September 12, 2016

Growing Turmeric

One of the must-haves in my stock collection of spices would be none other than turmeric. It’s an ingredient I use often in my cooking and one that I can’t do without.

Be it in the form of powder, rhizomes or leaves, it has been one of my favourites amongst all the other spices. Fearing the not so easy access to turmeric powder especially the fresh rhizomes, we made sure that we brought some with us to the Netherlands. 

Fresh turmeric roots. Use gloves when cutting or peeling as they would stain your fingers and nails yellow for days!


We bought these rhizomes the night before we left for the Netherlands and we’ve kept fresh in our fridge since. Apart from using them for my cooking, the sole purpose of bagging them along was so that Silver Bullet could plant them.

We discovered that turmeric is a hardy plant as each time we thought that the plant seemed to have died with no more leaves left and only the soil remained, the plant surprised us.  It would start budding again within days the moment its thirst was quenched with LOTS of water. This happened every single time!

He was hoping to replicate his success in growing them when we were still living in Bangkok and wanted to grow our own turmeric plant in our backyard. More so for the leaves than anything else, really.  

Native to Southern Asia, turmeric plants grow well in temperatures between 20 °C – 30 °C and thrive in a place with a considerable amount of rainfall. Its leaves impart quite a distinctive flavour and I often use them in special, traditional dishes like Rendang and Ayam Lemak Chilli Padi to name a few. 

Both dishes happens to be Silver Bullet’s favourite and he is well aware that they don’t taste as good or as authentic without the leaves.

So now that you understand the motivation for Silver Bullet wanting to grow turmeric plant, it wasn’t at all surprising that Silver Bullet was again determined to grow another pot in our backyard.

He enthusiastically planted some rhizomes within the first few weeks of our arrival (in May), and almost gave up as there had been no signs of life after 2 months.

But in August, something magical happened.  

Several buds had appeared and within days and I mean just DAYS, the leaves started sprouting. Now, four months later, the turmeric plant is growing like there’s no tomorrow.

Just about budding and growing after 2+ months
After 4 months and how it looks now

What do you know – we have now got ourselves fresh weeds turmeric leaves.  That could only mean one thing: Rendang is on the menu! Look at those broad, huge leaves. The fragrance would be amazing!

Plus, if I ever run out of the fresh rhizomes, I could Silver Bullet can always dig up a few. We’d be happy to share some with you too!

Next up on Silver Bullet’s agenda: Curry Leaves. That would be a tricky one! 


This post is in conjunction with Stomper Dad’s Taboo Challenge  by not using the word  “NOT”  for today.  Join in the fun as well and add your link to take part in the challenge



Posted by:    |    6 Comment
  1. Maria Holm

    I am glad you mentioned gloves! My kitchen utensils are orange for a long time. I use turmeric in a mixture I make with honey, garlic turmeric cinnamon the good quality type. I pres it in a juicer and mix with half a jar of honey. I take a spoon full every morning with lemon juice. Then I wake up!!!😱 I hope it’s true that it cleanses the body

    • Hahahah! Oh yes,Maria!Those turmeric do leave some nasty stains and almost impossible to clean off, isn’t it? But I discovered that a generous spray of kitchen cleaner would help most times; I spray some on my hands too and give a good scrub. Probably not the best things to do, but hey! the stains come off easier.
      I’ve read about all the health benefits of turmeric and I’m so glad I use them often in my cooking. Your mixture does sound very interesting. How much turmeric do you use?

  2. WOW, I always learn something form you, Ann! Those leaves are beautiful! I just bought turmeric today in the powder form (I actually replaced all my spices as they expired long ago – I can’t even tell you the date, lol.)

    How did you go past customs with fresh food or seeds? I’m always afraid to bring something from home.

    • I thought the leaves are cool too, Jas! You’d be amazed by the fragrance just by bruising it. You’ve got to thank my husband for having the foresight to plant it.
      Talk about expiry…good on you for replacing! I hardly checked on them, and I mostly only throw them away when there are bugs or when they become too hard to even come out of the bottle! Horrible isn;t it? LOL. With turmeric and a few others, I used them so often that they don’t get past the expiry dates.

      Hmm…I usually just packed them along in my suitcase. The quantity is minimum or small sealed packaging, so I guess they don’t really bother checking it. But I also do that with the expectation that they would be confiscated. I do think the US may be stricter though, so they’d question. I know Australia would baulk at you for bringing anything that resembles food in! Those things, including candies would go straight into the bin once you pass the scanner.

  3. I put turmeric in almost everything… my husband has this running joke because I tell him over and over how good turmeric is for your health and how well it heals inflammation. So whenever there is an issue he asks me if turmeric can fix it…


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