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Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family.Turmeric is native to Asia. It is a hardy plant that doesn't need much care and can survive in a variety of climates, including sub-tropical climate. Its leaf is aromatic and very useful as a herb in cooking, as it gives a distinctive flavour to food and it is medicinally useful as well, to prevent coughs and colds and aches and pains. Fresh turmeric leaves are widely used in India, mainly along the coastal regions, where almost every backyard will have a patch of turmeric growing in it. City dwellers grow it in pots kept out in the sun, on window ledges.
Fresh turmeric leaves- these are available usually in te spring months and are used as a tempering, paste or whole in various cuisines.
Dried turmeric leaves- In order to increase the shelf life, the tamarind leaves are dried under the sun or commercially with driers. They need to be soaked in water and the extract is then used for culinary preparations.
How to select
Turmeric leaves are available in both fresh and dried form. The fresh ones should have light green colour and the leaves should not be wilted. Check the best before date before buying dried leaves.
" Patholi or Kadabu Made With Turmeric Leaves is a dish that is not only typical to Mangalore but a must during Gowri and Ganesha Festivals
" A few recipe with taurmeric leaves are fish Baked in Turmeric Leaves, steamed fish wrapped in turmeric leaves, etc.
" The young tender turmeric leaves have a subtle tart flavour without being overly bitter or sour. You can add quite a lot of these exotic tender greens to the any recipe, increasing your nutrient intake and giving your taste buds a real treat at the same time.
" Turmeric leaves are removed from the stalk and soaked in water to extract the sourness. The leaves are discarded and the water is used for culinary uses. Alternatively, the green leaves may be ground in to a paste and added to any preparation while cooking.
" Pickled turmeric leaves are common in India and are used as a flavoring in East Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It's used to season full flavored foods such as chutney, curry dishes and pickled fish.
How to store
Fresh leaves should be refrigerated and consumed within a week. While the dried ones can be stored in an air tight container and used for months.
" Turmeric leaves is cathartic, astringent and, antiseptic.
" In India Turmeric leaves is popular as a gentle laxative
" Folk medicine uses Turmeric leaves for sprains and swelling.
" The leaves are sometimes used in sub acid infusions, and a decoction is said to destroy worms in children, and is also useful for jaundice, and externally as a wash for sore eyes and ulcers
" In the Philippines, the leaves have been traditionally used in herbal tea for reducing malaria fever.
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