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Nov 17, 2009 01:38 AM

Fresh Turmeric - London

Any ideas where I can find fresh turmeric in North London, I've been to a few ethnic supermarkets but to no avail. Suggestions would be very welcome.

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  1. You can find fresh turmeric (Haldi in Hindi) at Indian shops in Ealing Road, Wembley or VB Stores in Greenford, Kenton, Wembley or Quality Stores in Southall.

    What do you need it for? I take it you have used fresh turmeric before and so know how to use it.

    5 Replies
    1. re: frogprince

      Thanks frogprince, I'll go track it down. I have never used it before and I want to try out some Balinese and Sri Lankan dishes. I always felt that powdered turmeric had a slight 'musty and old' taste about it and am excited to see how fresh turmeric differs. Any tips on using it?

      1. re: plummonk

        According to my mother, the traditional Indian method is to boil the root, dry it completely and then grind it into a powder. This is obviously how the commercial turmeric is produced and may get 'musty & old' over time. So you could either process a small root at a time or...just use it like ginger and use it fresh. I'm guessing that fresh may have a less concentrated taste. Oh, and keep it in the fridge in an airtight bag till you decide to use it.

        Try it and let me know!

        1. re: frogprince

          My understanding is that fresh and powdered are quite different and shouldn't be substituted for each other. It is related to ginger and like ginger the fresh and dried forms are used differently.

          I use fresh turmeric most often in Thai curry pastes and always see it in Thai ingredient shops, I think it is less common in Indian shops because most Indian curry pastes use the dried version.

          My understanding (from David Thompson's Thai Food book) is that powdered is often cut with other things like tapioca powder and that is what ruins the flavour. If the recipe says powder maybe follow FP's mums advice and dry and grind your own.

        2. re: plummonk

          Wear gloves or you'll look like you've been Tango-ed! Turmeric's a member of the ginger family so peel the fresh roots and finely grate or chop as you would fresh ginger. I'd still go easy though because - as I'm sure you know - a little turmeric goes a very long way.

          1. re: alicecooks

            Thanks both of you. I was imagining using it fresh like ginger, maybe making a curry paste with it and a load of other ingredients and basting on a pork shoulder for some slow roasting. I'll definitely try it on the weekend and let you know.

      2. Have you tried Wing Yip (the Cricklewood one)? Not quite North London but Tawana Thai on Chepstow Road (near Westbourne Grove) should have some. Or Chinatown might be the best bet if you find yourself in the centre of town.

        4 Replies
        1. re: alicecooks

          Yeah I did try Wing Yip but couldn't see it. I'll go hunting again this week or Saturday, I'm sure with all your suggestions I'll find some. Also on the lookout for candlenuts!

          1. re: plummonk

            I found candlenuts in China Town, took me a while to find them though!

            1. re: Plantie

              They stock them in New Loon Moon (or the other one, which is opposite) on Gerrard Street. They're in the room at the back, down the stairs.

              1. re: greedygirl

                Thanks, both of you, good to know. I found them at Wing Yip as well.

        2. I got some in one of the Chinese supermarkets on Gerrard St in Chinatown. You can keep it in the freezer until you need it.

          1. Literally any Indian grocery of significant size. North, south, east or west.

            1. So just thought I'd write back that I found it when I went back to Wing Yip and really enjoyed cooking with it (apart from having to wear gloves and watch out for stains). It definitely has a much more fragrant, fruity and fresh flavour and scent compared with dry and I'll be using a lot more.

              For those interested, I used it to slow roast a pork shoulder for Sunday lunch. Mixed turmeric with lemongrass, galangal, ginger, lime juice, garlic, shallots, shrimp paste and palm sugar and blended for the marinade. It was really tasty, soft, pull apart pork and crunchy crackling. Mmmm. Attached are quick pics, sorry they are not better but I was too anxious to eat!