Fermented Turmeric Tonic


Turmeric has a reputation as a great healthy herb. It can also add exciting flavor and color to recipes. Use a little root or powder in the second ferment of kombucha or water kefir, or shred a little root over a salad.

This tonic is tasty and refreshing, with a little effervescence from the natural fermentation of the honey. Drink a few sips just for fun, or splash a little over meat or fish during cooking.


  • 5 to 7 inches turmeric root, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 5 to 7 tamarind pods, or 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 2 quarts water


  1. Put the turmeric root in a quart of water and let it boil for at least 20 minutes, until the water becomes a rich golden yellow.
  2. While the turmeric is boiling, prepare the tamarind if you are using the pods. Crack and open the pods, and remove only the fruit. Simmer the tamarind fruit, stirring gently, so that it dissolves into a jam-like texture. When the seeds have come out of the fruit, let the mixture cool, then pour it through a strainer to remove the seeds and seed peels and create the paste.
  3. When the turmeric water is ready, add enough cool water to bring the temperature to just warm, and blend thoroughly to liquefy the cooked turmeric.
  4. Add the tamarind paste to the blended mixture and blend again.
  5. Add the lemon juice and honey, and blend once more.
  6. Now add enough cool water to bring the quantity up to 2 quarts of liquid.
  7. Distribute the blended tonic into small jars with tight lids, leaving about 1/2 to 1 inch of head space.
  8. Let the tonic sit at room temperature for a day or two, then refrigerate for storage.

The honey will gradually ferment, leaving the taste but not the sweetness. When you are ready to drink this, swirl it up to distribute the solids, or strain it before drinking if you prefer a clearer liquid.

Variations: You can add a little ginger to this for an extra kick, or use some brewed tulsi (basil) tea in place of some of the water.


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