Everybody is talking about it, and if you have never used it, you must be wondering 'what does turmeric taste like?'! Well, this colorful spice can be found in lattes, pies, and curries [obviously!], but also in teas and roasted vegetables, and when mixed with other spices, it is really a worthy addition... so, read along to see how to use it and to discover its taste!
Turmeric is a spice that has an earthy sweet taste, and a slightly bitter aftertaste, and it is mostly used in Indian cuisine, unsurprisingly, as the country produces nearly 80% of the world's turmeric, however, it is also generously used in Middle Eastern and Thai dishes.
If you're looking for something with a bit of a kick, turmeric might be the perfect spice for you, although, given its bitter taste, it needs balancing off with sweet spices, such as cinnamon, or sweet ingredients, like maple syrup or coconut milk.
Read ahead to learn what you need to know about turmeric, how to store it, how to use it, and how to choose it!
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that is derived from the Curcuma longa plant and it is a member of the ginger family. Colloquially known as ginger's cousin, the two look very similar, however, the flesh of fresh turmeric is bright orange, and once dried and powdered, becomes very deep yellow.
The plant grows in tropical areas such as India and Southeast Asia and the part used to make turmeric powder is the rhizome or underground stem of the plant.
Turmeric has a bitter, earthy taste that some may describe as spicy. It is often used in Indian cuisine and Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, as it is thought to have a number of health benefits, including being anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
As turmeric tastes bitter, it can be tempered by other spices, and in Indian cuisine, it is often used with cumin, coriander, and black pepper.
Curcumin in Turmeric
Curcumin is the most important curcuminoid found in turmeric. It is responsible for the yellow color of the spice and for many of the health benefits associated with turmeric.
Turmeric stains everything it touches and it is in fact a natural food dye. Because of this characteristic, this golden spice is also known as Indian saffron!
TOP TIP: When cooking with turmeric powder [or fresh for that matter], use a cooking apron, as turmeric stains are very hard to remove!
What is Turmeric Used For?
Turmeric has been used for centuries in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine and traditional medicine [Chinese and Ayurvedic] in those regions of the world.
Turmeric has been used in India for skin conditions, respiratory problems, joint pain and discomfort, and digestive system issues, and in the rest of the world is now marketed as a dietary supplement for a variety of existing conditions, including arthritis, digestive problems, respiratory infections, allergies, liver disease, depression, and many other ailments.
There is some scientific evidence that turmeric may be helpful for some of these conditions; for example, there is evidence that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may help to reduce inflammation. However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of turmeric for these conditions.
Turmeric is generally safe when taken in doses recommended by a health care provider. However, it is always important to consult a doctor when considering supplements.
Benefits Of Turmeric
Turmeric may offer an incredible range of health benefits! Here are some of the key benefits of turmeric:
- turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory agent
- can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke
- has been proven to be effective in treating depression
- has anti-cancer properties
The Benefits Of Turmeric And Honey
The two substances are thought to be beneficial when taken together, as turmeric is a spice shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, while honey is a natural sweetener with antibacterial and antifungal properties.
When used together, turmeric and honey are thought to help improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system.
There are a few ways to take advantage of the benefits of turmeric and honey, with the two simplest ones being:
- Honey and turmeric paste: mix half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with one tablespoon of honey and have it once or twice a day.
- Turmeric tea: add one teaspoon of turmeric to a cup of hot water, stir in honey to taste, and drink it slowly. If the turmeric tea tastes too strong, you may add a little lemon juice to it!
You can also add turmeric and honey to recipes. For example, you could add a teaspoon of each to your morning oatmeal, smoothie, or orange juice [excellent with a little fresh ginger, too!].
Both turmeric and honey are safe to consume in moderate amounts. However, it is best to speak with a healthcare provider before taking either if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a medical condition, or are taking medication.
People Also Ask [FAQs]
Golden milk is a drink made from turmeric, milk, honey, and spices. It has a creamy, orange-yellow color and a slightly sweet and peppery taste. Golden milk is said to have many health benefits, including reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, and aiding indigestion.
Turmeric is a spice that is derived from the Curcuma longa plant. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and is responsible for its beneficial properties. Curcumin is also available as a dietary supplement.
Turmeric is not a spicy herb, but it does have a slightly bitter and pungent flavor.
There are many face masks that aim at helping minimize acne and any scarring that may develop because of it. The anti-inflammatory properties can be used to target your pores and soothe your skin.
Fresh vs Powdered Turmeric
In Western countries, turmeric is most sold dried and ground, however, in Indian or Asian supermarkets, sometimes this may be found also fresh!
If you are considering giving fresh turmeric a go, here are a few things to take in consideration:
- Taste: While the two taste very similar, the ground turmeric is much stronger than the fresh one, which has a slight citrusy note! Should you decide to use fresh turmeric in a recipe that calls for powdered one, you may need to multiply the quantity by four!
- Look: Fresh turmeric looks like smaller ginger roots with bright orange flesh; when choosing it in the grocery store, opt for strong firm roots, that doesn't look dry. Powdered turmeric has a very strong bright mustard color.
- Storing: Fresh turmeric will store well in the fridge, tightly wrapped in cling film for about a week, while in the freezer for up to three months. Turmeric powder can be stored in an airtight container for up to a year; if kept for longer or not stored properly, the turmeric taste may become weaker and lose its zing.
How To Use Turmeric
Here are a few quick ideas on how to incorporate this very popular spice into everyday meals:
- Turmeric Latte: In a small saucepan, add 12 oz [about 350 ml] of your milk of choice [great options are almond or coconut milk], together with ¼ teaspoon each of turmeric powder, cinnamon powder, and ginger powder, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper powder [it helps the body absorb the curcumin], and your sweetener of choice [such as maple syrup, golden syrup, honey, or sugar]. On a low to medium flame, keep on stirring, until the turmeric latte is warm and ready to be enjoyed.
- Scrambled Tofu: In a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add a block of mashed firm tofu; constantly mix the tofu while keeping it on low to medium heat. Next, add ½ teaspoon each of garlic powder, ground turmeric, salt [adjust to taste], and a little black pepper, if liked; keep on mixing while cooking for another 3-4 minutes, then serve immediately.
- Stews, and soups: Add a little turmeric when browning the onions or simmering; what is important for taste is that the raw turmeric is thoroughly cooked before serving.
- Pumpkin Pie, Ginger Cakes and Biscuits, Nut Sponge Cakes: These and many other sweet treats are the ideal platforms for adding a little turmeric, as its color will really make the dish look stunning!
- Homemade Curry Powder: If you are looking to prepare your very own mix, then turmeric in its powdered form is a must! Most curry powders will have a mixture of coriander powder, red chili powder [opt for Kashmiri chili powder for a brighter color and milder flavor], cumin powder, black pepper powder, and other sweeter powdered ingredients, such as ginger, cinnamon, or cardamom.
📋 A Few Recipes That Use Turmeric
Wrap Up: What Does Turmeric Taste Like?
- Turmeric is a spice that has been used for centuries in Indian cooking, and more recently in Western cuisine.
- It tastes like what you might expect - it's earthy, with hints of sweetness. The taste can vary depending on the type of turmeric you use and what other ingredients are added to the dish. Some people find its flavor reminiscent of curry powder or saffron. Turmeric also imparts a vibrant yellow color to dishes when cooked with them.
- Turmeric has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, especially in China and in Ayurvedic cures.
⭐ Featured Articles
Easy Homemade Golden Turmeric Latte
- In a small saucepan, add your milk of choice, together with the turmeric powder, cinnamon powder, and ginger powder and black pepper powder [it helps the body absorb the curcumin], and your sweetener of choice.
- On a low to medium flame, keep on stirring, until the turmeric latte is warm and ready to be enjoyed.
- The black pepper powder can barely be tasted, but it helps the body absorb the curcumin in the turmeric.
- You can adjust the amount of sweetener used to taste.
- For a non-dairy option, regular milk, honey, or golden syrup can be used.
- Add a pinch of cinnamon for a festive note!
- Best served immediately.