Haldi ki Sabji // Fresh Turmeric Root Curry is an authentic Rajasthani recipe which is very popular in the city of Jodhpur. This curry is also called a health booster as it is full of turmeric and other spices, which have some very impressive healing properties. I guess most of us already know about the health benefits of turmeric.
The curry recipe I am sharing today has gallivanted thousands of miles. This is something I have wanted to eat for a long long time. And by that long time, I meant a length of over a decade.
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I never had or heard about this curry ‘ Haldi ki Sabji’ (हल्दी की सब्जी ) until the day I savored it from Varsha’s lunch box. All of my friends carried lunch boxes throughout the duration of our school days. And we just loved sharing our lunches with each other. Variety of taste at a single meal was a rare commodity back then.
How it all began? To answer that, let me take you down the memory lane.
I am talking about my early education days. Varsha has been my friend since those early days. During winter times, she used to carry a very special and distinctive curry in her lunch box. Varsha currently lives in Jaipur. However, originally Varsha and her family hails from Jodhpur (Rajasthan). You might know about Jaipur as my native home city, about which I have written a thousand times 🙂 ).
This particular curry is a very popular curry from Jodhpur. Thus, I never had this at my home. Varsha’s mom used to cook that droolicious curry for her. And for my types, we used to act like scavengers at the very smell of that curry.
In those years, I didn’t realize that the flavor of this curry would leave a mark on my taste buds, and eventually I would miss it terribly. Frankly speaking, I did not miss it much during the time I lived in India. It’s because every-time I craved for it, I simply asked Varsha to rescue my taste-buds.
But later when I moved to Finland and started craving for homemade spicy food, I craved for this curry too. Many times when I saw fresh turmeric roots at the grocery stores here, it took my desperation to another level. And every single time I saw them, I seriously yearned for that turmeric curry Varsha used to bring in her lunch box.
But now when I think about it, I could not find a single reason about what took me so long that I didn’t ask her about this recipe earlier.
So finally last month I called to Varsha for the recipe, and asked if she knows about how to make that same fresh authentic turmeric root curry. And this is how it happened.
Me: “Varsha, I am terribly missing that ‘haldi ki sabji’ you used to bring in your lunch box. I have got some fresh turmeric roots and I want exactly the same curry. Do you know how is it made?”
Varsha: “Yes, of course, I know. But my Mom makes it at home and luckily she is sitting nearby. I will ask her and will call you back in 5 minutes”
Me: “Yeah, I will wait for the recipe and most probably I will make it today itself.”
Varsha: “Mom is saying, why don’t you come home and she will make it for you.” 😀
Me: “Awe, that’s so sweet of Aunty. Tell her, I will surely come when next time I will visit India.”
Varsha: “Alright! Mom said a lot of ghee is a must for this recipe. You need to roast grated turmeric in ghee. And she told me the whole process verbally.”
Me: “Wow, sounds delicious and not too tricky to make. I will surely make it today. However, I don’t have ghee at home right now so I will make it in butter. I hope that should be fine.”
Varsha: “Wait, let me ask it to Mom”. She asked to her mom and said: “No, it wouldn’t taste as good in butter as it tastes in ghee. So if possible, try to make it in ghee”.
Me: “Ah, I understand. I guess maybe butter wouldn’t give that authentic touch. So, I will have to make ghee first and then I will let you know about how it went.”
Varsha: “Sure. Try it and let me know how it turned out?”
Then I made the ghee first and after that made the curry the same day because I couldn’t wait any longer. Abhishek has never had this curry before, but I have already told him a million times about the goodness of this curry. So he was completely sold on the idea of making ‘Haldi ki Sabji || Turmeric Root Curry’, and he absolutely loved it.
He said: “I never knew that turmeric can make this awesome stuff. I won’t mind if you make it often”. 😉
I obviously loved it entirely too. Thanks a bunch to Aunty and Varsha for this lovely family recipe they shared with me. So, I finally had this curry after a long time and it was just so good.
What is ‘Haldi ki Sabji || Turmeric Root Curry’ (हल्दी की सब्जी )?
This is an authentic Rajasthani recipe which is very popular in the city of Jodhpur. In India, winter is the season when the farmer-market is so full of fresh turmeric roots. Thus, this curry is made during the winter time.
This curry is also called a health booster as it is full of turmeric and other spices, which have some very impressive healing properties. I guess most of us already know about the health benefits of turmeric. This curry is served hot with roti, or rice.
Don’t forget gloves. Here’s why.
For making this curry, I would recommend you to use gloves while peeling and grating turmeric roots, as they tend to leave yellow stains on hands. For removing skin from fresh turmeric, use a spoon. It will scrape off the skin easily. You’ll be surprised to see how easy and smooth this spoon technique works.
50 shades of yellow!
Turmeric root originally is of deep orange color, and when cooked, the color turns to distinctive yellow first. After that when cooked for some more time, it turns to a shade of brown. That’s exactly what we want. The turmeric root curry is different than a ground turmeric curry. This curry is not bright yellow — it’s a little earthier.
Here’s how it is made:
The curry base is made with tomatoes, ginger, garlic, onions, yogurt and some spices. For an authentic and rich taste, roasting turmeric in ghee is a must for this recipe. And the spices and tomato-yogurt based gravy takes care of the rest. Then the most ah-mazing curry is ready.
Watch Haldi ki Sabji // Fresh Turmeric Root Curry Recipe Video below (please wait for a couple of seconds for loading).
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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.