If used on its own turmeric can taste musky, so to balance its taste it is usually mixed with other spices. It also forms the basis of many commercial Indian curry powders and masalas.
In the kitchen
Turmeric is often briefly fried in a little oil at the beginning of a dish to bring out the flavour and colour. For a more subtle effect, add it later on in the cooking process.
Used cautiously turmeric adds characteristic colour, fragrance and an earthy taste to a dish, however, if too much is used – it can make the colour and taste too harsh. It also gives the traditional colour to kedgeree and piccalilli and is used to enhance the colour of mustard powder.
Apart from being used as a cooking spice, turmeric is also traditionally valued for its antiseptic, cleansing and preservative properties.
Mix a pinch of turmeric into the oil used when roasting potatoes to give them a golden glow.
Did you know…
Turmeric can easily stain hands, chopping boards, surfaces and clothes, so store (in an airtight container) and use carefully.