How to Make Turmeric Powder in Home
Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years and is a major part of Ayurvedic medicine. It was first used as a dye and then later for its possible medicinal properties. Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
During the south Indian festival Pongal, a whole turmeric plant with fresh rhizomes is offered as a thanksgiving offering to Surya, the Sun god. Also, the fresh plant sometimes is tied around the sacred Pongal pot in which an offering of pongal is prepared.
Turmeric powder(turmeric supplement) is used extensively in Indian cuisine. It is a significant ingredient mostly used in savory dishes. Turmeric is also used to give a yellow color to foods. My mom always makes it at home instead of store bought powder. Because they add artificial colors and also mix it with some other powders. When I went to India for vacation, my mom prepared this homemade turmeric powder and I love the natural color, fragrance in it.
I know, today you can buy turmeric powder at every corner. It’s also cheaper to buy prepared powder than to make your own.
The magic with homemade turmeric powder is the same as with everything homemade. It tastes better, fresher, deeper and more fragrant.
1. Buy turmeric roots, bring home and wash under running water.
2. Bring water to boil in a saucepan, add turmeric root and cook it for 40 minutes. Cool the root down and peel the outside skin (potato peeler will do). At this point you should wear rubber glows since turmeric has high yellow color content. If you don’t use rubber gloves your hands will stay yellow for few days:-).
3. Slice the root into long pieces – approximately 5 cm each.
4. Dry turmeric root. Let it rest for a day, or overnight, on a paper kitchen towel (change it once). And then put it on a plate and place it in a cold, ventilated location for few days (5-7 days). Don’t put it in direct sunlight (it will make color fade). We put ours in a cold oven and left the door ajar. Stir it once a day, or every two days.
5. It’s time to make a powder. We use mortar to break it down in smaller pieces, and than we use nut grinder to make powder. It’s a long process, since it’s hard to grind dry turmeric root (the nut grinder can get overheated). But take it slowly, grind, then do something else, then grind again. It will never have the texture like the one bought in store, but the taste will be superior in so many ways.
6. Store it in a glass canister with tight lid, it can stay like that for two years.
There are numerous other ways of making your own turmeric powder, but this is the one that worked for me, and (this is important) got the process done in a few hours rather than a few days. Enjoy in smoothies, golden milk (amazing), or as a spice in any dish.
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