Curcuma Longa

Appears in
New Wave Asian: A Guide to the Southeast Asian Food Revolution

By Sri Owen

Published 2002

  • About
Fresh turmeric (❶, top) is better, but if you can’t get it, it’s quite alright to use ground turmeric (❶, bottom). Fresh turmeric must, of course, be peeled before use. Remember that turmeric contains a powerful bright-yellow dye that is almost impossible to wash out if it gets on your clothes. I’ve often wondered if this is why yellow, in Southeast Asia, has long been regarded as a semi-divine colour, to be used only by royalty. On a more practical level, turmeric dyes rice yellow in the same way as saffron, but at a fraction of the cost. (Admittedly, saffron has more flavour.)