Sunday, June 19, 2011

Turmeric / Haldi

Indians are familiar with the word Turmeric or Haldi (as it is known in India) as this is used in their daily cooking in the powder form. It also has a lot of medicinal properties and cosmetic uses too.  It is believed that the regular use of the paste made from the turmeric powder, gram flour and  milk cream with a dash of lime on one's skin especially the face makes it very smooth and glowing. 

The leaves of this plant are very aromatic. Most people are not aware that the leaves of the turmeric plants are used in the preparation of sweet dish. However, people from the southern region of India especially in villages, are quite familiar with this plant as these are grown in their backyards in almost every homes. In cities however, they can be easily grown in pots.

Turmeric/Haldi Plant 
This turmeric plant is growing in my balcony

A year ago I was given this haldi plant by one of my relatives. I found that this plant grows easily and does not require much care. During the rainy season, it flourishes. But since my garden is limited to my balcony, I have to be satisfied with whatever quantity of leaves it puts forth from the limited space available in the pot to prepare the sweet dish!

Dried Turmeric Roots
The tender turmeric roots (looks like a ginger root and can be easily mistaken for one) are available in the market and these can be used to grow your own turmeric plant. It is also used in the preparation of pickle. The dried roots can be ground into powder form and used in cooking. The common home remedy for congested nasal passage (blocked nose due to cold) is to burn the dried root at one end and to inhale its smoke through the congested nostril  The blocked nose is cleared immediately. I have tried it myself and can vouch for it.

As this plant is now growing happily in my balcony, I decided to find out more about this aromatic plant and share with you regarding its uses and also on how to grow them.

Another variety of turmeric known as “Ambe Haldi” (in Konkani meaning mango turmeric) is also available and this variety as the name suggests, has the aroma of a mango and is yellowish orange in colour.

This humble ingredient has various benefits. You may find the following links useful.

Source :

Watch out for my next post on the sweet dish prepared from this aromatic leaf.


  1. a wonderful post . brought back childhood memories of mom regularly applying a paste of besan haldi & milk on our faces. no Pond's Gold or Garnier White those days :)

  2. hi shobha..this is very informative..i am trying to grow haldi in containers too..but it took 1.5 months to sprout and now its taking ages to i doing something wrong?

    1. Arya, it does take awhile for it to really grow. Have patience. However, it grows rapidly during the monsoon season. After the rainy season, it may not put forth many leaves and sometimes the leaves turn yellow. But don't give up on it. If the bulb has not rotted, it remains dormant and the next monsoon season, you will be surprised to see fresh leaves again. That's what happened to my plant too.
      I hope your plant grows well. Sorry for delayed reply.