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Recipes, but not curry, that call for turmeric?

I've been reading a lot lately about the health benefits of turmeric--I've even seen it suggested that you should consider taking it as a supplement if you don't get it in your diet regularly. I've never really cooked with turmeric before, aside from putting it in curries.

Would you be willing to share your delicious non-curry recipes that call for turmeric?

Thank you!


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  1. Tumeric omelette. Take an egg, whisk it in a bowl with about 1/2 tea tumeric, a dash or two of fish sauce or soy sauce and fry it on really high heat with a good deal of oil in a wok. Flip and serve with rice. You can eat it with Thai Sri Racha sauce too. Yummy breakfast. :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: cee

      I've been served home fried potatoes with turmeric that were rather tasty.

    2. I use it in dry rub marinades for chicken and lamb when I want a Med. flavor. A dash of tumeric is nice when sauteeing meats or veggies too. Plays well with cumin, cinnamon, paprika, and ginger.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Shane Greenwood

        In the same vein, I added some to a chili the other week in addition to cinnamon and cumin and it worked out nicely.

      2. I just heard this, too (Dr Oz maybe?) and deviled eggs were mentioned.

        I'm curious about it, though. Does it have a strong flavor or just lots of color?

        5 Replies
        1. re: fern

          It does have a distinct flavour, but I personally find it quite mild. The colour, on the other hand... turmeric stains are horrendous to remove. My previous counter had bright yellow stains on the counter (that stubbornly resisted all cleaning products) from a turmeric accident.

          1. re: vorpal

            Thanks. I was wondering if it could be buried in robust dishes just to get the health benefits. Maybe it's worth a try.
            Thanks for the stain warning. If it can be spilled, it will be by me. Klutz.

            1. re: vorpal

              Equal parts hydrogen peroxide and dishwashing soap - works every time.

              1. re: adrienne156

                When we first married (starving students), every single plastic utensil was stained turmeric yellow. I've seen turmeric pills--anyone ever use them for the supposed health benefits? One of my favorite non-curry turmeric recipes is Turmeric Aloo--potatoes in chunks with plenty of spices, including turmeric.

                1. re: pine time

                  Are the requirements just "non-curry" or "non-any-food-that-comes-from-a-cuisine-that-has-curry." Because turmeric aloo--which I also love--fits the first requirement but not the second. I also use turmeric when I make pilau rice with nuts, raisins, peas, onion, cloves, cardomom etc. Again, fits the first requirement but not the second. Delicious though!

                  You can even just put some in plain rice though. It has a very mild flavor and gives the rice a nice color. You can even put it in breads and baked goods to give them an appetizing color--I have a friend who does that with his challah.

          2. While a lot of what passes for dietary health in American media is a lot of hyperbole, including the negligible effect eating a few tablespoons of turmeric will have on health, the tasty properties of turmeric are readily available in dishes such as Indonesian turmeric rice, a rustic turmeric-based paella eaten in the Philippines called bringhe or the savory soups of Latin America, particularly with tripe.


            1. I add a pinch to my chicken soup to make it more yellow.

              1. If you don't mind the weird color, it's good in oatmeal. I put it in with the water.

                1. I'm skeptical of the health claims being made, but nonetheless, for someone who never makes curries, I use a fair amount of turmeric in making Moroccan-style seasoning blends (e.g., ras al hanout). I don't have any recipes at hand, but there are plenty out there.

                  1. i add it to my roasted cauliflower, tossing the veg in oil with the turmeric, salt and pepper. I make a mung bean vermicelli noodle dish with turmeric. It's a dry noodle dish, served room temp or cold: sautee onions with turmeric, a pinch of sugar, add scallions, season with fish sauce and not much else.

                    1. No specific recipe on hand, but I've made Morrocan style chicken in the past, with turmeric, preserved lemons, dried fruit, etc. I'm sure it would be easy to google something like that up.

                      1. My family is from Indonesia and we use turmeric in lots of dishes. "Ayam goreng kuning" which literally means fried yellow chicken: chicken pieces are braised with turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, etc., before frying; "nasi kuning:" yellow coconut rice; and "soto ayam:" a chicken and lemongrass soup. I don't have actual recipes for them as my mum always cooks using taste and feel (I'm going to have to write them down and test them out now!) but just do a google search and you'll find plenty of recipes.

                        The Burmese also have a "curry" that uses only turmeric and paprika as spices. I have a recipe on my blog (http://theasiangrandmotherscookbook.w...) that a Burmese grandmother dictated to me over the phone:

                        2 pounds boneless pork (I used pork butt), trimmed and cut into one-inch cubes
                        2 teaspoons turmeric powder
                        1 tablespoon fish sauce
                        1 tablespoon light soy sauce
                        1 tablespoon chopped garlic (about 3-4 cloves
                        )1 tablespoon grated ginger root (two-inches peeled and grated)
                        1/4 cup canola oil
                        2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
                        2 tablespoons paprika powder
                        Cilantro leaves to garnish

                        In a medium bowl, marinate pork with next 5 ingredients. Mix well (your hands are the best tools for this but beware, your nails will be stained ochre by the turmeric so use gloves!) and set aside.

                        In a large skillet, sauté onions over medium heat in oil until translucent and a little brown at the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add paprika and mix until onions are coated evenly.

                        Add pork to skillet, turn heat to medium-high and mix well. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour until meat is tender. Adjust the heat if necessary, you don’t want the meat to burn.

                        Check seasoning and add salt if necessary. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with steamed jasmine rice.

                        You could also try this spice combination for chicken drumettes which a friend served me once. She never gave me exact measurements so I just add herbs and spices to taste.

                        Combine tarragon, turmeric powder, lemon peel, dried mint, salt and pepper in a glass jar and shake well. Coat drumettes with spices and either deep fry or bake.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ptanu

                          I absolutely love nasi kuning. You can certainly taste the tumeric in the dish (in a pleasant way)!

                        2. I use a Mark Bittman recipe for yellow rice that uses tumeric. Warm 2-1/2 c of chicken stock and add 1/2 t. of tumeric. In a pan melt some butter and saute some onion until soft, then add 1-1/2 c of Aborio rice and cook it until starting to turn color (5 minutes). Add in the warmed stock/tumeric and simmer for 15-20 minutes covered.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: mels

                            I was about to post my yellow rice recipe, but then I realized that it was almost identical to this one. The difference is that I use basmati rice (very different from Arborio as it is long grain) and bring the rice to a boil after adding the chicken stock, then turn down to a simmer. Sometimes I add raw cashews and/or frozen peas for more of a pilaf. This is good with roasted chicken.

                            The warnings about staining should be heeded. I consider them inevitable, as we do a lot of Indian cooking.

                            1. re: janetofreno

                              Sadly, many Indian restaurants sub turmeric for more expensive saffron to make yellow rice. It's a very bad substituion, since nothing has the taste or bouquet of real saffron.

                          2. Since you seem interested in the health aspects of turmeric, you might want to try kitchari. Here's a version I like:


                            but there are several other versions, if you google it; turmeric seems to be an important ingredient in most of them.

                            1. Pearl style couscous is great to keep on hand for a practically instant side dish with say, a grill and a salad. I season it with a boullion cube, garlic powder, turmeric and parsley.

                              1. I've been making a butternut squash and carrot stew with quinoa that calls for turmeric (in both the stew and the quinoa). It's super easy and really good - here's the link

                                1. Thank you for the fantastic-sounding recipes everyone! I'm not so sold on the health benefits of turmeric to take it in capsule form, but if I can do so deliciously, it can't hurt to add it to my bag of tricks, along with garlic and ginger and such.

                                  Someone asked if Dr. Oz was the source of the health claims I read --he is the second source, I think. The first source was Dr. Weil's in his book "Healthy Aging," though, I don't think he advocated taking it in capsule form.


                                  1. I'm not entirely sure how you define curry, but there is a vegetable and dal stew in The Greens cookbook in which the dal is flavored with turmeric and ginger (another anti-inflammatory) and then used to coat vegetables. It calls for dry, but I used fresh.

                                    There is also a great dry southern Thai style dish that I recently had at Jitlada Thai that was basically beef coated in turmeric. I don't remember it's name, though, but it was amazing, and probably the most turmeric-saturated dish I've ever had. One of the L.A. hounds would know.

                                    1. Eastern and southern Mediterranean cuisines use tumeric. Paula Wolfert's books should be a good source of recipes using that very distinctive flavor. Browsing my copy of Mediterranean Cooking (rev. 1994) I found Morroccan Chicken, Tunisian Green Wheat Soup.


                                      1. There was a recipe for Turmeric Potatoes in the October issue of Chatelaine. I haven't tried it but have had good results from many of their recipes.


                                        1. Infuse 1 cup of light olive oil or canola oil with 1 teaspn of turmeric for 1-2 hrs . Brush on corn- on- the- cob instead of butter. My personal favorite is to brush it on paninis and veggies before grilling (or oven roasting), instead of bland oil. The color and curry-like aroma of this infusion gives a unique dimension to food without the curry taste.

                                          1. You might try an Indian recipe called "golden milk." I learned about it from a yoga teacher, and I believe it's ayurvedic in origin, to help the joints. She said she toned the recipe down for Americans, for one serving: 1/8th tsp. turmeric and 3 crushed cardamom pods in 1/4 c. water in a small saucepan. Bring this mixture to a boil on the stovetop and remove from the heat once it comes to a boil. Let the spices infuse for fifteen minutes, then add 1 tsp. ghee (or almond oil) and 1 c. milk. Return this to high heat, watching carefully, and remove from heat as soon as it begins to wisp up steam and form bubbles at the edges. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat, strain, and add a dash of cinnamon and honey, if you like, to taste. Serve warm. The traditional recipe has more ghee or almond oil, and uses whole milk, but you may adjust as you see fit. She said you can increase the amount of turmeric and/or ghee as your palate and stomach adjust. She also said to use organic products, but you may take or leaave that advice as you see fit. I don't want to get into discussions of organics here. It's a relatively quick way to get in turmeric on days you don't cook with it.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: amyzan

                                              Can't believe my eyes, this is what we as children got as a "reward" for our injuries, cuts, scrapes and bruises ! And the logic was that this concoction accelerated the healing process, as well as provided an antiseptic boost from within the body. Thanx for bringing back some memories..

                                              1. re: JiyoHappy

                                                When sauteeing onions sprinkle with Turmeric. It adds a nice color, unique flavor and health benefits, too.
                                                Making a paste of turmeric and milk or water and rubbing on sores, bug bites, etc. is healing.

                                                1. re: kathycagmai

                                                  Oh I did not know that. Can I do that for back pain?

                                                  Also, will the yellow color stay on the skin?

                                                2. re: JiyoHappy

                                                  That's interesting! Did you like it as a kid? I made it for my mom last night, and she enjoyed it, even without honey. I was sure to crush the cardamom pods well, so that their flavor would dominate and compensate fro any bitterness or earthiness from the turmeric.

                                                  1. re: amyzan

                                                    Haldi-milk was sweet ( awsome for 5-12 age grp) , no one else other than the injured kid got it ( made the kid feel exclusive , bragging rights followed ), and faster recovery meant we could return to our rough and tumble ways, the next day! . The sugar or honey gave us the calories . The taste, well it was sweet!!
                                                    Now when I look back, I recall we never sufferred any infections or marks on our skin , even after some deep gashes & repeated knee and elbow bruises.
                                                    Haldi-milk can also be given to people recovering from surgeries. Its the whole "healing from within" thing .


                                              2. The last couple years I've been cooking (aka experimenting) with North African style dishes (Moroccan usually) and I've been surprised by the influence of the turmeric. Previously I had only used it in Indian cooking where the flavor is much less pronounced -- maybe because the Indian uses both coriander and cumin while the North African uses just cumin. Plus cinnamon, so who knows.

                                                In any case, try it lightly sprinkled on cauliflower along with cumin, salt and a little oil, then roast in a 400' F oven for 25-30 minutes or 'til the cauliflower is tender. It's good stuff. The seasoned cauliflower is nice mixed with couscous, too.

                                                Don't be afraid of the yellow stain. It fades... with time. (I'll try the peroxide/soap mix suggested by adrienne156 next time).

                                                1. Tumeric Dusted Pan Fried Okra;
                                                  Slice the okra lengthwise, dust with tumeric,pan fry till crisp sprinkle with seasalt ,eat hot if possible; so good!

                                                  1. I just posted my gf's recipe for turmeric chicken. She made it for my family once and they loved it. They're still talking about it 3 years later. It's a popular way of cooking chicken in the beach towns south of Bangkok.


                                                    She puts her hand inside a plastic bag to rub the meat, then inverts the bag when she's done to throw it away. Good way not to stain your hands or anything else. You can use either whole turmeric root or turmeric powder.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: cee

                                                      "You can use either whole turmeric root or turmeric powder." Wow, that sentence jumped out at me. I don't think I've ever SEEN whole tumeric root, even in India. Or more likely I didn't know what I was looking for. I know its a relative of ginger; does it look like ginger root? Where in the United States can you find it? I would love to try some rubbed on a chicken.........

                                                      There's probably no chance of me finding any in the boonies where I live, but maybe San Francisco? Asian markets maybe?

                                                      1. re: janetofreno

                                                        Whole turmeric root is very common but only during the months of Oct-Jan , in India. It looks like a skinnier version of ginger with slightly darker skin and is almost orange inside.
                                                        In US you can find it in the prepackaged produce dept in asian or indian grocery stores . Indian grocery stores sometimes have it in cardboard boxes to be sold by weight. You can find various imported indian brands of fresh turmeric root in freezer section all year round.

                                                    2. You can also add some in to lentil soup, without adding other spices.

                                                      1. http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...

                                                        Made this for sup last night first time. Will definately make my permanent roster of meals. Be sure to add a large dollop of greek yogurt which rounds out the dish VERY well.

                                                        1. I have been taking about a tablespoon a day of this stuff because there is growing evidence it works to fight cancer, even active cancer, especially in the bowel.

                                                          It is rather expensive in capsules, but VERY cheap in bulk powder at an Asian grocery - a few dollars for a kilo.

                                                          We get the bulk and mix it half and half with plain sugar, then take about a teaspoon of the mix 2x daily. With sugar it tastes a bit like ginger candy, but still not great. It is easy to wash down with a glass of water. It makes your mouth a most interesting bright yellow, so don't do it before the dentist.



                                                          addendum: I have grown to really enjoy the flavor of this mix and sprinkle it on buttered toast, as you might cinnamon sugar, and putting it into hot or cold cereal.

                                                          dental addendum: turmeric will stain the plaque on your teeth a tan color, but not your teeth enamel. My Asian dentist recognized it instantly. It is not a big deal if you keep your teeth clean and only shows up in the shadows between your teeth that the brush and floss miss. The hygienist likes it because it gives her visual evidence of getting all the plaque off at my routine cleaning.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: empkae

                                                            Look how Turmeric ranks on the ORAC Value List.


                                                            Turmeric is 127,068 it even beats Acai berry which is 102,700. I'm going to start adding fresh turmeric to my Green smoothies.

                                                            1. re: Funkalicious

                                                              Awesome stuff this turmeric...*and* be sure to take it WITH some freshly ground black pepper...the piperine in the pepper helps the uptake immensely...here's a great video about turmeric vs. inflammation...he also has one about the synergistic effects of black pepper with the turmeric:

                                                          2. This is a handy thread. I just picked up some fresh turmeric root at the Outer Avenues coop in San Francisco, because of the reputed health benefits, and because I've never seen/noticed it fresh before.

                                                            In Indonesia, I had a skin treatment with yogurt and turmeric. Did not stain me yellow as far as I know.

                                                            1. I haven't read the entire thread, but I almost always use a couple dashes in my chicken stock. Also in chicken & rice, and in most of my stews.

                                                              1. Why not try Vietnamese turmeric and chilli spiced cod with rice noodles, peanuts and herbs from The Mighty Spice Cookbook.