What Does Turmeric Taste Like? Raw & Cooked Taste Explained

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Christina Ross
Christina Rosshttps://www.healthyfoodforliving.com/
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

You have never added turmeric to your meal and now you want to know the most important thing about this spice- its tasteWell then, great news because this article describes each and everything about turmeric taste and foods you can cook with it.

So, you’re asking ‘what does turmeric taste like’?

Turmeric tastes like a mixture of ginger, pepper, and wood smoke, with hints of bitterness and spiciness. It also has an earthy and musky flavor that can enhance the taste of the food it is being added into.

Let’s have a deeper look at the taste of turmeric and what factors influence it.

Then you can decide if you want to add it to the “spice cabinet” of your kitchen or not!

What Does Turmeric Taste Like? A Detailed Description!

Turmeric is in reality a rhizome that is around the roots of the plants. It is from the family of ginger, so unsurprisingly you can feel its similarity with ginger. 

But it tastes much more intense (and flavorful according to some) than its cousin ginger. Due to the taste and aroma, turmeric is often called “Indian Saffron.”

Turmeric’s taste depends on a key ingredient in it, which nutritionists know as Curcumin. So, the question “What does turmeric spice taste like?” is more like a “What does curcumin taste like?”

Here’s how different forms of turmeric feel on your tongue. 

People prefer to add fresh turmeric because it brings a wood smoky, horseradish, and spicy taste. Moreover, fresh turmeric can also taste a little citrusy depending on its quality. 

What Does Raw Turmeric Taste Like?

Raw turmeric is available in both dried and powdered form at grocery stores. 

Dried turmeric has a pungent, woodsmoke, bitter, and pepper-ish taste. But most people don’t add raw turmeric to their food. Rather, they prefer to add this spice in powdered or ground form. 

You must now be wondering, what does ground turmeric taste like? Well, there is not much difference in taste between raw and ground turmeric. However, it is easier to cook with powdered turmeric as it can be equally distributed in a whole dish. 

On top of this, ground or powdered turmeric has an intense flavor too, and only one or two tablespoons of this spice are enough for an entire bowl of soup, a pot of rice, or a pot of curry.

What Does Cooked Turmeric Taste Like?

You have to be careful with the turmeric during cooking. Since the cooked turmeric has a little bitter taste and a pungent smell, you have to add other spices/ingredients as well to balance it out. The spices/ingredients you can add in this case are garlic, saffron, ghee, coconut oil, butter, ginger, etc.

What Does Turmeric Taste Like?

What Does Fresh Turmeric Taste Like?

Fresh turmeric may also be available at some stores. It has a gingery color and if you cut it, its interior will look orange-like. People also ask, What does fresh turmeric taste like? 

People prefer to add fresh turmeric because it brings a wood smokey, horseradish, and spicy taste. Moreover, fresh turmeric can also taste a little citrusy depending on its quality. 

Low-quality turmeric does not taste citrusy; it rather tastes more bitterish. 

However, keep in mind that if you have also decided to add fresh turmeric, know that it is less intense than the powdered or dried raw form. Therefore, you have to add it in more quantities (almost four times more) than other turmeric forms!

Health Benefits You Can Enjoy When You Add Turmeric to Your Diet

Ancient Chinese and Indians used turmeric for different medicinal purposes like to treat flu, cold, and migraine. Moreover, those who suffered wounds after the wars in the past were given turmeric milk. 

You can enjoy the following benefits by adding a tablespoon of turmeric to your diet:

  • Stronger Immunity
  • Better digestion
  • Improved memory
  • Anti-inflammatory actions

Now that you know how beneficial turmeric in your diet is, let’s look at some foods that it can be added to.

What Food Tastes Best with Turmeric?

Many people ask, what is turmeric good for? And the answer is you can cook almost every food by adding this spice.

Furthermore, some cuisines feel incomplete if you don’t add turmeric to them. These include curries and French Classic Mustard!

People have been adding a tablespoon of turmeric to a glass or cup of milk to treat different diseases for centuries. This milk is also known as Golden milk due to the color milk obtains when you add turmeric. 

So, let’s have a look at the foods you should cook by adding turmeric: 


There is no way you can cook delicious curry without adding turmeric to it. Turmeric has a major contribution to the color of the curry that pops up at the end of the cooking.


Chicken ginger turmeric soup is one of the most famous soups chefs cook. 

The process to make this is:

  • First, add turmeric, garlic, ginger, and other spices with 500gm chicken in a pot. 
  • Next, add a pinch of salt to the pot to enhance the flavor.
  • Then, pour water into the pot and let it boil. 
  • If you want to add any vegetables, this is the perfect time to do this! Generally, people love to add carrot and eggplant in the chicken ginger turmeric soup. 
  • Cook for almost 15 to 20 minutes until you see everything look “cooked.” 

Follow these few simple steps and your delicious chicken ginger turmeric soup is ready!

chicken ginger turmeric soup

Want to know What does turmeric taste like in soup? Well, it tastes a little spicy, earthy, and gingerish which makes the soup mouth-watering! 

French Classic Mustard

Have you ever wondered why French classic mustard is so yellow? Yep, now you’ve guessed it right! It’s turmeric. 

Turmeric spice has a huge contribution to the smooth texture and intense flavor of this mustard. Thus, you can add the French classic mustard to any fast food you like.

Turmeric Milk

People have been adding a tablespoon of turmeric to a glass or cup of milk to treat different diseases for centuries. This milk is also known as Golden milk due to the color milk obtains when you add turmeric. 

Want to know what does golden milk tastes like? Golden Milk does taste a little bitter, so you can add honey to make it delish. 

You can also make golden milk tea. All you have to do is replace the part where you add regular milk with turmeric milk. Wondering- What does golden milk tea taste like? It tastes more like ginger and has a wood smokey flavor. 

Smoothies and Juices

You can also enrich the taste of a smoothie or juice with turmeric. 

Add half a tablespoon to a glass of milk, strawberry, honey, and bananas to make a perfect smoothie. So, the question arises- What does turmeric taste like in smoothies? You can expect your smoothie to taste a little like mustard and horseradish after adding turmeric to it. 

You can also add turmeric to apple or orange juice to make it more beneficial!

Moreover, you can also make a “Turmeric latte” by adding turmeric, cinnamon root, and maple syrup in milk. You must be wondering- What does turmeric latte taste like? Turmeric latte tastes a little ginger-ish and pepper-ish in addition to tasting musky.

Turmeric Tea

Making turmeric tea is fairly common in South Asia. People there consume it to enjoy its healing and energy-boosting properties.


Wondering what does turmeric tea tastes like? Well, adding turmeric to your tea will make it earthy, peppery, musky, and a little spicy.

Storing the turmeric in the right way is of supreme importance to enjoy cooking with it for a longer period. You have to do these 4 things with your turmeric to keep up with its quality.

Scrambled Tofu

Scrambled tofu is an alternative to scrambled eggs for vegans. You can cook it by adding potatoes, turmeric, and spinach to tofu. 

Here is the process for cooking it:

  • Put some oil in the pan and let it heat for about two to three minutes. 
  • Then, add some chopped potatoes into it as they take the longest to cook. 
  • After a few minutes, take them out and put the oil in again. 
  • Now add tofu and turmeric into the pan. 
  • Let it cook for a few more minutes before adding potatoes again. 
  • Use the wooden spoon to mix everything in the pan as distributing the turmeric to each part is important to have a proper taste. 
  • Lastly, sprinkle some spinach, and the scrambled tofu is ready.

Pumpkin Pie

You may be surprised to see a dessert here considering that the taste of turmeric is a little bitter. But you can absolutely cook a pumpkin pie by adding this spice in the right way. 

So, what does turmeric powder taste like in a dessert? Pumpkin pie has an intense earthy flavor, so turmeric does not make the taste bitter. Moreover, it adds a mustard-like touch to this pie which makes it unique from the others.

Pumpkin Pie

However, you can only enjoy the best tastes of these cuisines if the turmeric you are adding is top-notch. The quality of turmeric goes bad only if you don’t store it properly. 

Since it’s so important to store turmeric properly, let’s look at how it’s done.

How to Store Turmeric Properly?

Storing the turmeric in the right way is of supreme importance to enjoy cooking with it for a longer period. You have to do these 4 things with your turmeric to keep up with its quality:

  • Store dried or fresh turmeric in a cool or shady environment.
  • Prevent any excessive sunlight from falling on your turmeric powder or its freshly cut pieces. 
  • Put the turmeric in an airtight jar so that no moisture or air goes in it. 
  • If you have decided to put the turmeric in the refrigerator, don’t let it stay there for more than two weeks.

South and Southeast Asian countries use turmeric in making different cuisines. But there is a little less tendency in the west to add this spice. However, if the westerners want to taste a meal that has turmeric spice in it, they can visit any nearby Indian, Bangladeshi, or Pakistani restaurants. 


Q. Does turmeric taste spicy? 

Answer: Yes, turmeric does taste a bit spicy and strong when you add it to any food. However, you can always balance it out by adding other ingredients like ginger, garlic, honey, or anything that has a little sweet flavor. 

Q. What does turmeric taste like in coffee?

Answer: Some coffee connoisseurs love to add turmeric to their daily morning coffee routine. It makes the taste of the coffee gingerish, a bit spicy, and pepper-ish. 

Q. Does turmeric taste like cinnamon?  

Answer: There is a little similarity between turmeric and cinnamon as both have the touch of ginger-like taste. However, turmeric is more intense and also has an earthy, musky, a bit bitter, and peppery touch. 

Final Thoughts

Long story short, you asked ‘What does turmeric taste like?’ And I gave a comprehensive answer to give you an idea about how you are going to feel after adding this spice to your diet.

Raw turmeric tastes earthy, musky, wood-smokey, and a bit bitter. However, the foods you cook with turmeric taste different (like mustardy, horseradish, and spicy), depending upon the other ingredients you are adding.

I also discussed the popular cuisines people make with turmeric and painted a picture of how such foods taste.

Having said all that, I’m sure you won’t regret adding turmeric to your meal as it only enhances the flavor of the food!

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