Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Turmeric Substitute

Turmeric is a spice produced by a turmeric plant. In Asian cuisine, it is widely used. You’re already familiar with turmeric as the main curry spice. It has a warm, bitter taste and is sometimes used to flavor curry powders, mustards, butter, and cheeses or to paint them. But to make medicine, the root of turmeric is also widely used. It contains curcumin, a yellow-colored chemical that is often used to color foods and cosmetics.

For conditions involving pain and inflammation, such as osteoarthritis, turmeric is commonly used. It is also used for hay fever, anxiety, high cholesterol, a form of liver illness, and itching. For heartburn, thought and memory skills, inflammatory bowel disease, stress, and many other disorders, some people use turmeric, although there is no clear scientific evidence to support these applications.

What Spice Is Similar To Turmeric?

If you want a perfect replacement for turmeric and don’t mind investing a little more, the way to go is with saffron. Because of its similar color properties to turmeric and a taste that will not be significantly different, Raw Spice Bar recommends saffron.

What Can I use If I Don’t Have Turmeric?

There are a bunch of spices that can replace turmeric. You’ve landed on the right page. Continue reading to find out what are the 8 best turmeric substitutes out there.

Can I Use Curry Powder Instead Of Turmeric?

In dishes where the added spice would not be a concern, curry powder can be used as a turmeric substitute. You do not want to add curry powder to a smoothie, but for vegetables, rice, or meat, it can act as a seasoning and coloring agent.

Can I use Paprika Instead Of Turmeric?

To make a very efficient substitute for turmeric, some dishes can be made with smoked paprika and mace working together. The smoked paprika’s color and muskiness complements the mace’s pungent spiciness for a taste that is somewhat similar to turmeric when combined just right.

8 Of The Best Turmeric Substitutes

So let’s get it! Below are 8 of the best alternatives for turmeric.



Saffron is one of the world’s most valuable spices. The threadlike red stigmas are quite literally the material of legend, and the yellow hue they impart. But what, specifically, is saffron? No matter how many tales of spice have been told, many of us still don’t know what to do about it or whether the high cost is worth it. Here’s what you have to remember.

Annatto Seeds

Annatto seeds

Annatto is coloring or condiment for orange-red food produced from the seeds of the achiote tree (Bixa orellana), which grows in South and Central America in tropical regions (1Trusted Source).

It has many other names, including achiote, achiotillo, bija, atsuete, and urucum.

As a natural food coloring, it is most commonly used, as it imparts a bright color that ranges from yellow to deep orange-red, similar to saffron and turmeric.

Its color comes from carotenoid compounds, which are pigments found in the outer layer of the seed and many other fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and tomatoes.

Additionally, because of its mildly sweet and peppery taste, annatto is used as a condiment to improve the flavor of dishes. It is best characterized as nutty, peppery, and floral in its aroma.

It comes in a number of forms, such as powder, paste, liquid, and essential oil.

Madras Curry Powder

Madras Curry is a traditional spice blend from areas around Chennai, India (formerly known as Madras, the city) Curry is a blend of spices that adds vibrant flavor and brilliant color to foods [ever-changing, but almost always featuring turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, cardamom, and red pepper, among others.

Yellow Mustard Seeds

Yellow mustard originates from the seeds of Sinapis alba, the white mustard plant. It is not as closely related to the other two kinds of mustard as they are to each other, although it is in the Brassicaceae family. Light tan seeds that are slightly larger than brown mustard seeds are borne by the white mustard plant. Because of the addition of turmeric or dye, these end up as bright yellow mustard.


Spoonful of ground dried paprika spice made from sweet bell peppers held over a heap on a wooden chopping board with copy space

Paprika, yeah! Due to its rich flavor, it is a convenient spice to have in your refrigerator. A selection of red peppers, Capsicum annuum, which includes red peppers, bell pepper, and chili peppers, comes from its distinctive red color. Paprika is known for its infamous role in cooking goulash, as the national spice of Hungary, where there are actually eight different grades that vary in heat and flavor. In several other recipes, however, this bright red spice has a house.

Ginger Powder

Ginger Powder

Ginger, which originated in Southeast Asia, is a flowering herb. It’s among the planet’s healthiest (and most delicious) spices.

It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and turmeric, cardamom, and galangal are closely related.

The component widely used as a spice is the rhizome (underground section of the stem). This is also referred to as ginger root or, simply, ginger.

New, roasted, powdered, or as an oil or juice, Ginger may be used. In recipes, it’s a very popular ingredient. It is applied to processed foods and cosmetics often.

Galangal powder

Galangal powder

Laos powder (galangal powder) is a dried galangal root ground. Galangal is part of the ginger family and is used in Thai, Cambodian, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Laotian cooking. New galangal root is usually favored. The powder can be bought at most grocery stores in Vietnam.

Cumin Seeds

Cumin seeds from an annual plant are picked by hand; they are small, boat-shaped, and resemble caraway seeds. A brownish-yellow color is the most common variety of cumin, although you can also find black cumin, green cumin, and white cumin sometimes. In Mexican and Middle Eastern dishes, you can find whole seeds in Indian recipes (also called jeera) and ground cumin as an ingredient, as well as chili, barbecue sauce, baked beans, soups, and marinades. Cumin is a traditional chili powder ingredient and is also widely used in other blends of spices such as garam masala, curry powder, achiote blends, adobos, baccarat, and berbere.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does turmeric taste like?

Warm bitter and earthy..

How do you store turmeric?

Fresh, in an airtight container in the fridge. Dried, in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

What is the shelf life of turmeric?

Fresh, 6-9 months in the freezer. Dried, 2-3 years properly stored.

Be sure to check out our other post about food substitutes such as and