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Also Known as
Amba hald, ambahald
Fresh turmeric has unlike other members of the ginger family used in Thai cooking; fresh turmeric is pleasantly mild and does not have a sharp bite. On the other hand, it has a very loud color - deeply orange inside an orange-tinged beige-brown skin. Turmeric is much smaller than ginger, the fleshy root composed of a fat cylindrical rhizome tapered on both ends, from whose sides branch two opposite rows of short, slender fingerlike appendages from one to three inches in length. Growing both straight or curved, smooth or knobby and gnarly, the "fingers" break easily from the parent root and are more often found in markets as unattached members.
Fresh turmeric has a distinct flavor, very pleasing though delicate. Another variety, known by some as "white" turmeric, is consumed by Southeast Asians and available from some of their markets during late spring and summer. Its flesh is a lighter color than common turmeric; its flavor, however, is not as subtle, and some roots can be quite pungent. Southeast Asian cultures not only cook with this turmeric but eat the young roots raw or blanched, dipped in spicy sauces.
Chopped fresh turmeric
Peel the fresh turmeric gently with a peeler. Cut off both the ends and place it upright. Cut it into half from the centre. Cut the half portion into another half and remove the seeds from centre. Chop by cutting them in small pieces approximately ¼ inch in diameter. Remember to chop gently without applying much pressure.
Sliced fresh turmeric
Peel the fresh turmeric gently with a peeler. Cut off both the ends and place it upright.
Holding fresh turmeric vertically, slice using a sharp knife by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice them thinly or thickly as the recipe requirement, can used as a garnish or for recipes or salad.
How to Select
Fresh turmeric roots are sold in the markets. When purchasing fresh amba haldi, make sure it is firm, smooth and free of mold. It is generally available in two forms, either young or mature.
· Fresh Turmeric Leaves Its Zesty Mark. Hands get stained yellow very easily, hence take care while chopping. Use of gloves can be done.
· Gujaratis love the pickle made out of amba haldi. For that, remove the skin from fresh mature amba hald, peel with a paring knife. It can be sliced, minced or cut into juliennes, cur into roundels and can even to finely or roughly chopped as per recipe requirements. Add the juice of fresh lime and let it marinate for three days. Enjoy with choice of your favourite dish.
· Few tablespoons of chopped turmeric with Basmati rice in a little coconut milk and water. The grains did not turn color and the turmeric kept its texture and taste.
· Fresh turmeric is also interesting with fresh corn cooked in coconut milk.
· It tastes good with chopped in a potato or egg salad, or cut in fat slices and substituted for carrots in a soup.
· When added to foods, its carrot orange actually imparts a bright yellow color.
· The pretty color and delicate flavor of fresh turmeric is well-loved in the southern region of Thailand, where it is extensively used in curries, soups, stir-fried dishes, fried foods, snacks and desserts.
· It has a delicate flavor that is simply exquisite - fuller, subtly more complex and much more pleasant than the dried or powdered varieties
· 250 gm of fresh turmeric in equal proportions of the yellow and white roots (the white variety is called amba-haldi and has the flavouring of raw mango). 6 lemons Salt to taste For Tempering 2 tsps oil, 1 tbsp brown mustard seeds, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 1 tbsp black gram dal (washed urad dal); picked over and rinsed 1 tbsp Bengal gram dal (yellow split peas, chana dal); picked over and rinsed 1 red chilli (halved) 1/2 tbsp asafoetida powder, A few curry leaves, Salt to taste Procedure: Clean, wash and brush the fresh turmeric. Peel away the outer skin and let it dry completely. Grate the turmeric or cut into thin slices if you prefer. Add juice of lemons and salt to taste. Put it away in a jar and refrigerate. It can stay for weeks. The pickle can be consumed with all kinds of food, rice and dal, vegetables and chappatis.
How to Store
Fresh turmeric can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks if it is left unpeeled. The fresh rhizomes store well if kept dry in the refrigerator - wipe dry if they are damp, then wrap with a paper towel before placing in a zip lock plastic bag.
· Activities of Fresh Turmeric include: Alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-allergic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, appetizer, astringent, cardiovascular, carminative, digestive, diuretic, stimulant, and vulnerary.
· Turmeric is known to be used medicinally for ulcers, parasitic infections, various skin disorders, strains, bruises, inflammation of the joints, cold and flu symptoms, preserving food and as a digestion aid.
· Through the ages, turmeric has been sought as a medicinal herb.
· Herbalists are familiar with its stimulant and tonic properties and prescribe the juice extracted from the rhizome as an internal antiseptic and antidote to blood poisoning.
· Amba haldi is an aromatic stimulant, tonic and carminative.
· It protects skin from atmospheric pollution, wrinkles and bacteria.
· It imparts resistance against allergies of throat, nose and trachio bronchial passage. Haldi is commonly used in skincare preparations and treats pimples, acne and black heads.
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