View All Spice Definitions

Turmeric

Information for Turmeric

Turmeric Turmeric or cucuma longa is an herbaceous rhizomatous plant that is part of the Zingirberaceae or ginger family. This perennial plant grows in tropical climates and is native to South Asia.

The main part used in the creation of the spice is the rhizome. This is composed of a primary round tuber with finger like branching. This is boiled and dried before being pulverized producing a yellow-orange powder. When used fresh, it is prepared in the same way as ginger.

This spice is highly aromatic with a spicy fragrance that is reminiscent of mustard. In terms of flavor it carries an earthy and mildly peppery taste accompanied by some bitterness. Turmeric also gives off a yellow tint that can be used to color food, such as mustard sauce, cheese, butter, yogurt and salad dressings. This spice can be used in both savory and sweet dishes and is often used as a substitute for saffron due to the color and cheaper price.

Indian, Thai, Nepalese, Iranian, African and Persian cuisine all use turmeric as a key ingredient in many of their dishes. This spice goes well with beans, lamb, chicken, fish, paella, rice, lentils and curry among other things.



Photo Credit: h-bomb