View Full Version : Turmeric Substitute

Dave L.
11-07-2007, 06:01 AM
I want to do a chicken recipe that calls for a 1/2 tsp. of turmeric but I don't have any and don't want to buy a jar for one recipe. Is there a spice that I can use for a substitute that is close to it?

Jeff S
11-07-2007, 06:07 AM
Dave, I would think you should be able to use Curry as a subsitute. If you do not have that, use some dry mustard.

Dave L.
11-07-2007, 06:12 AM
Thanks Jeff,Curry was my thought also. When I think about it, if it's calling for only 1/2 tsp. I can probably do without it all together. It's probably more for color than anything else.

K McCarthy
11-07-2007, 09:02 AM
Here is a web site I found a while back. It gives spice descriptions and some recommended substitutions.

Link (http://www.foodsubs.com/SpiceUniv.html#cardamom)

I can't vouch for the accuracy, but it's a place to start.


K Kruger
11-07-2007, 09:13 AM
Turmeric is a component of curry. It's there for color. Skip it or sub ground mustard. Curry powder is flavorful and shouldn't be used as a sub for turmeric unless that flavor is desired.

Erik G
11-07-2007, 09:39 PM
Dave, what do you plan on making? As Kevin mentioned, turmeric is typically used for color however does add flavor. A little goes a long way, hence the recipe requesting only 1/2 tsp. Definitely do not substitute curry for turmeric, it will impart a complete different taste since curry is made with several spices.

It really depends on what you're making, mustard powder might not be a good substitute. It might be in your best interest to skip it all together as Kevin mentioned.

I have never seen fresh turmeric in the states, I wonder if it's available.


Dave L.
11-08-2007, 08:41 AM
Erik, It's in a chicken recipe that was on a local TV station. I think the chef's restaurant was Morracan. The dish is called Chicken Bastilla. It calls for a 1/2 tps. turmeric or a pinch of saffron.

Erik G
11-08-2007, 10:41 AM
Bastilla sounds great. Will you be making it with phyllo dough? Did you know it's typically made with pigeon back in Morocco? Instead of using a regular fryer chicken, I would substitute it with two cornish hens.

Do you have saffron? The recipe is typically made with both saffron and turmeric, however you can definitely omit the turmeric and just use saffron. Do not use mustard powder, it will give it a different taste and the yellow color is not needed since more than likely it will be covered with sugar and the eggs should provide a sufficient amount of contrast.


Dave L.
11-08-2007, 11:53 AM
I was thinking of putting the chicken or hens (great idea) in a croc pot with the spices and cooking it low for around 8 hrs. or however long it takes. Maybe serve it over noodles or rice without the egg or phyllo dough. I have saffron so I'm not going to even bother with the turmeric.

Erik G
11-08-2007, 12:52 PM
Dave, your variation sounds appetizing however it's no bastilla.

I would definitely take the time and effort to make it with poached cornish hens (you need the remaining stock for the eggs), eggs and phyllo dough. You can use a croc pot but the chicken needs to have a shreddable texture and therefore is poached in simmering water as opposed to a violent boil.


Dave L.
11-09-2007, 05:59 AM
Your right Erik, I really shouldn't call it bastilla. I should call it Dave's lazy man chicken with a bit of Moroccon flavor. I liked the spices used in it and thought I would try something different.

K Kruger
11-09-2007, 06:21 AM
It would be not unlike one of the numerous chicken tagines of Morocco.

Erik G
11-09-2007, 09:53 AM
Dave, after looking at the name of your dish (Dave's lazy man chicken), lazy would work since your last name begins with an 'L'. Call me a nut, it made me laugh.

Kevin, you have no idea how many times I had to read your sentence in order for the double negative to click in my brain. I have to keep reminding myself, it's Friday.