I love fresh turmeric but don’t always know what to do with it. Most Indian cooking seems to use dried turmeric powder (I do wonder why). I make my mother’s recipe of a pot roast chicken that uses lots of fresh turmeric – one of Andrew’s favourites. And a chicken soup, some thai curry pastes….but other than that I tend to run out of inspiration. I always buy it when I see it in Sydney. And ofcourse I could not resist buying a big bag of it at the Mossman markets the other day since it looked so fresh and lovely.
I made this rice dish the other night after we set up our camp in semi darkness. We needed a quick and simple meal and this was just the ticket for that. I will make it again at home as I really loved the way the fresh turmeric flavour came through in the rice (quite different from the dry turmeric powder flavour I think). The yellow chunks you can see in the picture are pumpkin, not turmeric! I grated my ingredients because of the limited kitchen equipment I have here. At home I would smash it all up with a mortar and pestle.
Approx 1 cup of rice (I used Doongara “smart rice”)
1 tablespoon grated fresh turmeric
1 teasoon grated garlic
1 cup diced raw pumpkin
1/2 cup diced roast beef (optional if you want to keep it vego, replace with peas or some quick cooking lentil)
1 teaspoon stock powder
1 teaspoon curry powder (I had a mix of powdered spices that I made to bring camping, but probably any type of “curry powder” would work ok here)
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few sprigs of chopped fresh corriander
Heat a little olive oil in the pan. Fry the turmeric, curry powder and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and stir for a minute or two. Add the pumpkin (and lentils if you are using them), stock powder, salt and sufficient warm water for the rice to cook. When it is nearly cooked, add in the roast beef and corriander. Cover and leave to finish cooking.