What Spices Go Well With Turmeric

I used to grind spices from whole pods with a mortar and pestle. The resulting aroma was intoxicating, and it was always so exciting to see what new flavor combinations I could create.

These days, I don’t have as much time for that. I’m more likely to make a quick trip to the store for a pre-mixed spice blend than to take the time to grind my own.

But, I still love experimenting with different flavor combinations in my cooking. And, one of my current favorite spices is turmeric.

Turmeric is one of those spices that can be difficult to pair. It’s got a strong, unique flavor that can easily overwhelm other spices if you’re not careful. But when it’s paired with the right spices, it can elevate your dish.

If you’re looking for some ideas on what spices to pair with turmeric, I wrote this post for you.

Cinnamon

This amazing spice has a long history and was used in ancient Egypt not only for cooking but also for embalming. It is mentioned in the Bible and was very popular in Medieval Europe.

Cinnamon can be used in sweet and savory dishes alike. Its warm, woody aroma pairs well with turmeric’s earthy flavor.

I love to add a cinnamon stick to my turmeric tea or use it in a recipe for Curried Lentils with Spinach.

Garlic

This pungent, flavorful spice is used in cuisines all over the world. It’s an essential ingredient in many Indian dishes and is often used in Thai curries.

To bring out the best flavor in garlic, it’s important to cook it properly. Sautéing garlic before adding other ingredients is the best way to do this.

I love adding garlic to just about anything, but it goes especially well with turmeric in dishes like Curried Chickpeas or Roasted Cauliflower Curry.

Cumin

I think of cumin as the flavor of Indian food. Albeit, this spice is used in a variety of dishes from different regions, including North Africa, the Middle East, and India.

Cumin has a warm, earthy flavor that pairs well with turmeric. It’s also a good choice if you’re looking to add some heat to your dish.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg qualifies as both a spice and a herb. It’s the seed of an evergreen tree that is native to Indonesia.

This spice has a warm, sweet flavor that goes well with turmeric. I like to add it to my Curried Butternut Squash Soup or use it as a topping for Roasted Cauliflower Curry. It works perfectly.

Coriander

If your watchword is “fresh,” then coriander is the spice for you. It has a bright, lemony flavor that can help to liven up a dish.

Coriander is commonly used in Indian cuisine and goes well with turmeric. I like to use it in my Golden Lentil Curry or Curried Chickpea Soup.

Chili Peppers

If intensity got married to flavor, their offspring would be chili peppers. These little powerhouses pack a big punch and come in a variety of heat levels.

Chili peppers can help to balance the earthy flavor of turmeric and add some heat to your dish.

You would be surprised at how well they go together in my Sweet Potato Chili. Here, the sweetness of the potatoes pairs perfectly with the heat of the chili peppers and the earthiness of the turmeric.

Paprika

This spice is made from dried, ground red peppers and has a sweet, smoky flavor. It’s used in a variety of dishes, including Hungarian goulash and Spanish paella.

Paprika is a good choice if you’re looking to add some color to your dish. It pairs well with turmeric in my Curried Lentils with Spinach or Curried Cauliflower Rice.

Cloves

Cloves are the unopened flower buds of an evergreen tree that is native to Indonesia. They have a warm, sweet flavor with a hint of spice.

During the holidays, you can find cloves in dishes like mulled wine and spiced cider. But they’re also used in savory dishes like Indian curries.

I love the flavor of cloves and often use them when cooking with turmeric. They go well together.

Bay Leaf

This herb is used to add flavor to soups, stews, and braises. It has a woodsy, earthy flavor that pairs well with turmeric.

I like to add a bay leaf to my curry dishes or use it to make some turmeric tea. It adds a nice depth of flavor to the dish.

Fennel Seeds

These seeds come from the fennel plant, which is related to dill and cumin. They have a sweet, anise-like flavor and are used in a variety of dishes, including Indian curries.

Fennel seeds pair well with turmeric and can be used to add some sweetness to your dish. You’d be stunned by how good they are together in different dishes. I’ve used them in some of my favorite recipes with great results.

Black Pepper

Black pepper is the world’s most traded spice and has a sharp, pungent flavor. It’s used in cuisines all over the world and is an essential ingredient in many curry powders.

Black pepper pairs well with turmeric and can be used to add some heat to your dish. I like to use it with turmeric in dishes that have a lot of other flavors going on.

Caraway seeds

Don’t mention caraway seeds to my husband unless you want to hear about how his Bavarian grandmother used them in everything. From what I can tell, they have a nutty, anise-like flavor and are used in a variety of dishes, including German sauerkraut and rye bread.

Caraway seeds pair well with turmeric. You should use it, especially in dishes where you want the turmeric flavor to shine through.

Ginger

My personal opinion is that ginger is the ying to turmeric’s yang. It has a sharp, citrusy flavor that can really liven up a dish.

You may not know this but ginger and turmeric are actually related. They’re both part of the Zingiberaceae family, which also includes cardamom and galangal.

I like to use ginger with turmeric in dishes that need a little brightness. It’s a great way to add some zest to a dish.

Curry

Ever wondered if there was such a thing as’ twin power’ in spices? Well, if there is, then curry and turmeric are it. Curry is a blend of spices that usually includes turmeric. But it can also include other spices like cumin, coriander, fenugreek, and chili peppers.

I love using curry powder with turmeric in my dishes. It’s a great way to add some depth of flavor to the dish.

Star anise

Star anise is the fruit of an evergreen tree that’s native to China. It has a sweet, licorice-like flavor and is used in a variety of dishes, including Chinese five-spice powder.

I adore adding star anise to turmeric-flavored dishes that require a little sweetness. It’s a fantastic method to add complexity and depth to the dish.

Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds are the small, round seeds of the mustard plant. They have a pungent, earthy flavor and are used in a variety of dishes, including Indian curries.

Mustard seeds pair well with turmeric. I like to use them in dishes that need a little bit of heat.

Vanilla

I know what you’re thinking, vanilla doesn’t sound like it would go well with turmeric. But trust me, it does. Vanilla has a sweet, floral flavor that pairs well with the earthy flavor of turmeric.

If you’re like me and you love the flavor of vanilla, then you’ll definitely want to try it with turmeric. It’s such an elegant way to enhance the earthiness and sweetness of the spice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use instead of turmeric?

If you’re looking for an alternative to turmeric, then you can try using curry powder or ground ginger.

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

There are a few things that you can mix with turmeric to make it taste better. These include cayenne pepper, garlic, oregano, and parsley.

Can I use fresh turmeric instead of ground?

Yes, you can use fresh turmeric instead of ground. However, you will need to use more of it since it is not as concentrated.

Is it okay to consume turmeric every day?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to consume turmeric every day. Many people do so, because of its numerous health benefits.

Conclusion

Turmeric is a versatile spice that can be used in a variety of dishes. It has a unique flavor that pairs well with other spices.

Today, I’ve established that by using the right spices, you can create a dish that is full of flavor and has a beautiful color.

So, I encourage you to experiment and find the combination that you like best. There is no wrong way to do it. Just follow your taste buds and have fun!

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