So it’s been quite some time since I have been getting queries on ‘how to make Turmeric or Golden Paste with fresh or raw turmeric roots?’
It is quite an interesting query but I never got down to preparing the recipe (excuse me for the laziness). But nevertheless I do get fresh roots and consume them everyday as a salad or pickle or just fermented in brine with every major meal.
Now this recipe focuses on orange yellow turmeric roots [Curcuma longa]. Now first up is the discussion of curcumin content: how much curcumin do you get from making Golden Paste with fresh roots?
Most manufacturers state that curcumin in the turmeric powder is less than the fresh roots because some of it is lost in processing. And that is true since peeling, boiling and grinding fresh turmeric roots will lead to a slight loss of curcuminoids.
It is said that perhaps you will need a lot of roots in comparison to the powder to deliver the same amount of curcumin. But perhaps that concern is just in relation to the difference in dry weight and moisture content of the powder and roots.
If you use adequate amount of roots you can get the necessary dose of curcumin for daily health benefits as the paste made from powder.
Since you are making a paste form the consistency and the volume of the product is similar to Golden Paste made from turmeric powder; so it is not like you have to eat a large amount of fresh roots to get the desired curcumin content.
Besides fresh roots have over 100 more beneficial compounds to offer than curcumin. (Read Turmeric or Curcumin: Which one should you take?)
There is no specific proportion, if you are an experienced cook you would probably know the adjustments. Nevertheless we have got it covered in the ingredients section below.
The next question is the bioavailability issue of turmeric and curcumin. Since you are using fresh roots, there is no bioavailability issue in the first place.
Curcumin is in its natural form with the perfect ratio of curcuminoids and turmeric oils and this combination eases the absorption of curcumin.
So is there a need to add black pepper and oil? Theoretically , curcumin with the natural oils is well absorbed in the body.
But how does this absorption compare with curcumin-black pepper combination or curcumin-lipid combination is still a thought.
Dietary black pepper does improve absorption of any compound by interfering in the drug metabolism process. And adding black pepper is beneficial for health and it potentiates the action of curcumin. (Read Health benefits of Black pepper and Turmeric)
A regular dose of healthy fats like olive or coconut oil is great for health and what better way to include it in your diet as combining it with turmeric.
Also is it necessary to cook the paste? In the powder based recipe you need to cook the paste so that turmeric is better dissolved in water. Though not a necessity in this recipe; I still recommend cooking the paste for just 2 mins to get the desired consistency. (Read Do I need to cook turmeric to get health benefits?)
Finally the taste, there is actually no difference between powder based Golden paste and fresh roots Golden Paste in terms of color, texture, taste and aroma. Try it for yourself!
- 4-5 fresh turmeric roots of medium to large size (the ones I used were around 3-4 inch in length)
- Less than 1 cup of water (less water than powder based Golden Paste since roots are high in moisture and juice)
- 2-3 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
- 50 ml cold pressed olive or coconut oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder (optional)
- 2 tsp ginger powder (optional)
1. Wash and clean the roots well. Gently peel the roots so as to get rid of the brown peels without losing out on the orange flesh. You may like to keep the peels on but I opted for removing them because it is difficult to grind the peels well and they would interfere in the overall texture of the paste. So it is your personal choice.
2. Finely chop the roots. You may consider grating them and I did try that, but I felt it leads to quite a bit of loss of fresh juice and curcuminoids from the roots compared to finely chopping. Note your hands are likely to get stained so you can use gloves to avoid it.
3. Add the finely chopped roots to a blender to get a fine paste. The first round of blending will give a semi coarse paste. Add enough water to make the paste moist (around 1/2 cup approx) and blend once again. This should give the final consistency.
4. Now transfer the contents to a bowl or suitable container. You may need to add a little water to the blender container in the end to get all the contents in the bowl. Now cook this paste on low flame/temperature with continuous stirring to get a thick consistency.
This should be take around 3-5 mins. Ensure you are stirring continuously to avoid it from sticking to sides and burning. As soon as any bubbles are seen switch off the flame/electric stove.
5. Take the mixture off the stove and add black pepper and oil. Give it a good mix with a spoon. You can add cinnamon powder and ginger powder if needed. Personally I like adding to the two for flavour and health benefits.
6. Let the mixture cool and it is ready to be consumed.
1. Is it ok to leave the peels of the root on?
That is your personal choice, it is absolutely fine to leave the peels on.
2. The paste is too coarse or dry, what should I do?
Add just enough water to make the paste moist but not too much to avoid making it watery or thin in consistency.
3. The paste is watery, what should I do?
No problem. You would just have to cook it a little while till the water content reduces to give a thick paste.
Dosage of Golden Paste from Fresh Roots
The dosage is same as powder based Golden Paste: 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day (precisely 1 tsp 3 times a day).
If you are new to this, then start with small doses such as ¼-1/2 tsp a day for a week. And if no side effect is observed (gastric discomfort) then increase by ½ tsp every week and work your way to the ideal dose.
We recommend taking 1 tsp thrice a day but this totally depends on you, some readers are fine with less quantities while some take more.
Avoid taking on an empty stomach to avoid acid reflux like symptoms.
Dietary turmeric is absolutely safe. The only thing that may bother you in preparing this paste is the yellow stains on hands and vessels. For hands you can use gloves while peeling and chopping the roots.
If you are bothered about Turmeric stains please read 14 Ways to take care of Turmeric stains
Use an air-tight container, preferably glass container, to store this paste. Refrigerate once the paste cools down. It should be fresh for at least 2 weeks.
How to include raw/fresh Golden Paste in diet?
You can simply take it the way it is or add it to various dishes:
1. Add it to hot milk to get your Turmeric/Golden Milk
2. Add it to hot water to get your Turmeric Tea.
3. Add it to your smoothies or juices.
4. Use it as a spread or sauce.
5. Add a little cinnamon, honey and enjoy it with dried fruits.
Is Golden Paste made from fresh roots as effective as Golden Paste made from turmeric powder?
Yes Golden Paste made from roots is equally effective as the powder based one. In fact there are a couple of added benefits:
1. Curcumin is in its natural form with natural turmeric oils and curcuminoids so it is better absorbed.
2. You get the natural turmeric oils and other beneficial compounds present in turmeric root which are missing from turmeric powder.
3. You would get a dose of micronutrients and natural fibre present in the roots.
4. Since you are using the roots directly, there are no chances of adulteration or heavy metal contamination.
5. For those of you who grow turmeric, this is an awesome way of deriving health benefits of turmeric straight from your garden.
Making Golden Paste from fresh roots is just a wee bit more tough than making it from powder because you have to chop the roots and blend them. But the results are totally awesome.
I highly recommend this for those who use fresh turmeric roots. This recipe has more to offer than curcumin.
Aromatic compounds present in turmeric oil such as ar-turmerone are great for health. They have anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and anti-cancer properties. (Read 7 Reasons Why Raw Turmeric is Fantastic)
This is a great recipe for those who grow turmeric or buy fresh roots in bulk. Do try it out and let me know how it turns out.