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Can You Cook With Turmeric?

by Petra Wakefield
Turmeric gives curry powder its bright yellow color.

Turmeric gives curry powder its bright yellow color.

Despite its bright yellow color, turmeric has a mellow, earthy flavor that won't overwhelm other seasonings in a dish. If your children are attracted to brightly colored foods, you're in luck. Turmeric adds vitamin C, iron and calcium, but won't disturb picky eaters with a strong, unfamiliar flavor. You can add turmeric to meals already in your family's dinner rotation, or branch out and try a simple ethnic dish using turmeric.

Use turmeric in Indian-inspired dishes including meats, seafood, dals and curries. Turmeric appears in almost every Indian dish, and you won't get authentic flavor without it.

Stir a generous pinch of turmeric into rice while it cooks to add bright color and subtle flavor.

Add turmeric to almost any kind of soup or stew, including lentil, bean and potato. Start with a small pinch and add more to taste.

Flavor a stir fry or vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower and cabbage with turmeric. Start with a small amount and increase it gradually to suit your family's taste.

Complement dishes flavored with spices such as black pepper, cumin, ginger, coriander, cilantro or mustard seeds by adding turmeric. If the recipe doesn't include turmeric, start with 1/4 tsp. and add more if needed.

Substitute turmeric for saffron. Though it won't give quite the same flavor, turmeric adds a similar color and is less costly than saffron.

Stir turmeric into a creamy ranch or green onion dip, for an instant Indian-style twist on a raw vegetable platter.

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