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Thread: Help! Need Turmeric Substitute

  1. #1
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    Help! Need Turmeric Substitute

    I'm about to make Tofu Vegetable Hot Pot and I thought I had turmeric but I don't. Should I use mustard or yellow curry power in it's place? Any other suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Turmeric has a bittery taste to it and is used for color (though it is a great anti-inflammatory and possible cancer tumor inhibitor)..sorry, back to your question...I personally would skip that ingredient and not sub. If the recipe calls for curry, it will have some turmeric in it, but adding it if it's not called for will greatly alter the taste...

    that's my opinion anyhow...
    You could add some saffron if you have it, or annatto.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  3. #3
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    Wallycat is right. This is what Cook's Thesuarus has to say.

    turmeric = fresh turmeric = Indian ginger = yellow ginger = mango ginger Pronunciation: TUR-muhr-ik Shopping hints: Turmeric has a pungent flavor, but it's more widely known for it's brilliant yellow color. You can find fresh roots in Southeast Asian and Indian markets, but dried ground turmeric is far more commonly used. Be careful when handling fresh turmeric--it can stain your hands and clothes. Equivalents: 1 piece fresh turmeric = 1 teaspoon powdered turmeric.
    Substitutes: ground turmeric OR saffron (much more expensive, and more flavorful) OR Steep annatto seeds in boiling water for 20 minutes,
    then discard the seeds.

    I have left it out of recipes before, and still had the dish turn out well.

    Leigh
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  4. #4
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    Here's what the folks at www.foodsubs.com have to say:

    ground turmeric = powdered turmeric = Indian saffron = eastern saffron. Pronunciation: TURR-mer-ick Notes: Turmeric has a pleasant enough flavor, but it's prized more for the brilliant yellow color it imparts to whatever it's cooked with. It's a standard ingredient in curry powders, pickles, and prepared mustards. Be careful--turmeric can stain your clothes. Substitutes: turmeric (1 piece fresh turmeric = 1 teaspoon ground turmeric) OR mustard powder OR mustard powder + pinch of saffron
    "Life is a cookie."
    Alan Arkin, Grosse Pointe Blank

  5. #5
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    I made the Hot Pot last night and I think you could substitute the curry for the tumeric with good results. The tumeric is the only spice in the dish, (hmmm well, maybe not. Are garlic, ginger, salt and serrano chilis considered spices?) and I think without something it would be a little bland. The other prevalent flavors including cocunut milk go fine with yellow curry, so I would be in favor of adding it.

    Lisa

  6. #6
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    bay area, california
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    I second just leaving it out. The yellow color won't be there, but otherwise it should be fine. Curry powder has turmeric in it, and it will add a bit a kick to it if you think the recipe needs some umph. DO NOT SUBSTITUE MUSTARD! I don't think mustard is a good sub for turmeric; it is too assertive. Turmeric, in small quantities, does not add much to the taste of the dish.

  7. #7
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    Thank you all so much for coming to my rescue in time! I actually had a spice from Spain that is called "Paella Spice" and supposed to be used as a saffron substitute. It is mild and yellow. This is actually what I thought was turmeric in my spice cabinet until I read the label. Anyway, based on the information you gave, and the mildness of that, I used it. Everything turned out great! Thanks.

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