Alternative names: Curcuma, Indian Saffron
Turmeric is a root from the same family as ginger. Normally the spice is used in the form of a powder. The roots are boiled for several hours and then dried in hot ovens, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder.
Turmeric is common in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. The active ingredient is curcumin which has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.
It needs only a few seconds of frying to release it’s flavour and has a habit of sticking to the bottom of the pan while frying. Luckily it doesn’t burn very easily.
It gives a superb yellow colour to anything it touches, including fingers and clothes. Handle carefully or keep some Vanish handy.