Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Rice with Turmeric Paste

The rice dish I am cooking here is largely the same as one I cook fairly often except that, instead of Turmeric powder, I am using the Turmeric Paste I made a month ago. Actually, the whole point of this experiment is to see how well the paste fared under storage. I promised in my original post that I would update you on the continuing quality, and this dish will be the test… Continue reading “Rice with Turmeric Paste”

Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Experiment: Pork Kebab with fresh Turmeric


I wanted to cook a dish using the fresh Turmeric rhizomes I recently purchased in Ottawa in order to see how the fresh spice compares to the dried, powdered variety. I decided on a grilled pork kebab preparation and chose very little in the way of seasoning other than the Turmeric paste I made for my last post … Continue reading “Experiment: Pork Kebab with fresh Turmeric”

Posted in Spicery

Spice Preparation: Turmeric Paste

I cannot recall ever living in a home where Turmeric was not a fixture in the spice cabinet. When I was growing up, my father was always experimenting with Indian dishes and he did not just rely on commercial curry powders and the like, but always had the ‘makings’ for his own spice blends on hand. Turmeric, being so ubiquitous in Indian cookery, was always in the kitchen cupboard and, today, I, too, am never without a ready supply.

Until recently, however, my only experience with this versatile spice was with the dried variety – both the whole dried rhizome, and the bright yellow powder that can be found in most grocery stores. I knew, of course, that it was possible to buy the rhizomes in their raw state, and, while I was dying for a chance to cook with the fresh article for years, it wasn’t until I located some in a shop in Ottawa’s Chinatown that I finally got the chance.

Having grown up with Turmeric as an everyday kitchen item, it is sometimes difficult to appreciate that it is not that familiar to many westerners and I have written a ‘Spices’ post that examines it in some detail. In that post I use some slices in an experiment with boiled rice but, for some future uses, and as an experiment, I wanted to make a Turmeric Paste… Continue reading “Spice Preparation: Turmeric Paste”

Posted in Spicery

Spice: Turmeric

It would be hard to imagine Indian cookery without Turmeric. It is used in so many different types of dishes in that country that it would be almost impossible to compile a comprehensive list of them. The spice is also used extensively throughout southern Asia and the Middle East and, even though it won’t often be found in the average kitchen in the west, most westerners will encounter it frequently as, not only is it a standard ingredient in most commercial curry powders, it is also widely used as a flavoring and coloring agents in many brands of mustard.

Turmeric is derived from a plant related to ginger and, while the leaves are eaten, it is, like ginger, chiefly the rhizome that is used.  The rhizome is available both fresh and dried whole, as pictured above, but it is mostly used in the powdered form. The whole dried rhizomes are not too difficult to obtain but, unless one happens to live in a large city with a sizeable Asian population, most westerners will not often see the fresh variety. The fresh rhizome, as you can see, is very similar in appearance to fresh ginger except that the rhizomes tend to be smaller and are more vibrantly colored, varying from a mild pinkish-tan to a rich, deep red-orange… Continue reading “Spice: Turmeric”

Posted in Experiments

Experiment: Chicken Haldi

This experiment arose out of not much more than a desire to have chicken for supper one evening and no clear idea as to how to prepare it other than to do something vaguely Indian.  I wasn’t especially looking for anything too spicy or complex and I decided to play around with the warmly sweet qualities of both Turmeric and Fenugreek leaf. After settling on the spice blend I will share with you below, I had a hard time thinking of a name for the dish and I finally hit upon Chicken Haldi, as ‘Haldi’ is the Hindi word for Turmeric and the exotic sound of the name just somehow appealed to me… Continue reading “Experiment: Chicken Haldi”