What to do with Turmeric?

ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)March 22, 2013

What recipes or food do you use the herb turmeric? I am just getting into cooking with herbs and want to find as manyuses for this herb as possible.

Thank you.

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I use it in stir fry, I also add it to chili, and any spicy food I cook.

We are going to try to grow it this year, just to see what happens.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 11:44PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

I wanted to do the same thing. However, I started researching how to grow the plant and where to obtain it. I found that after planting...It is harvested after 9 to 10 months of growing. In my zone I would have to plant it in a pot and grow it indoors. I have way too many tropicals that I am already growing so I decided not right now.

I know someone going to school to be a doctor who is doing research on cancer. They found 100% of the mice that were given tumeric were cancer free, even when injected with cancer.

Therefore, I thought it would not hurt to start cooking with this herb. Interestingly, I have never used it in my cooking at all.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 11:09AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

It is used in many Asian dishes for both color and flavor. Just google "turmeric recipes" to get many ideas.

DTL - It does grow into a beautiful plant. I bring it in for the winter where it goes dormant until it gets warm and sunny again.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 3:09PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I use the spice in all kinds of foods...omelets, rice and bean recipes, veggie and chicken inventions, roasted or grilled pork dishes, lentil soup, etc. Mind you, I'm talking about the colorful and fragrant spice....which is what is used for the flavor, as well as health benefits. I just reordered more from Penzey 's! The spice is a product of the roots (rhizomes) .

I've never used or seen any recipe calling for the use of the leaves. F, I've read that the leaves are very bitter. How do you use tumeric leaves?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 6:19PM
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Even here in the subtropics, Turmeric is the last plant to reappear in spring. It dies down completely over even our very mild winters.

Freshly extracted juice is taken orally as a general tonic or to treat stomach ailments (including digestive problems) and illnesses with generalised weakness. The rhizomes are dried and powdered for use as a culinary spice or made into a paste for cosmetic use and to treat skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. As a wash, it is good for treating tinea. Its antiseptic qualities make it a good treatment for cuts and minor burns. Regular use of turmeric is beneficial to the liver. It may lower blood cholesterol levels and it is also anti-inflammatory. A tea of the root is used to treat anaemia, arteriosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, bursitis, candida, coughs, eczema, gallstones, liver problems (hepatitis and jaundice), obesity and menstrual problems. A poultice of the roots is used to treat tinea, bruises, swellings and cuts.

A spoonful of turmeric powder added to the water in a leaking car radiator is claimed to plug the leak. (Don't blame me if this fails!!)

The leaves are not usually eaten, but are used as a wrap for cooking foods.

Warning: Turmeric will stain clothes and skin. Avoid if suffering from gallstones, jaundice or hepatitis. Avoid if suffering from blood-clotting disorders. Unusually large amounts may result in stomach upset. Best avoided during pregnancy because of its uterine stimulant properties.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 7:23PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

It sounds like it is quite a useful herb. I did pick some up and will begin cooking with it.

Recently I've been reading quite a bit about herbs and I'm impressed by all the various ailments these powders will prevent or treat. I'm mostly looking to cook a bit healthier and begin using as many fresh herbs as possible.

Thank you for all the information about the herb. I appreciate you taking your time to give me so many details.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 7:49PM
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Fatamorgana, thank you. We just got a dozen little root cuttings this week, and hope to grow themthis year. Its always fun to try new plants.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 9:27PM
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I got about 10 pounds of the rhizomes. I planted about a pound of it already. Half of it I plan to turn into powder. The other half I have been adding little knobs of it in my smoothies and juices.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 5:05AM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

The powder of Turmeric is (depending on type) is a main component in curry spice mixes. So many Indian recipes will likely contain some ;-) When I ate rice and potatoes I used to add some spice in in the last few minutes of cooking. Great with cauliflower/green beans/chickpeas/chicken, cilantro and a dollop of Greek yogurt for a creamy curry sauce.

My mother takes a capsule full of the powder for her arthritis. Think I read (correct me if I am wrong) that Tumeric also reduces high blood pressure. I'm assuming you would need to take a good daily quantity to see that effect though??

I bought a hair product from Aveda that had Turmeric in it. It purportedly "energizes and rehabilitates the scalp". I dunno, maybe there could be some legit stimulating action of Turmeric....maybe some antibacterial abilities too.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 2:27PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

ladylotus - why not just use turmeric as an interesting flavour and colour in anything you fancy? Try it out and see what you like. I use it in anything which looks as if it could do with a bit of warmth and spiciness such as anything vaguely curryish, winter soups like butter nut or sprinkled on root vegetables before roasting. But I would try not to think of it as 'preventing' any illnesses, let alone curing them. Enjoy it simply as part of a varied diet which includes a lot of fruit and vegetables and little salt, sugar and fat and you won't go far wrong.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 10:04AM
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we can't grow turmeric or its close cousin ginger in the u.s. ....our seasons are too short and too cool.... although you might have fun trying it.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 3:56PM
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Fresh turmeric leaves are also used in several traditional Indian recipes. By adding 1 or 2 leaves (no need to chop) in a pot where rice is cooked gives a nice aroma and flavor to the rice (no color). It is also used in some rice based sweet preparations.

Turmeric powder can also be used on cuts and burns as an antibiotic.

Beware the bright yellow powder sold in many Indian grocery stores are not pure enough. They may contain yellow coloring. Earthfare or authentic Asian grocery stores have pure turmeric powder which may not be as yellow but are more fragrant.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 10:25AM
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