Turmeric Recipes: Your Guide to the Best Turmeric Recipes

turmeric dish

With the globalisation of cuisine, our eating habits are always changing, and new flavours are never lacking. The use of turmeric in recipes both savoury and sweet is a clear example of this phenomenon. This spice is characteristic of Indian food, where it won its popularity thanks to its colour and flavour – but its health properties are also attracting consumers.

The part of the turmeric plant used as seasoning is the rhizome, the subterranean root. When dried and ground, it produces a fine powder with a vivid orange colour. If you’re still unsure how to use turmeric in your cooking, this article will show you some easy, healthy, delicious options.

Key Ideas

  • Though many people don’t know how to cook with it, turmeric can highlight and boost the flavour of a variety of sweet and savoury recipes. 
  • Adding turmeric to your recipes provides colour and flavour to your meals, but it also benefits your health. This is thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, digestive, and blood-sugar-regulating properties – to name just a few.
  • For optimal turmeric absorption in the body, meals should also contain black pepper and/or a fat source. 

What You Need to Know About Using Turmeric in Recipes

Turmeric is a highly versatile spice which can be adapted to countless meals. Due to its bitter, spicy, and intense flavour, it’s typically used in small amounts as a seasoning. Recipes with turmeric are ideal for those who wish to make the most of curcumin’s health properties without requiring a curcumin supplement.

RecipeSweet or Savoury?Difficulty?Is Cooking Required?Is It Vegan? 
Golden milkMildly sweet.Simple.Yes, for a brief part. It can be. Use vegetable-based ‘milks’ and a sweetener other than honey.
Orange, pineapple, and turmeric smoothie Sweet.Simple.No.Yes.
Cauliflower and turmeric puree Savoury.Simple.Yes.It can be. Replace milk with a vegan alternative like almond milk.
Banana bread with turmeric Sweet.Moderate. Yes.No. 
Turmeric breadSavoury.Moderate. Yes.Yes.

Can Turmeric Be Used in Sweets?

Perhaps you find it strange imagining how a sharp, slightly bitter spice like turmeric can be used in dessert recipes. However, its curious flavour pairs very well with certain sweet tastes like honey, orange, pineapple, vanilla, banana, and coconut. Plus, it’ll help bring new life to your traditional recipes!

Golden Milk: A Traditional Delicacy

This Ayurvedic beverage is winning more and more fans thanks to its delicious, comforting taste. Plus, it’s low in calories and completely compatible with weight loss plans. Golden milk is very easy to make; it’s one of the best turmeric recipes there is.

Ingredients (Makes 1 Serving):

  • 200-250 ml cow’s milk or alternatives (soy, almond, coconut, oat, or cashew milk). If you opt for the coconut milk, you may not need to add any sweeteners, oil, or ghee.
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon turmeric powder. If you’re not accustomed to the taste of turmeric, start with ¼ teaspoon.
  • ½ teaspoon ghee (clarified butter), coconut oil, or olive oil.
  • Pinch of black pepper.
  • Teaspoon of honey. For vegans, try another sweetener like muscovado sugar, coconut sugar, or dates.
  • Optional: ginger, vanilla extract, cinnamon. 

Preparation:

Place the ingredients in a small pot and bring to low heat. Cook for several minutes, stirring consistently, until golden milk is heated but not yet boiling. Serve hot or warm.

girl writing somre recipes
Though many people don’t know how to cook with it, turmeric can highlight and boost the flavour of a variety of sweet and savoury recipes. (Source: Henderson: 5hqtjt2l9gw/ Unsplash.com)

Pineapple, Orange, and Turmeric Smoothie

This turmeric and fruit combo is a refreshing, sweet, and healthy option. Try having it for breakfast or as a snack between meals. The important part is not to prepare it long before you eat it, as you’ll lose most of the vitamin C content in the orange and pineapple.

Ingredients (Makes 2 Servings):

  • 1 medium-sized orange (peeled and seedless).
  • 1 cup pineapple (preferably frozen).
  • 1 level teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  • Enough water, soy milk, or similar vegetable milk to obtain the desired consistency. Coconut milk pairs very well with turmeric.
  • Pinch of black pepper.
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil.
  • Optional: ice.

Preparation:

Place the ingredients in a blender and blend for one minute until well mixed. Serve cold.

natural orange juice
Without a doubt it is a refreshing, sweet and healthy recipe. (Source: Pasqual: HC4zfPv_eUQ/ Unsplash.com)

Banana Bread with Turmeric

Before making this turmeric bread, preheat your oven to 180 °C. This temperature is essential to ensure the bread rises while cooking. Now let’s get out the ingredients for this delicious, spongy cake.

Ingredients (Makes 6 Servings):

  • 1 large ripe banana.
  • 2 cups self-rising flour. (You can also use 1 cup self-rising flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour or oat flour.) 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda.
  • ½ cup sugar.
  • 3 eggs.
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil (sunflower oil or similar). 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest.
  • 1 level teaspoon of turmeric powder.

Preparation:

  1. Mix the sugar and oil in a bowl. 
  2. Add eggs and whisk until mixture is foamy.
  3. Mash banana into puree and add to the mixture. If the banana is sufficiently ripe, the puree should have a fairly even consistency.
  4. Add the vanilla extract, orange zest, and turmeric and stir.
  5. Add the sifted flour along with the baking soda. Stir until incorporated into the wet mixture. 
  6. Pour mixture into a pan greased with butter or baking spray. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Because heating may vary between ovens, the best way to know that the banana bread is done is to stick a knife in and have it come out clean.
healthy banana bread
This is a good option if you are on a vegan diet. (Source: Kiser: horiXQ2vO7g/ Unsplash.com)

What Are the Best Savoury Turmeric Recipes?

You’re probably already familiar with the use of turmeric in chicken, stews, casseroles, and risotto. It can also be added to dough for tastier noodles and quesadillas. You can even try including it in sauerkraut and hummus! If cooking is not your strong suit (or you’re just short on time), don’t worry. We’ve found you two savoury turmeric recipes which are easy and quick. 

Cauliflower Turmeric Puree

This cauliflower puree is the perfect condiment for meat, seitan filets, and hamburgers (whether beef-based or vegan). It’s an excellent replacement for classic mashed potatoes thanks to its smooth, creamy texture. On top of being delicious, it’s quick and simple to prepare.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cauliflower.
  • 1 level teaspoon of turmeric powder. 
  • Salt, nutmeg, and black pepper to taste. 
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder.
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
  • 2 tablespoons milk or vegetable alternative (oat milk, rice milk).

Preparation:   

  1. Steam the florets of the cauliflower until they become tender. If they begin to boil, drain thoroughly to remove the excess water from cooking.
  2. Place cooked cauliflower in a bowl with the seasonings, oil, and milk.
  3. Grind with a whisk or masher until cauliflower forms a puree-like consistency. Serve hot.
cauliflower and some steamed vegetables
The perfect garnish for your meals. (Source: Fahin: hOCBC1BXofc/ Unsplash.com)

Turmeric Bread

This vegan turmeric bread is tasty on its own or paired with all sorts of spreads: guacamole, red pepper paste, aubergine puree and hummus, to name a few. This yellow-coloured, light and airy bread is quite simple to make – ideal for beginners in the kitchen.

Ingredients (Makes 10 Servings):

  • ½ kilogram flour (ideally Italian 000 flour, also known as pasta flour). A little extra flour will be needed for kneading. 
  • 25 g fresh yeast or 7 g yeast powder.
  • 1 teaspoon sugar.
  • 1 tablespoon salt.
  • 1 level teaspoon of turmeric powder. 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or sunflower oil.
  • 300 to 350 ml warm water.

Preparation:

  1. Pour flour and turmeric in a bowl, pushing it up along the walls of the bowl to form a ‘hole’ in the centre. 
  2. Add salt to the mixture at the edges, not the hole at the centre.
  3. Dissolve yeast in 200 ml of warm water and add the sugar. Stir and let sit for five minutes.
  4. Pour the water and yeast mixture into the hole at the centre of the bowl, as well as the oil. 
  5. Mix the flour thoroughly with the water and yeast mixture. Add the remaining water (150 ml) bit by bit. Depending on the flour’s moisture level, the amount it absorbs will vary. You may find that 300 ml of water suffices.
  6. Cover a table or counter space in plastic film to keep the turmeric from staining the surface. Sprinkle some flour on the surface, place the dough down, and knead for several minutes.
  7. Place the dough in a container and cover with a clean cloth until it has doubled in volume.
  8. Once the dough is doubled in volume, knead again for a few more minutes, forming your desired bread shape (round or elongated). Place into a bread pan greased with oil or baking spray.
  9. Keep at room temperature and wait until the bread doubles in size again. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 220 °C.
  10. Bake bread at 220 °C until its surface is lightly golden and crisp.
turmemic bread
I’m sure you’ll love this bread recipe. (Source: Garabkowska: Ig-aswYWfDM/ Unsplash.com)

How Much Turmeric Should I Add to My Own Recipes?

Turmeric has an intense, bitter, spicy, and earthy flavour. As such, it will be overwhelming and invasive if used in large amounts and may also cause heartburn. A dose of 1.5 to 3 g of turmeric powder (about a half teaspoon to a teaspoon) is enough to make the most of its flavour and its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties (1, 2).

Does Cooking Remove Turmeric’s Health Benefits?

No. Turmeric is moderately stable when heated. Its active ingredient, curcumin, is excellent at withstanding brief periods of cooking (for example, 15 minutes). If cooked for prolonged periods (70 minutes or more), the curcumin may break down into other compounds. However, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties will stay intact (3)

How Can I Increase the Amount of Curcumin I Absorb When I Eat?

Curcumin, the polyphenol which lends turmeric its medicinal properties, has very low bioavailability. This means that very little of the total turmeric we ingest actually gets absorbed. To increase the body’s curcumin absorption, turmeric should be included in recipes with black pepper or a source of fat like oil, butter, or avocado (4, 5)

Black pepper is capable of raising our bodies’ curcumin absorption up to 2,000 times higher thanks to the piperine it contains. Curcumin is also fat-soluble. When turmeric is combined with oil, butter, avocados or nuts, the uptake of its active ingredient is markedly improved (4, 5)

When Are Turmeric Supplements Recommended?

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric helps reduce inflammation, pain, and rigidity from arthritis and joint injuries. It also has a neuroprotective effect and may possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease. In people with diabetes or insulin resistance, turmeric assists in blood sugar management. It also improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin (4).

In all of these situations, taking turmeric supplements (drops or capsules) is advisable. These supplements possess a higher concentration of curcumin than turmeric powder does, and their biological activity is more potent. Our liposomal turmeric offers highly increased absorption. It’s also recommended for people who suffer from indigestion (5, 6)

Our Conclusions

Turmeric is used in small amounts in cooking. As a seasoning, it provides flavour and colour to sweet and savoury meals alike. Because this spice possesses valuable medicinal properties which promote health and wellness, we suggest an intake of at least 1.5 grams of turmeric powder per day.

To increase the absorption of curcumin, turmeric’s active ingredient, your recipes should also contain a source of fat or, better still, black pepper. Despite its spicy, bitter, and earthy flavour, turmeric pairs quite well with sweet tastes like coconut, banana, pineapple, and honey.

Do you tend to use turmeric in your cooking? What’s your favourite recipe? Feel free to leave us a comment, and don’t forget to share this article on social media.

References (6)

1. Park S, Lim H, Hwang S. Evaluation of antioxidant, rheological, physical and sensorial properties of wheat flour dough and cake containing turmeric poder. 2012. Available at:
Source

2. Chattopadhyay I, Biswas K, Bandyopadhyay U, Banerjee R. Turmeric and curcumin: Biological actions and medicinal applications. 2004. Available at:
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3. Esatbeyoglu T et al. Thermal stability, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin and its degradation product 4-vinyl guaiacol. 2015. Available at:
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4. Hewlings S, Kalman D. Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. 2017. Available at:
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5. Liu W et al. Oral bioavailability of curcumin: problems and advancements. 2016. Available at:
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6. Thavorn K, Mamdani M, Straus S. Efficacy of turmeric in the treatment of digestive disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. 2014. Available at:
Source

Scientific article
Park S, Lim H, Hwang S. Evaluation of antioxidant, rheological, physical and sensorial properties of wheat flour dough and cake containing turmeric poder. 2012. Available at:
Go to source
Scientific article.
Chattopadhyay I, Biswas K, Bandyopadhyay U, Banerjee R. Turmeric and curcumin: Biological actions and medicinal applications. 2004. Available at:
Go to source
Scientific article
Esatbeyoglu T et al. Thermal stability, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin and its degradation product 4-vinyl guaiacol. 2015. Available at:
Go to source
Scientific article
Hewlings S, Kalman D. Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. 2017. Available at:
Go to source
Scientific article
Liu W et al. Oral bioavailability of curcumin: problems and advancements. 2016. Available at:
Go to source
Systematic review and meta-analysis
Thavorn K, Mamdani M, Straus S. Efficacy of turmeric in the treatment of digestive disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. 2014. Available at:
Go to source
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