Made from the root of a tropical plant native to Asia, turmeric, also called yellow ginger, gives mustard and curry their bright yellow color. Use it to give southeast Asian or Middle Eastern dishes their typical yellow color and slightly bitter or acidic flavor, or to bring those same colors and flavors to any of your recipes.
In Ethnic Recipes
- Add 1 tablespoon of turmeric along with 2 teaspoons each of cumin and coriander instead of curry powder to give Indian curry a less sharp and hot, but more earthy, flavor.
- Add powdered or fresh turmeric to the spices and herbs in Middle Eastern dishes such as rice pilaf, or a chermoula herb sauce for meats, fish or vegetables.
- Use either fresh or powdered turmeric in any Thai-inspired dish from a vegetable stir-fry seasoned with garlic, lime juice and chopped cilantro to a noodle entree with shrimp and lemon grass.
In Other Recipes
- Stir 1 teaspoon of powdered turmeric into tofu scrambled eggs or egg salad to replicate the color of real eggs.
- Stir 1 teaspoon of minced, fresh turmeric into cooked vegetables, such as cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, potatoes or sweet potatoes, to give them spiciness and additional flavor.
- Add about 1/2 teaspoon of powdered turmeric to each 2 pounds of cucumbers when you make pickles to add both color and subtle flavor.
Susan Lundman began writing about her love of cooking, ingredient choices, menu planning and healthy eating after working for 20 years on children's issues at a nonprofit organization. She has written about food online professionally for ten years on numerous websites, and has provided family and friends with homemade recipes and stories about culinary adventures. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.