only used once or twice. IIRC it was used together with yellow ginger. Perhaps it's as much about imparting it's dayglo yellow/orange colour as a flavour?

UncleEbenezer wrote:I chopped up a chunk of turmeric root to go in my stir-fry this evening. No problem on the hands: I'm much more concerned that having handled hot chilli, I need to avoid touching anywhere sensitive. But that's something I've grown hardened to over years chopping chilli to make the hands dangerous at the same time as onions to make me want to rub the eyes!

Well I never, that's surprising given my experience, perhaps I just got a particularly juicy root or something...
Chilli hands - only happened to me once, no fun at all. I keep skin clear these days and always wash my hands very well afterwards.

UncleEbenezer wrote:Anyone else use these roots in a juicer to mix fruit&veg drinks? Well, apart from ginger, which is mainstream. Roots impart powerful and distinctive flavours: not just the likes of turmeric, but even the relative mildness of a couple of juiced radishes can easily become dominant.

Don't have a juicer/haven't tried this. I can see how yellow ginger could lend an interesting angle in various blends. Whereas turmeric might dayglo your lips and galangal might break any cutting tools used in it's prep :lol:

Here something to try for anyone with a greenhouse, since we're heading into summer. One time in Singapore I popped around to the corner shop. He also sold some staple fruit+veg. I needed yellow ginger and he'd almost run out, the last piece was rather wizened, gnarly, and had a couple of small green buds on the end*. Around this time I'd been having fun growing various exotica on our small balcony. Being Asia everything grew like a rocket - only to then equally quickly be devoured by some pest or other. I wondered if the budding ginger might grow ... worth a try eh? If ginger I bought was wizened I'd always perk it up by cutting a clean edge across the root and leaving the pieces in water for up to a day; that really perked it up. I took one such small piece with a green bud and potted it up, having no idea what might happen. The thing went off like a rocket, and soon I had to repot it. It'd already sent up several long green shoots with leaves, but when repotting it I noticed the root was really growing. Anyway - long story short - when we left Singapore I gave my plants to my mother-in-law, including the ginger. The next time we visited her she said she'd repotted it again, taken off half the root, and she'd used it in the beef rendang she'd cooked for us that evening. [She described this not as anything special, but more 'well it's just what you do isn't it']. When I'd originally repotted it and broke off half the root, half was something like 300gms. 8 or so years later she still has the plant and it's like a mono-jungle it's so big :lol: It seems to be one of the few plants that no pests will touch.

* budding ginger https://www.shutterstock.com/image-phot ... e-30776194

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Re: Turmeric

#131262

Postby Pipsmum » April 10th, 2018, 6:13 pm

The root freezes very well and is very useful if chopped up in advance so it can be easily thrown in a smoothie or even a few slices thrown into black coffee.

Turmeric is wonderful. It had a near miraculous effect on removing the swelling and heat caused by CRPS until it was completely gone. No drugs had worked but oodles of turmeric seemed to do the trick.

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Turmeric

#131324

Postby UncleEbenezer » April 10th, 2018, 11:31 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:I chopped up a chunk of turmeric root to go in my stir-fry this evening. No problem on the hands:

OK, that should read none that I could see. Going out in bright sunshine today, I noted a hint of yellow around the fingernails on my left hand. Though only because I'd just been alerted to the likelihood.

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Re: Turmeric

#131396

Postby redsturgeon » April 11th, 2018, 10:58 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:
UncleEbenezer wrote:I chopped up a chunk of turmeric root to go in my stir-fry this evening. No problem on the hands:

OK, that should read none that I could see. Going out in bright sunshine today, I noted a hint of yellow around the fingernails on my left hand. Though only because I'd just been alerted to the likelihood.


My experience with grating fresh turmeric is that it stains everything it touches.

John

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Turmeric

#135293

Postby UncleEbenezer » April 28th, 2018, 9:52 am

OK, now I've used my frozen (as opposed to fresh) turmeric for the first time.

It's hard to cut. So instead of chopping it finely, I grated it. Now I've got the properly-stained fingernails you're all talking about!

Sometimes the pestle-and-mortar are a good alternative to grating (e.g. for nutmeg). But perhaps best not to do that with turmeric, lest that staining on a rougher surface prove persistent through the dishwasher. The shiny metal grater at least only needed rinsing under the tap to remove all the colour, before using the other side of the grater for cheese.

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Re: Turmeric

#140155

Postby DiamondEcho » May 20th, 2018, 12:47 pm

Yes I bet you did after grating turmeric, especially if you had to peel/scrape it first :)
What we use for stuff we don't want on our hands, and/or stuff that we want really finely pureed is called... well we call it 'a chopper'. I'll try and google and see if it has a proper name. Well that's unexpected, it IS called a chopper :lol: Example: https://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-mi ... l/p3369286
It'll go through stuff that a stick-blender isn't designed for, but that said it has it's limits, like lemongrass for example. And for yellow ginger we'll give it a hand by pre-dicing it down before it chops it. IME you'd have to do that carefully with anything as woody as galangal. We use it for making sambal paste https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambal Which includes pungent ingredients like, padi [v hot] chili, belacan [fermented shrimp paste], garlic and so on, none of which you want on your hands.

I'd never thought of 'smashing' nutmeg in a pestle, I'm rather surprised it works since they're so hard. As an alt/FWIW IME nutmeg grates very simply on a Microplane grater, and you can get the exact quantity you need leaving the rest of the whole nut for later use.

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Re: Turmeric

#144791

Postby UncleEbenezer » June 10th, 2018, 9:54 am

Brainwave[1] yesterday.

Take out piece of turmeric from freezer. Can't chop while frozen; can't grate without staining.

Into the microwave. A few seconds on defrost. It worked: I now have a piece of root I can chop finely with a small veg knife. Delicious meal and without the staining.

[1] Or substitute less-polite term ad-lib.


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