Fresh herbs and spices are usually the better option. Fresh turmeric is less bitter than dried turmeric. To use it fresh – wash it well, I use a veggie brush to get all the dirt off. You don’t need to peel the turmeric though you can if you like.
You can grate it with a microplane, ginger grater or the small side of a cheese grater. Fresh turmeric can also be smashed with a garlic press or pestle and mortar.
The general rule of thumb for converting dried herbs or spices to fresh in a recipe is 1:3, so 1 teaspoon of dried spice is equal to 3 teaspoons – 1 tablespoon – of fresh. Roughly 5cm of fresh turmeric root will give you 1 tablespoon of the freshly grated spice.
Store fresh turmeric in the fridge in a paper bag, so it doesn’t go mouldy. You can also freeze turmeric, although it will be mushy when it thaws out, but fine to add to your cooked dishes. Freeze it in usable sizes so you only defrost what you will use at one time. You can also blend it with a little water or olive/coconut then freeze it in ice cube containers. Another method is to peel the rhizomes and pack them in a jar with vodka and store in the fridge for at least a year. I freeze the pulp after I make ‘Turmeric Oil’ (See post last Sunday for recipe.) Some people also store their peeled turmeric root in honey. This should last for 12 months also.
Powder – try to source it organically grown as it will often be mixed with curry powder otherwise.
Turmeric is bright yellowish-orange and will stain surfaces and fingers, especially in its fresh form. Wear gloves while grating it if you don’t want yellow fingertips and the stains won’t last on your bench top or cutting board. #janellapurcel #TurmericWeek