Here’re 3 Alternatives That You Can Substitute For Turmeric Substitute

Turmeric is an ingredient of curry powder.

This spice is yellow in color and is also used to color the rice that accompanies curry.

I don’t know how to use it except to make authentic curry dishes, and I feel it would be a waste to buy all of it for one recipe.

So, when you need turmeric, you might think, “I don’t have any at home! It’s not always easy to find.

If you are having trouble finding turmeric, you can try using turmeric substitutes.

So this time, I’m going to introduce you to “Recommended Substitutes for Turmeric” that will help you in your time of need, so please take a look!

Characteristics and Role of Turmeric

Characteristics and Role of Turmeric

Turmeric is the dried underground stem part of the ginger plant, which has a unique earthy and bittersweet flavor.

Although it is a member of the ginger family, it does not have a very spicy taste and is therefore easy to eat.

The role of turmeric is often used to give it a yellow color, as typified by turmeric rice.

Adding just a little gives it a gorgeous appearance, and it is essential for ethnic dishes.

Sometimes only a small amount is used because using a lot of it can cause a bitter taste, but without the addition of turmeric, you will feel somewhat inadequate.

The faint spicy aroma and mild bitterness is the flavor of turmeric, so when choosing a substitute for turmeric, it is recommended to pay attention to the “aroma and flavor” as well as the “yellow coloring”.

Turmeric also contains curcumin, which inhibits active oxygen and is effective in anti-aging.

It is also said to help prevent lifestyle-related diseases, so we can expect beauty and health benefits from it.

To get this kind of effect with turmeric substitutes, you should also check the ingredients and benefits.

Three alternatives to turmeric

curry powder

curry powder

Curry powder is an easy way to make authentic curry.

In addition to dry curry, there are many ways to use it, such as in curry-flavored croquettes and stir-fries.

Even families that use a roux to make curry often have curry powder.

Curry powder, also known as mixed spice, is a blend of various spices.

In addition to cumin, coriander, nutmeg, garam masala, and cayenne pepper, it also contains turmeric, which is essential for curry flavor and color.

The unique flavor of turmeric is subtle and adds to the taste of various spices, and can be substituted if the dish has an ethnic feel.

However, it will inevitably end up with a curry flavor.

If you are cooking a dish that could use a curry flavor, you can try substituting curry powder.



Saffron is used to adding flavor and color to paella and bouillabaisse.

It goes well with rice and seafood, so if your recipe calls for rice or seafood such as shrimp or squid, saffron is a good substitute.

Saffron is a spice made by drying the stamens from saffron flowers and is characterized by its ethnic aroma and yellow pigment component.

It can be used in the same way as turmeric, making it a very good substitute.

However, because saffron has a strong aroma, it is best to use a slightly reduced amount instead of the same amount as turmeric.

Another drawback is that saffron is so expensive that it is said to be the most expensive spice in the world.

The reason for the high price is that only a few stamens can be produced from each saffron flower, and each stamen must be picked by hand.

If you don’t have turmeric or saffron, you may be able to make it on a lower budget by buying turmeric or using other substitutes.

gardenia fruit

gardenia fruit

Gardenia seeds are used to color takuan.

Gardenia seeds are also used to add yellow color to Osechi (New Year’s Eve) dishes such as Chestnut Kintoons.

Gardenia seeds can also be used as a substitute for turmeric because they can be colored yellow.

However, they do not have the spicy flavor of turmeric, and the aroma may not be enough.

However, because it is odorless, it can be said to be easy to use.

If you use a large amount of turmeric, the aroma may be too strong or the taste may be bitter, but this will not happen with gardenia seeds.

Gardenia seeds are cheaper and easier to use than saffron, so using them as a substitute is one way to go.

Easy recipes using turmeric substitutes

Paella made with gardenia seeds

Paella made with gardenia seeds


  1. Cut the gardenia seeds in two, put them in a pot, and add water, consommé, and white wine.
  2. Add the seafood, bring to a boil, and pour over the rice, which has been sauteed in olive oil.
  3. Top with the prepared ingredients and cook, sprinkle with lemon or parsley, and serve.

Saffron rice

Saffron rice


  1. Put the sharpened rice in a kettle and adjust the water.
  2. Add a pinch of saffron and let it sit for about 20 minutes to bring out the color.
  3. When the water turns yellow, stir it and cook it as usual.


  • Turmeric has a unique earthy aroma and bittersweet flavor and can color food yellow.
  • The curcumin in turmeric is effective for lifestyle-related diseases and anti-aging, so one way to choose a substitute is to focus on the ingredients.
  • The following three are recommended as substitutes for turmeric.

[curry powder, saffron, and gardenia seeds]