Real World Gardener Turmeric in Spice It Up

October 23rd, 2015

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fmSydney,streaming live at  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.


Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition


Turmeric: Curcuma longa

 In yet another example of what’s in the supermarket spice shelf is not what it’s cracked up to be, you’ll find out that there’s two types of this (Turmeric) spice.

One is best for pickling or making pickles with, the other is the better one for flavouring your cooking.


When commercially harvesting or 'lifting' Turmeric, the rhizome is boiled to stop it from sprouting; to even out the colour, because naturally, the colour is concentrated in the centre and a lot paler towards the edges; and to gelatinise the starches within it.



Even more interesting is that you can actually grow this spice yourself.

Listen to the podcast. Talking with herb expert Ian Hemphill from






Turmeric is a tropical rhizome but can grow in cooler climates as long is you give it protection from frost.

Sometimes referred to as Indian Saffron, but there's no real similarity with the flavour.


Madras Turmeric and Allepeppy turmeric were the two different types that Ian mentioned.

Madras is for colouring food such as when making pickles and Allepeppy is the more aromatic turmeric that you use in cooking dishes such as Dahl, or curries or wherever the recipe calls for Turmeric.

If you manage to get some rhizomes of Turmeric, spring is the time to plant them in the ground about 7 – 10 cm deep.

Use the Turmeric root fresh by grating it into your dishes that call for Turmeric.

If you have any questions about Turmeric or have some information you’d like to share, why not email or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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