This distinctive bright yellow spice is a member of the ginger family, and fresh turmeric has a very similar appearance to fresh ginger - it is a light brown knobbly root. Fresh tumeric is not widely available and most tumeric that is grown in India, China, the West Indies and Africa is dried, ground and sold as a powder. It has a slight peppery aroma and a musky taste.
Turmeric is sometimes substituted for the more expensive saffron because it produces the same bright yellow colour, but it has a very different flavour.
Uses: Turmeric is one of the main ingredients in curry powder and is popular in many Indian dishes including fish curries, kedgeree and dhal. It also features in many north African lamb and vegetable dishes. Turmeric gives many chutneys and pickles, particularly piccalilli, their distinctive colour.
To store: Keep in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.