As I write this post, I am packing freshly ground Turmeric or Haldi into packets to last me through the year. Our kitchen and home is filled with he most amazing smell of fresh Turmeric. My hands are stained orange and I just do not care!
Turmeric… an orange powder that is an essential ingredient in almost every Indian savoury dish and a few sweets. Turmeric, which is used in India to anoint brides and grooms, to honour the dead, in various religious festivals, to give good sleep, to give relief from pain, for good and clear complexions.
The turmeric powder or haldi as it known in India, come from the rhizomes of the turmeric plant, Curcuma longa, which is very similar to the Ginger family. Every year around January-February, it can be harvested and replanted. For nest year, we also have to replant some. Take raw turmeric with buds coming out and plant around April, before rains. The plant needs rain, humidity and heat and grows best in a tropical climate.
The raw turmeric rhizomes from my kitchen garden are first boiled well in a big saucepan or any big vessel. The water is thrown and then the boiled rhizomes are sun dried. They are dried very thoroughly and may takes some days. We then send it to the mill to be ground and voila, I have fresh, fragrant turmeric powder to last me for a year or more.