Fresh VS Dried Turmeric - Which To Buy?
Depending on where you live in the world, you may never have seen fresh turmeric before, but this is starting to change. Even if fresh turmeric isn’t available in your local grocery store, you can often still find it in Asian and Indian grocery stores because it is used much more widely in these cuisines. Here’s what you need to know.
Buying Fresh Turmeric
Fresh turmeric looks a little like its close relative, fresh ginger. It can be purchased as whole rhizomes or cut into disks or even matchstick shapes. Depending on how old fresh turmeric is, it may have developed a dry outer skin which should be gently removed to access the vibrant orange flesh beneath. If you are able to choose your own fresh turmeric, then try to select firm rhizomes as these are often freshest. Steer clear of soft or shriveled rhizomes as these will be the oldest.
How To Prepare Fresh Turmeric
As a general rule of thumb, a one-inch piece of fresh turmeric is the equivalent of 1tsp of dried turmeric. To use fresh turmeric in your recipes, remove any dry outer skin and then simply chop or grate the fresh turmeric as needed. To store fresh turmeric, you can keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days, or alternatively chop and freeze it to use as and when you need.
Buying Dried Turmeric
In most cases, dried turmeric powder is both more readily available and a more convenient way to use turmeric. Unlike fresh turmeric, dried turmeric powder lasts much longer and doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge. Having had its water content removed, you also require much less dried turmeric to achieve the same flavor as you would if you were using fresh. When sourcing dried turmeric powder, pay close attention to its freshness and aroma. Although dried turmeric doesn’t go off as quickly as fresh turmeric, it can lose its pungency over time. Once you get your turmeric home, store it in an airtight container away from direct sunlight, and it should keep well for up to a year.
Is Fresh Turmeric Better Than Dried?
Both fresh and dried turmeric have their uses. Fresh turmeric is often best in smoothies, turmeric tea, raw salads, and golden milk because it doesn’t leave any powderiness on the pallet. On the other hand, dried turmeric is often best in curries, soups, and stews, where you would need a lot of fresh turmeric to impart the same flavor. If you only have access to dried turmeric, then don’t worry. Dried turmeric can still be used in all of the same applications as fresh turmeric and vice-versa.
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