Turmeric is an herb and rhizome plant that is in the same family as ginger. This orange-yellow color has health benefits and culinary benefits. Its general use is as a cooking spice that is useful for giving a yellow taste and color to dishes. Turmeric not only gives color to food but also as a natural ingredient that is good for health. Usually the use of turmeric is in soups, rice, marinades, curries, drinks and curry foods to provide color, also provides health benefits because turmeric is rich in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and various other nutrients.
If you don’t have turmeric in stock, you can try some other ingredients that can be used as a substitute for turmeric. But if you are looking for a spice that is equally yellow and has the same benefits as turmeric, this is very difficult because no other spice can provide the same benefits that turmeric provides.
So, the important thing for you is to know first what is the role of turmeric? If it is the main ingredient in the dish that you are going to make, then if you don’t have turmeric, it is better to cancel the intention of making dishes with turmeric because it is very difficult to find a substitute that is exactly the same as turmeric.
From the other side, there are many recipes where the use of turmeric is not the main thing, turmeric is not the main ingredient but only as a companion ingredient in cooking. If so, then you can look for other ingredients that can replace turmeric. Well, in this case there are many turmeric substitutes that you can use. Remember, this only works if the presence of turmeric is only as a condiment, not as the main ingredient.
10 Best Turmeric Substitutes
1. Fresh turmeric and dried turmeric
These two types of spices can replace each other. If your cooking uses fresh turmeric, but you don’t have it, you can use dried turmeric as a substitute. Vice versa, if your cooking uses dried turmeric and you only have fresh turmeric, you can use it as a substitute and it works for your cooking.
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If you are using ground turmeric, then use only one teaspoon for every inch of fresh turmeric use.
If you want an orange color in your cooking, the use of saffron is great and works well in place of turmeric. For example you cook soup, yellow rice, you can use saffron to get results similar to turmeric.
However, it will not give the same taste as turmeric because saffron is sweeter. In addition, the use of saffron is also not in the same ratio. You can use less saffron than real turmeric. This is so as not to tarnish the taste of other spices.
The weakness of saffron is that in harvesting, the saffron plant must be harvested by hand in a limited time. This process makes the price of saffron very high in the market. So, by using saffron, your food will be more expensive than you use turmeric.
3. Annatto seeds
Furthermore, the best substitute for turmeric is annatto seed. These seeds come from the achiote tree, and are almost the same color as turmeric so you can use them in place of turmeric if you want a yellow color in your cooking. The color of annatto is yellow-orange and it can be used in rice dishes, casseroles and marindes.
The taste of annatto is spicy, sweet, and different from turmeric. Use the seeds and the oil in a 1:2 ratio. For example: Mix 1/4 cup of seeds with 1/2 cup of oil, let the pigment seep through the liquid.
4. Madras curry powder
Madras curry powder is a powder made with a mixture of ingredients including turmeric in it. So using madras curry powder can be an alternative to get the aroma of turmeric, but the color will be reddish because the main ingredient in making madras is chili.
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Madras curry powder also sometimes contains cumin and fenugreek. If you are cooking an Indian dish then this will be a good substitute for turmeric.
5. Yellow mustard seeds
Yellow mustard seeds can be one of the best substitutes for turmeric. The color is yellow like turmeric but the taste will be slightly stronger and more intense, this may not be suitable for all dishes using turmeric. If you are using yellow mustard seeds instead of turmeric, use them in small amounts so that your food and dishes do not change the taste.
6. Turmeric paste
Turmeric paste might be another best substitute that you can try when you run out of turmeric in your kitchen. Turmeric paste can be found online or on Amazon. Turmeric paste certainly gives the same taste as turmeric root or rhizome and the same as dry turmeric powder. Turmeric paste can replace the use of fresh turmeric or dried turmeric.
7. Mace and Smoked Paprika
The combination of these two types of spices is a good substitute for your saffron that has been used up. This spice is spicy and can add a peppery flavor to your cooking. It is suitable for use in any type of savory dish.
8. Ginger powder
Furthermore, as a substitute for turmeric the best is ginger powder. Turmeric is a rhizome that is still in the ginger family, so the two can replace each other in certain dishes. But ginger is more spicy and slightly sweet. Ginger is not a good substitute for turmeric in some savory dishes, but for making smoothies, ginger will work well as a turmeric substitute.
9. Galangal powder
Galangal is a rhizome plant too, it tastes like pine, it is a great addition in Indian cooking. Using galangal won’t add color to the dish, but it can add a lot of flavor. If you don’t like turmeric, you can use galangal powder for a different taste, use galangal well because its health benefits are also very extraordinary.
10. Cumin seeds as turmeric substitute
If you don’t like turmeric, then just use cumin seeds, it can work as a substitute for turmeric in some recipes. Cumin has an earthy taste and is so strong, you can combine cumin with galangal in a delicious Indian curry recipe.
Turmeric or dates are rhizome plants that provide delicacy and color and provide many health benefits from your dish. It is a popular spice in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisine including Indonesia. Using turmeric in yellow rice, it will look delicious, and flavorful, as will the Lebanese lentil soup, with the use of turmeric powder it will be a dish that is hard to resist.