Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years and is a major part of Ayurvedic medicine. It was first used as a dye and then later for its possible medicinal properties. Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
During the south Indian festival Pongal, a whole turmeric plant with fresh rhizomes is offered as a thanksgiving offering to Surya, the Sun god. Also, the fresh plant sometimes is tied around the sacred Pongal pot in which an offering of pongal is prepared.
Turmeric powder is used extensively in Indian cuisine. It is a significant ingredient mostly used in savory dishes. Turmeric is also used to give a yellow color to foods. My mom always makes it at home instead of store bought powder. Because they add artificial colors and also mix it with some other powders. When I went to India for vacation, my mom prepared this homemade turmeric powder and I love the natural color, fragrance in it.
- 1 kilogram – Dried turmeric root / Manjal kombu
- 100 ml – Castor oil / Vilakkennai(optional)
- Dry the dried turmeric root in the sun for 2 to 3 days. Grind them in flour mill to a fine powder.
- Spread the ground turmeric powder on a paper and allow them to cool for a while.
- Meanwhile heat a pan, add castor oil and bring it to boil, switch off the stove and allow them to cool.
- When powder is cooled down, add castor oil and mix well. Then store it in an airtight container and use it for your cooking. Homemade turmeric powder is ready.
- Usage of castor oil is optional but normally my mom use it to prevent from bugs. If you don’t like castor oil then store it in a freezer zip lock and freeze it.
- Do not store turmeric powder immediately while it is hot.
- Store turmeric powder in a big container and transfer to a smaller container for day to day use..
- Grind turmeric root in a flour mill not in a mixer grinder.