Turmeric is one of the widely used spices that add amazing color and flavor to dishes. Be it daal, vegetables, fish, or other non-veg cuisines, turmeric finds its way in almost all recipes. A root plant, turmeric has a bright color and pungent taste that make it unique in the spice world. Fresh turmeric fingers are earthy, peppery, and slightly bitter. It is rich in a bioactive compound known as curcumin that is anti-inflammatory in nature.
Highly rich in nutrients, these unprocessed roots when peeled, boiled, and dried are sold in the market as whole or in ground form. Easily available in grocery stores, the aroma of dried Haldi is often considered as a better indicator of quality than its color, which often varies from yellow to orange.
Whether you add turmeric to your dishes or consume it with warm milk, it’s a highly beneficial spice. However, there are some differences between turmeric powder or dried Haldi and raw turmeric. Knowing these differences can help you reap maximum benefits from the turmeric consumption. So, let’s have a look at some of these:
Presence of curcumin:
This is no secret that anything in natural form has more nutrients intact than its processed version. The amount of curcumin in fresh turmeric fingers is more than in its processed or powdered form. Some amount of curcumin is lost during the processing stage. Raw turmeric also has better essential oil contents than its processed counterparts as drying and processing takes away some of its essential oil value.
Color contamination risks:
As turmeric is a widely used spice, the chances of adulteration are also high. The use of artificial coloring in powdered turmeric can harm your body. However, this risk is considerably reduced when you use raw turmeric fingers.
Talking of the shelf life, fresh turmeric can last a few weeks if you store it in a refrigerator. Alternatively, turmeric powder when stored properly in an airtight container and away from light can last for years.
Enhanced digestion and immunity:
It’s believed that nutrients of raw turmeric fingers are better absorbed by the body than their dried forms. Raw turmeric when consumed in the right quantity is linked to promoting bile secretion in the body, resulting in more improved digestion.
Additionally, it also enhances immunity, preventing cold and flu owing to its antiseptic and anti-viral properties. Fresh turmeric fingers are also associated with relieving arthritis or joint pains. Using grated raw turmeric in soups, broths and curries can be very effective for people suffering from joint pains, especially during winters.
Turmeric is a golden spice owing to its vibrant color, unique flavor, and immense health benefits. It’s been in use for thousands of years and even today it continues to enjoy its prominence in the kitchens. As to whether you must opt for fresh turmeric or powdered one, it depends upon your needs and choice. For instance, if you want to use it for a raw preparation like smoothie then turmeric fingers are best to use but if you want to use it in your recipes that need proper cooking then powdered turmeric is more convenient.