Turmeric is a super versatile ingredient, known for its spicy taste, bold colour and huge number of health benefits.
Used in both cooking and ancient medicines for centuries, turmeric makes a delicious addition to a wide range of recipes. Perfect for giving your immune system a boost, or adding some much needed warmth to your favourite recipe, read on to discover how to cook with turmeric in both its raw and grounded form.
What foods taste best with turmeric?
Everyone knows that turmeric tastes great in a curry. But many don’t know that turmeric can enhance a whole range of foods. Use it to spice up rice, vegetables, coffee and even milk. You can use turmeric to add flavour, colour and a shot superfood goodness to just about anything.
Is fresh turmeric root better than powder?
Fresh turmeric and ground turmeric are different versions of the same rhizome. Both have a mild taste and add heat once combined with food, but once cooked the taste is indistinguishable between the two. The main difference is texture. Fresh turmeric offers a wetter texture and can be turned into a paste, whereas powdered turmeric is very dry and dissolves into hot sauces, oils and liquids very easily.
When it comes to health benefits, raw, fresh turmeric is usually favoured by more health-conscious cooks. This is because the nutrients and antioxidants found in turmeric are more easily absorbed by the body compared to dried or powdered turmeric. This doesn’t mean that ground turmeric isn’t good for you however, but it is likely that you won’t gain as many benefits as you would from fresh turmeric.
Tip: when cooking with turmeric, add a dash of black pepper - this helps the body to absorb all of the nutrients found in curcumin (the most active compound in turmeric).
How to cook with fresh turmeric
If you decide to cook with fresh turmeric root, you should peel then grate it - the leftovers can then be wrapped in cling film and stored in the fridge for a few weeks.
Add to marinades
Freshly grated turmeric root adds just the right amount of heat to chicken, beef and fish marinades. Simply add a teaspoon of grated turmeric to any marinade for a kick of flavour and colour. Fresh turmeric is perfect for creating marinades as it can be mixed into a paste very easily.
Spice up salad dressings
Salads are a healthy meal choice but can often become bland if you eat them on a regular basis. A touch of freshly grated turmeric will spice up just about any salad dressing and completely transform the flavour profile.
Sprinkle into scrambled eggs
Adding a teaspoon of fresh, grated turmeric will add a touch of peppery spice to your scrambled eggs mixture and will enhance the color for a truly mouth-watering breakfast.
Add to stir fry
No stir fry is complete without a range of tasty spices, and turmeric root is a great way to bring some flavour and a host of nutrients to an easy stir fry dish - simply sprinkle over a wok full of vegetables, noodles and a meat of your choice.
How to cook with turmeric powder
Ground turmeric dissolves a lot easier than fresh turmeric, making it a great addition to sauces and other dishes that require a smoother consistency. It can be bought in a small jar from almost any supermarket, which can be used to sprinkle onto your dishes to help control the quantity used.
Add to soup
Nothing beats a steaming hot bowl of soup, especially in the winter. One to two teaspoons of ground turmeric in your favourite soup will add depth and a gorgeous golden hue.
Sauté with vegetables
Bring some warmth to your five a day with a sprinkling of ground turmeric over vegetables when sautéing in oil.
Stir into sauces
Turmeric is great for adding a deeper flavour profile to a range of sauces, especially curries, stews and even pasta sauces. A creamy turmeric sauce pairs perfectly with chicken.
Brew into tea
Turmeric tea can be brewed with both fresh and ground turmeric, but ground offers an instant kick that dissolves instantly. Simply add a quarter of a teaspoon to a mug then pour over boiling water. Check out our turmeric tea recipe for a more detailed guide on how to make the perfect cup.
Grounded & fresh turmeric root recipes
For detailed recipe and cooking guides, check out The Root, where you’ll find a wide range of healthy and delicious recipes that incorporate the golden superfood. From a frothy turmeric latte to homemade turmeric and beetroot shots, you’ll find a range of recipes guaranteed to tantalise your tastebuds.