TUmeric naturally dies down in winter. It's deciduous perennial like ginger.
I have been bandicooting my tumeric since the leaves started to yellow, but it's after all the nutrition has been trasnferred fromthe leaves into the rhizomes that the flavour really intensifies and the rhizomes fatten up. They are the storage vessels for the next seasons growth, so the plant concentrates carbs in these storage vessels.
It's August now and the leaves have been completely dead for a few weeks. The plants can be dug and the harvest revealed. We are getting up to 2 kilos of tumeric per plant.
In the past I have frozen the tumeric (whole) that I didn't use immediately. This year I am drying the tumeric and ginger as I saw in Bali on an organic farm last week. (i know lucky me going away like that First trip to Bali too)
Anyway, back to the Tumeric, they clean the tumeric with a brush, leave it's skin intact and thinly slice. I have a mandolin slicer and will run the pieces through that for a fine slice.
Then they lay it in the sun to dry. It takes a week or so depending upon the thickness of the slice and the dryness of the weather . It can then be stored for ages and used dry crushed; or rehydrated then blended with water and strained to make the most delicious drink called 'Kungit asem'. This drink combines fresh tumeric, tamarind juice and honey to taste.
I bought the tamarind pulp today at the local chinese grocery ($2.99) and will dilute it with water till its dark brown like a miso tea then mix with the other ingredients. It's really refreshing and basically a few cents a cup.
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