Turmeric - How To Use

(Also known as Indian Saffron and False Saffron)


Turmeric has a warm, ginger-like floral fragrance and a slightly woody and bitter taste. Turmeric is part of the ginger family. Turmeric leaves are great for sustainable food wraps or as a herb itself.  It imparts a similar hue as Saffron but lacks a distinctive flavour. It works well with other complex blends, acting as a base with its earthy properties. The less is more approach should be triggered when using turmeric so that bitter notes don't overpower a blend. Turmeric adds pungency to curry and invigorates rice, vegetable stews and egg dishes.

India is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of turmeric. During medieval times in Europe, it was often used as an imitation of "Indian saffron" for dyeing cloth, although it didn't replace Saffron in taste. Like all herbs and spices, you should never expose turmeric to light. 


Turmeric is high in trace mineral manganese and helps process fatty acids and cholesterol. Turmeric is said to aid digestion, blood circulation and cholesterol levels. The ancient system of Ayurvedic also suggests that it may remedy stomach and liver ailments with its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Europeans have suggested turmeric for arthritis, asthma and the skin condition eczema. 

Interesting Facts

  • Turmeric plays a pivotal role in many masala blends. The pre-Christian era saw Camelēr’s land turmeric to the shores of North African and Persian for cooking. Britain brought turmeric into the periphery as part of an all-purpose curry during Imperial India.
  • Turmeric, whiskey and honey encompass classic South African hot toddy drinks. A special for soothing sore throats and clearing of winter induced colds.
  • The yellow we typically see in mustard comes from turmeric and not the mustard seed.
  • According to Aston University, Birmingham, Turmeric is a natural antivenom against King Cobra bites.
  • The city of Erode in India is the largest Turmeric producer globally, and its nickname is the "Yellow City and Turmeric City." In Hindu rituals, turmeric is worshipped as a symbol of the sun.

Chief flavour profile

Turmerone and ar-turmerone: (earthy, musky and woody) the dominant earthy compound is found in few other spices.  It is the minor compounds that leave room to compliment other spices and herbs. Cumin, paprika and cardamom bring a rich smokiness and earthiness to unlock the depth of the key flavour compounds of turmeric.

Blends to try with Turmeric

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