What Does Turmeric Taste Like? A Detailed Answer

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Turmeric is indispensable in Asian cuisine. Specifically, in Indian dishes, there is no culinary game without a pinch of this yellow-colored powder. Turmeric is notorious for the golden stain it leaves on your clothes. That said, have you wondered what turmeric tastes like? This article is just for your query then. 


If you plan to impress your Indian friends or neighbors with a recipe from their land, you will definitely come across turmeric mentioned in it. Such is the importance turmeric holds in the Indian culinary world. Nowadays, turmeric has gained immense popularity worldwide due to its health benefits. 

Turmeric is a very common spice obtained from the plant Curcuma longa. Turmeric has a balanced flavor profile and a blend of mild spiciness and bitterness. It is used for the yellowish tinge it gives to the recipes alongside making us healthy with its nutritional values.

So, why does everyone make a big deal about turmeric? Let us find that out, and simultaneously, let us take a quick peek at turmeric, texture, types, ways of usage, storing, and nutritional significance. 

What Is Turmeric?

Sourced from the plant Curcuma longa, turmeric is a major spice ingredient in Asian dishes. Heard of this plant before? Highly unlikely, but let me tell you that this plant belongs to the ginger family, which means turmeric and ginger are related rhizomes.

Ginger and turmeric are often mistaken for each other due to their appearance and flavor profiles. Even though they belong to the same family, they are not the same (rhizome-sibling stuff!).

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What Does Turmeric Taste Like? 

I need a whole section to describe the taste of turmeric (because it is not so easy!) I mean, you can experience a wide range of flavors when you taste the turmeric. 

When you taste turmeric, there is this slight bitterness and a natural, earthy flavor. Just when you are done with that, you get to taste a peppery flavor and an intense aroma similar to that of ginger and mustard. This complex flavor profile must be balanced with other flavors in your ingredients lest you want your dish spoiled with a vibrant yellow hue and a not-so-likable bitter flavor.

What Does Turmeric Taste Like? 

Spoon of Turmeric Powder

I need a whole section to describe the taste of turmeric (because it is not so easy!) I mean, you can experience a wide range of flavors when you taste turmeric. 

When you taste turmeric, there is this slight bitterness and a natural, earthy flavor. Just when you are done with that, you get to taste a peppery flavor and an intense aroma similar to that of ginger and mustard. This complex flavor profile must be balanced with other flavors in your ingredients lest you want your dish spoiled with a vibrant yellow hue and a not-so-likable bitter flavor.

Does Turmeric Have A Strong Taste?

Turmeric has a strong taste that is peppery with a mild bitterness and perfectly balanced with an earthy scent. Its strong taste is why you should be careful with the amount you add.

Increasing the amount gives you an overwhelmingly bitter taste. Not to mention the change in the overall color of the recipe – the yellowish tinge is something you can’t do anything about!

What Does Turmeric Taste In Soup?

If you are reluctant about adding turmeric to soups, don’t be! Turmeric is indispensable in most recipes for its mild but sharp flavor and health benefits. The right addition of turmeric in soup gives it a delicious flavor. It gives a nice peppery, gingery flavor to the soup and also gives you immense health benefits. 

What Does Turmeric Taste In Coffee?

Although adding turmeric to recipes enhances flavor, you might think it is dangerous to add turmeric to coffee. You might think that it will ruin your favorite coffee with a bitter flavor. But surprisingly, turmeric gives a spicy kick to coffee and an earthy flavor similar to that of cardamom and cinnamon.

The flavor is not dominant, heavy, or overpowering. Turmeric is a healthy and enjoyable addition to coffee due to its mild spicy flavor. 

What Does Turmeric Taste In Smoothies?

Turmeric in a Pot

Turmeric smoothie is an incredibly healthy breakfast option. It is a natural remedy for colds and a great anti-inflammatory drink. So are you wondering what turmeric tastes like in smoothies? Turmeric usually gives a balanced flavor profile to recipes.

Fresh turmeric gives an earthy, peppery flavor to smoothies with a pungent aroma compared to dried turmeric. Fresh turmeric can be grated or sliced for use, similar to ginger.

What Does Turmeric Tea Taste Like?

Turmeric tea is prepared using the root of the plant. Also, fresh or dried ginger can be mixed with water to make turmeric tea. Turmeric tea helps reduce the symptoms of arthritis and in boosting our immune system. So, what about the taste of turmeric tea? Turmeric tea has a flavor similar to ginger root tea – a warm, earthy flavor with a slightly bitter taste.

What Does Turmeric Latte Taste Like?

Who doesn’t love a latte on a warm Sunday evening? Have you heard about turmeric lattes? Turmeric latte is made using milk, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper. It is extremely helpful in mitigating the risk of inflammation and chronic diseases.

It is devoid of caffeine, so you don’t have to worry about addiction or anything of that sort. Now, coming to its taste, turmeric latte has a refreshing earthy flavor that is complimented well with sweet and savory tastes. 

What Does Turmeric Powder Taste Like?

Turmeric Powder in a Bowl

Turmeric powder is the ground or powdered version of fresh turmeric. This powder has been used for ages for coloring and flavoring food. It is also utilized for cosmetic and medicinal purposes.

Turmeric powder has a mild peppery flavor with a powdery texture. The peppery flavor can be compared to that of mustard and horseradish. 

What Does Turmeric Rice Taste Like?

One of the famous recipes made exclusively using turmeric is turmeric rice. Turmeric rice is prepared using jasmine rice, coconut milk, ginger, star anise, cloves, and turmeric. Either turmeric powder can be used, or fresh turmeric can be grated and added to rice. It is a delicious food item that is incredibly healthy too.

Turmeric rice has a mild, earthy flavor and an enriching aroma. Turmeric rice is especially beneficial for those combating diabetes due to its oxidative properties.

What Does Turmeric Milk Taste Like?

Turmeric milk is also known as golden milk for the reason you can almost surmise – the golden hue, of course! Simply put, turmeric milk is a blend of warm milk and turmeric.

Herbs, spices, or sweeteners can be added to enhance the taste further. It can be consumed daily to boost the immune system and cardiovascular system. Turmeric milk has a soothing earthy flavor and a sweet aroma. 

What Does Turmeric Shot Taste Like?

Turmeric Shot

You might have heard from your doctor that turmeric shots on an empty stomach every day can do wonders to your body. The simplest turmeric shot uses turmeric, black pepper, and honey. Fresh lemon juice can also be added.

Thinking about what turmeric shots taste like? Not scary as you imagine it to be. The turmeric shot has a mildly sweet flavor with a slightly spicy kick. Turmeric shots are helpful to boost immunity and brain function and delay aging.

Does Turmeric Taste Like Curry?

Curry is a flavorful dish made of various spices and flavoring agents. The major ingredient can vary according to the recipe; thus, different curries have varied taste profiles. Turmeric is a spice used as a flavoring agent, while the curry is a flavorful blend of various spices, including turmeric. Thus, turmeric doesn’t taste like curry.

Does Turmeric Taste Like Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is a major flavor-enhancing ingredient that is used in cooking. It has a sweet, woody flavor and a powerful spicy taste. Turmeric has an earthy flavor that is comparable to that of cinnamon.

However, both cinnamon and turmeric have varied flavor profiles. They sure are used to perk up the flavor profiles of your recipes. Turmeric is used in the form of powder, while cinnamon is used in the form of cinnamon barks.

Does Turmeric Taste Like Ginger?

Turmeric & Ginger

Ginger is a well-known flavor-enhancing agent that also has medicinal properties. Ginger, accompanied by garlic, is one of the recipe’s most flavor-enhancing combinations.

Turmeric and ginger are related to each other since they come from the same family. Ginger has a mild peppery flavor with a strong aroma, while turmeric has a mild flavor and is not so peppery or pungent as ginger. 

Three Types of Turmeric

Types of Turmeric

Turmeric is available in three forms – one in its raw, natural form, the second in its dried form, and the third in its dried, powdered form. The powdered form is most easily available in bottles in grocery stores and is affordable.

Raw turmeric looks a lot like fresh ginger. There aren’t actually many differences when it comes to the flavor of raw and dried turmeric. Dried and powdered turmeric is usually preferred since it is easy to use and distributes evenly in your recipes.

Apart from this distinction, there are actually varieties of turmeric in India. (Being the major global producer of turmeric, what can you expect?) There are around 30 different types of turmeric. Lakadong, Alleppey, Madras, Rajapore, Sangli, Erode, and Nizamabad bulbs are the famous types of turmeric popular in India. 

Among these, Madras turmeric, with its light yellow color, is the most commonly used turmeric variety for culinary purposes. That said, Lakadong turmeric is deemed the world’s best turmeric variety due to its high content of curcumin in it. 

How To Find The Best Turmeric In The Market?

You must be off the market to buy turmeric, but do you know how to find the best one? Here are some of the ways to find the best turmeric in the market:

  • Look for the best brands which sell turmeric in the market. Many prefer to go for organic brands so that they enjoy turmeric, which is pure and unadulterated.
  • Check for the date and year of manufacturing and expiry. Make sure you will be an avid user if you plan to buy the one which falls within a month or two of expiry.
  • Make sure the packaging is in good condition with no holes.

How To Tell If Turmeric Is Pure?

Turmeric Powder in a Pot

Now that you know the taste of turmeric, you are ready to experiment with it. But with a surge in adulteration, you sure want to know if the turmeric you are using is pure. Here are a few methods and ways to check if your turmeric is pure.

  • One of the easiest ways to check if you have adulterated turmeric is by mixing the powder with water. Put just a pinch of turmeric powder in a glass of water and observe the reaction. (nothing extensive, though). If the turmeric powder settles down at the bottom of the glass and the water is clear as a crystal, it is pure. If the water turns all cloudy and dark yellow, stop using it!
  • If you have hydrochloric acid at home, you can put a few drops of hydrochloric acid into a turmeric powder solution and water. Shake the mixture, and if you find it has turned pink, it indicates that metanil, a yellow coloring agent, is used in the powder.
  • Using the above mixture, you can also check if chalk powder is present in turmeric powder. Add a few drops of hydrochloric acid to a mix of turmeric and water. Don’t shake the mixture. If you find bubbles; as a result, it indicates the presence of chalk powder.

Ways To Store Your Turmeric For Best Taste

The right way of storing turmeric is necessary to reap its flavor and benefits. Dried and powdered turmeric can be stored in an airtight container in a cool environment.

If you are using turmeric in its raw, try to keep it in a place that prevents direct sunlight. There isn’t a need to refrigerate turmeric powder. If you do, ensure it stays inside for not more than two weeks.

What Foods Taste Best With Turmeric?

Turmeric is used in the dishes and curries of Asian cuisine. When used rightly, it initially renders a mild yellowish hue to your curries. But with the addition of other ingredients, this usually gets subsided.

Turmeric can be used in scrambles, soups, frittatas, smoothies, hummus pasta, coffees, dressings, and teas. You can use it while roasting vegetables or greens. 

What Are The Health Benefits of Turmeric?

Turmeric Powder in a Jar

Turmeric, as I told you, is used not only for flavoring per se but also for its health benefits. The chemical compounds present in turmeric have immense anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric is a good source of manganese, iron, potassium, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. 

  • Turmeric helps fight inflammation, degenerative brain processes, and foreign invasions in your body. It can also help lower the risk of heart diseases and cancer.
  •  It can help in reducing blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. It is also an excellent ingredient that can be used to boost the complexion of your skin. 
  • It is antimicrobial and can be used to treat acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Nutritional Content Of Turmeric

A tablespoon of turmeric powder offers you the following:

Calories29 kcal
Protein0.91 g
Fat0.31 g
Carbohydrates6.31 g
Fiber2.1 g
Sugar0.3 g

Final Words

That was all about turmeric and its taste. I hope you gained a good insight into turmeric, its uses, benefits, substitutes, and ways of using it in recipes.

Turmeric has an earthy, bitter flavor with a spicy taste as well. It is used for flavoring dishes as well as for our health benefits. You have to be careful with the amount you use and its storage. If out of turmeric, you can seek the help of a few substitutes for it as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What foods taste best with turmeric?

Turmeric tastes best with curries, teas, soups, dressings, coffees, smoothies and pastas.

Does turmeric have a strong taste?

Turmeric does have a strong taste – earthy, peppery and slightly bitter flavor.

What does turmeric taste like in coffee?

The spicy flavor of turmeric is a great addition to the overall flavor of coffee. It gives an earthy flavor as that of cardamom or cinnamon when used in coffee.

What can I mix with turmeric to make it taste better?

Turmeric can be mixed with cumin, garlic, oregano, parsley and cayenne pepper to make it taste better.

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