In our climate Turmeric is one of those things that I dropped in the ground and with little love or maintenance it just seemed to grow like a weed. When I first purchased my Turmeric plant I had no idea how to look after it or what I was meant to do with it. When it died off over winter I thought I had killed it and was devastated. Turns out it’s just like Ginger, it dies back and grows back in the spring. If you’re lacking in space it does really well in a pot as well.
Turmeric is native to Asia and needs a good sub-tropical – tropical climate to thrive. Like ginger it grows from a rhizome, and is actually a beautiful broad leaf looking plant with a stunning white orchid looking flower.
The best time to pick is when the leaves start to die down, usually for us in Sub-tropical climates the end of Autumn. Having minimal garden space I have yet to let it just grow in the garden, but it did die back in a pot. I’ve left a clump in the garden this year just to see what it does.
Turmeric is all the rage at the moment, touted as one of those ‘super’ foods. You can keep it fresh to grate into your food and keep it a little longer by freezing it. I choose to dry mine as I find it the most versatile and easiest to use for our lifestyle and goes great in a red lentil dahl.
Below is my method on creating ground Turmeric – and it’s super easy.
- Remove the leafy parts of the plant, wash your rhizomes and remove any straggly roots.
- Pop the full rhizome into a pot of boiling water and boil for 45 minutes, drain and allow to cool.
- Finely slice your Turmeric and place in a dehydrator until fully dried out (it will be hard with no evidence of moisture) in my dehydrator it takes about 4 hours, if you don’t have a dehydrator you could use the oven – just make sure it’s under 60 degrees celcius.
- Put your dried turmeric pieces into a high speed blender (with a milling blade if you have one – I use a NutriBullet) and grind until a fine powder. If you find your powder still has chunks either keep blending or use a fine sieve to remove them.