Best Turmeric Substitutes For Cooking

Are you badly in need of turmeric but you don't have it in your kitchen? Here are some spices you can substitute for turmeric!

By Neko Yama
Best Turmeric Substitutes For Cooking

Spices You Can Substitute for Turmeric

Is your dish badly in need of turmeric but you found out you don’t have it in your kitchen? No worries because you don’t have to waste time to go to a grocery store to buy it as there are spices that you can definitely substitute for turmeric! Let that little chef inside you work and be creative and explore the world of spices. But before sweating on lacking of turmeric, ask yourself if you really need a substitute for it. Is turmeric a main ingredient? Because most of the time, turmeric is only used to add flavor to the dish. If it’s not really vital, it’s not really worth it to brainstorm a substitute for it. However, if you’re really in need of turmeric and you have no other way of having it and finding substitutes would not be the same, it’s best if you could just re-work your menu. You see, there are dishes that need precise ingredients to get the best results. Anyway, if you realized that you’re out of turmeric powder, listed below are spices you can substitute for it.

Turmeric Substitute: Curry Powder

Curry powder is a common spice so it’s a possibility that you’ll always have it in your kitchen. That’s good news because it can be a substitute for turmeric and for the simplest reason—curry powder has different spices blended together and that includes turmeric. However, it’s not going to be your best bet if you really want the taste of turmeric on your dish as curry has a stronger flavor than turmeric.

Turmeric Substitute: Ginger

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If the dish you’re cooking requires a pungent aroma to it, then definitely you’ll need turmeric. But if you lack it, you can always substitute it for ginger as it has the same effect. But keep in mind that ginger might add a different flavor than you expect to your dish as no spices can exactly substitute the turmeric flavor.

Turmeric Substitute: Cumin

Ginger as a substitute for turmeric may differ in flavor as the former has rather a sweet flavor. So another effective turmeric substitute would be cumin. It’s still not going to give the exact flavor turmeric has but it’s closer than any other spices as cumin has a nutty, earthy, and spicy flavor. It can also imitate the bitter flavor of turmeric.

Turmeric Substitute: Smoked Paprika and Mace

Turmeric gives a strong flavor to a dish so if you’re lacking it, one of the best substitutes you can use is smoked paprika and mace. The color and muskiness of the smoked paprika mimics the effect of turmeric while mace has a spicy flavor similar to that of it. These two spices when blended just right, it’s your best bet for turmeric substitute.

Annatto and Yellow Mustard Seeds, and Saffron for Color

Another reason why most people use turmeric in their dishes is because of the vibrant color it gives. So if it’s the color you’re mostly concern about, your best bet will be to use saffron as a substitute for turmeric as they are closely similar in color. The flavor is close enough too. The only problem with using saffron is it’s expensive so it will be just convenient if it happens that a saffron spice is lying around the kitchen. Another spice to imitate the turmeric’s color is annatto seeds. If you combine this along with your choice of spice for flavoring, you can have a similar effect turmeric has on your dish. Lastly, one more spice that can be a substitute for turmeric color is yellow mustard seeds. It’s cheap and always available at local grocery markets. However, when you’re adding this spice to your dish, be very careful as yellow mustard has a stronger aroma than turmeric.

Turmeric Substitute: Coriander Seeds

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If you’re really out of spices and you just have a few common ingredients lying around, coriander seeds would be one of them probably. So if your dish needs only a little spicing up, you can substitute coriander for turmeric. However, it’s not going to be the best substitute—they may be similar when it comes to spiciness but the flavor is worldly different. Turmeric has a bitter flavor while coriander is a bit sweet. Only use this spice when you have no other choice.

Why Must You Have Turmeric at Home?

Turmeric is widely used all over the world in different dishes so if you can, it’s recommended that you always have this spice in your kitchen. Surely, it’s not going to be that expensive if you’ll buy them in small batches. Aside from the best aroma and flavor, it can give your dish, turmeric also has its health benefits. For one thing, it’s an antioxidant because curcumin is an active ingredient of turmeric so you can be sure that it’ll protect your liver from different toxins. This is good news for people who are taking medications for diabetes or other illnesses that hurt the liver with long-term use. And it’s good for people suffering from arthritis too because it’s anti-inflammatory. Furthermore, this content can also lessen the possibility of you having brain and heart diseases. Isn’t that awesome? It’s no wonder now why Turmeric is a must have at home! You can enjoy delicious delicacies and enjoy good health as well.