In India, turmeric is used for a lot of things. But the most common use of turmeric (or haldi as it is called) is in cooking. It gives Indian food its delightful golden color. This is especially true in the case of Indian curries. It is also very good for maintaining proper digestion.
Buying ground turmeric can be tricky business; especially if one buys it in loose form (not commercially packaged). Truth be told, adulteration can also happen even in packaged products from unscrupulous companies. So we make our own haldi or turmeric powder.
The first step is to harvest the turmeric. It is akin to ginger as the turmeric forms under the soil with the roots -- its rhizomes. The rhizomes are harvested annually. This year we got good yield.
|Raw Turmeric (rhizomes)|
To be able to make our own turmeric powder, we needed to boil the raw turmeric. Although raw turmeric can be dried and powdered, the quality of the powder is not as good as when it has been boiled first.
We put the raw turmeric in a large copper pot and put it atop a large outdoor wood stove to boil a large batch at a time. The stove is actually a type of water heater... but it suited our purpose.
|Turmeric Being Boiled|
|Boiled Turmeric (Drained)|
|Boiled Turmeric in a Tokri|
|Turmeric Cut (notice the lovely color)|
|Bright Yellow Turmeric|
After all the big pieces had been cut (and the teeny ones left as they were as they will dry up just fine). The turmeric was then sun-dried.
|Turmeric left out in the sun to dry|
|Turmeric Drying in the Sun|
|Turmeric being dried|
After the turmeric is completely dry (and shrinks to about half the volume that it was), it will be powdered.