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Why Turmeric Pickle is better than turmeric powder

Updated: Jul 20, 2021


For most of us in North India, winter is a paradox – a troublesome yet enticing season marked with bone-chilling weather and finger-licking good food. It’s the time to enjoy nature’s bounty and to preserve some of it for the rest of the year as delicious pickles.

Which reminds me of the pickle I was in, at a gathering at my friend’s place last week. I ventured into showing them how to have larger quantities of turmeric and enjoy it too. Admit it. We all suffer the very thought of eating a spoon of turmeric powder for medicinal or health purposes everyday!

In a Pickle

My big idea? Good ol’ Turmeric Pickle! It’s good for health (particularly in times like these) and tastes delicious! I knew I had my task cut out when I saw everyone cringing at the thought of having whole fresh turmeric. After all, everyone and by that I mean anyone who’s curious about food, health or life itself, is now aware of the fact that Turmeric is the new superfood.

And so opinions flowed in. “I give my children a spoon full of organic turmeric everyday and I know all the benefits”, said one of the attendees. Another one added, “Why pickle, it’s preserved. I think organic powder is much better.” The smarter ones exclaimed knowingly, “It’s not turmeric but curcumin that really matters, isn’t it better to take curcumin pills everyday!”

I was the lone ranger in this debate to convert the non-believers. So I decided to say it as simply as I could, “Remember the times a glass of freshly squeezed juice was considered supremely healthy? Years later we discovered that eating the fruit or vegetable had more nutritional value and fiber than juice. Similarly, it is scientifically proven that curcuminoids and volatile oils in whole turmeric are jointly responsible for its high medicinal value. Need I even talk about why fresh or pickled turmeric is better than powder?“

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Out of the Jar

As the naysayers took to corroborating the ‘facts’ online I added,  “Turmeric powder (organic and non-organic) may have curcumin but is scant in volatile oils or has none of it at all. Ditto with curcumin tablets. So it’s better to eat whole turmeric and not just powder or curcumin extracts. If it's too bitter or difficult for you have it as a pickle". Whoever said healthy food can't be delicious!

Interesting Facts

  1. North East India has the best available ORIGINAL organic turmeric in India and possibly the world

  2. Organic turmeric from Northeast like Lakadong and local varieties are the best naturally occurring high curcumin content varieties of turmeric

  3. There are new high curcumin varieties that are grown in South India, but they are NOT organic and have been cloned to be disease resistant and high yielding. Therefore, I would recommend ONLY original naturally grown Organic turmeric from North East India because it’s the turmeric I consider best for myself. Give me Mother Nature’s goodness any day!

  4. January & February are the best months to purchase fresh turmeric as it has just been harvested and is fresh from the farm. This is the ideal time to say goodbye to turmeric powder and grate fresh quantities of it and use it daily. It's also the best time to make turmeric pickle.

Happy Eating!

Note: This blog was originally written for

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