Vegan Veg - Recipe: Turmeric & mango relish
By: Richard Morris
When Lonnie first talked about growing turmeric, I have to admit I was just a bit taken aback. Fine, I’d known ground turmeric for all my life – but fresh?
I’d never seen it and knew only of my mother’s stories of how it would stain everything it came into contact with, not least one’s hands, with a degree of permanence that would make some of my previous experiments pale into insignificance. (Regular readers may recall the acorn processing project, the tannin leaving my fingers brown for days afterwards.)
With a few sensible precautions, fresh turmeric has proved to be well worth the effort. Using a non-staining chopping board and wearing an apron and latex gloves should prevent both you and your kitchen from going a bright shade of yellow.
In any recipe which calls for ground turmeric, you can use fresh. Just peel the rhizome and chop very finely. You should use a little more fresh turmeric than you would use of the ground variety at a ratio of about 3:2.
As Lonnie says, it’s also possible to make your own dried turmeric powder. Traditionally, this would be done by air drying but in the UK, other than in the hottest and driest summers, it’s best to resort to using a low oven. Start by boiling the rhizomes for 45 minutes, drain and peel. Cut into small pieces and place on a baking sheet and put in a very low temperature oven (110°C, 225°F, Gas ¼) with the door ajar for 8-12 hours until dry. Then grind in a coffee or nut grinder (I’d recommend an electric one for all but the most hardy) until fine. Bottled, it will keep for months.
Fresh turmeric is also useful to make a zingy condiment that keeps for up to a week in the fridge and goes well with curry. Small, green, unripe or semi-ripe mangoes are available from oriental grocers and some larger supermarkets. Sweet mangoes can be substituted but will give the condiment less of an edge.
❯ 50g turmeric root, peeled and sliced into fine matchsticks
❯ 50g green mango, peeled and sliced finely
❯ 1 green chilli, chopped finely
❯ Juice of half a lime
❯ Salt, to taste
1. Combine all the ingredients well
2. Serve with the curry of your choice (It’s that simple!)
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