A major dilemma I think; many cooks find it hard deciding whether to use dry or fresh turmeric. I love turmeric, and it is this love for it and obviously including it in some of my recipes that have made me discover the difference between dry and fresh turmeric. Fresh turmeric may be confused with ginger if one has not used it before. Its flesh is bright orange in color, and you may want to peel it off before using it depending on the maturity. The livelier flavor differentiates it from dried turmeric. Fresh turmeric has a higher percentage of curcumin. The flesh of fresh turmeric moreover is slightly bitter and peppery. Fresh turmeric may be cut into cubes or coins or some of us even throw it in our smoothies. Not a huge difference but it is cheaper to buy fresh turmeric compared to dried turmeric.
Dry turmeric is made by peeling, boiling and drying fresh turmeric. Dried turmeric lacks turmeric oil which is usually lost during the process of making it. Curcumin is partly lost during processing of dry turmeric, and it is an essential constituent of turmeric. Dry turmeric however still provides the warmth and color that every cook likes about turmeric. Fresh turmeric has a better aroma compared to dried turmeric, and this can be attributed to the loss of essential oils during processing dried turmeric. The aroma gives the food a distinct and wonderful taste.
Pictured here is our Mango and Turmeric Smoothie served on Sunday's at Vegan Brunch.