To ferment this paste you do need whey --such as from yogurt. But if you are growing turmeric this ferment may be a means to a daily usage.
I take turmeric therapeutically for pain, and it can be an expensive hobby. On top of that turmeric isn't easily absorbed so that's where the marriage with pepper kicks in.
When you take tablets you can't so easily use them in cooking or beverages.
There are new methods being engineered by the pharmacy industry to increase absorption but if you want to have your own cottage industry, here's a way:
Cultured Turmeric Paste
Here’s my recipe for fermented turmeric paste – a real winner as far as health benefits, easy to make and ease of use. This golden, rich and vibrant paste will last up to 12 months in your refrigerator providing you with medicine all year long.
Culturing your turmeric will increase the health benefits substantially; provide valuable fermentation metabolites and probiotics as well as preserving the substrate for months.
Fermentation vessel (I used glass)
Champion Juicer or Food Processor½ pound fresh turmeric, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon organic freshly ground pepper and cumin (black pepper and cumin increases the absorption/ bioavailability of the properties of turmeric substantially)
¼ -1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Whey, approximately ¼ cup
1. Put the chopped turmeric in the food processor or champion juicer and process until it reaches a smooth paste. Add the salt, pepper and whey and stir in gently.
2. Press in very tightly into a half-pint jar. Top the paste with a thin layer of whey. This is an anaerobic process so the whey protects the paste from oxygen. Cap tightly.
3. Set the paste in a cool dark place. Check daily and if the whey is absorbed, add another thin layer.
4. Depending on variables, your paste will be ready in approximately 5 days or so. Your ferment should smell strong (like turmeric) but clean and should taste salty and only slightly sour. This ferment will keep in your refrigerator for approximately 12 months.
*I made considerably more than this recipe as we use turmeric daily in foods and beverages.