Feeling the pinch? It’s time to stop thinking of this vivid yellow spice as a poor man’s saffron

Most of us probably have a little pot of turmeric sitting at the back of the cupboard. Perhaps you rummage around for it now and again, taking an occasional pinch to brighten up paella or kedgeree, or to add earthy spice to curries.


But it’s time to bring that pot to the front, because this versatile spice can be used in loads of different dishes. 


Its warm flavour, with subtle notes of lemon and mint, works beautifully in sweet and savoury dishes. Think of it as an earthier ginger, adding depth to anything from salad dressings to rice pudding (just add a little to the milk). Rub into fish, chicken or lamb before cooking to add toasty, Indian flavours.


Beloved by foodie trendsters, the spice has recently cropped up in teas and smoothies. It’s also the star ingredient in golden milk, added along with other spices like ginger and cinnamon to warm milk and honey – like being snuggled up in a huge, cosy blanket on a grey day.


These tasty ideas should get you started.


Turmeric and chickpea chips

Chickpea chips with tahini dip

Via: Sainsbury's Magazine/Photo: Tara Fisher

A tahini lemon dip balances the earthiness of these chips, made with chickpea flour.


Savoury pancakes with turmeric

Turmeric adds a zesty twist to the pancakes in this recipe, which makes an absolutely ace starter.


Lamb haleem

Turmeric lends its earthiness to this rich, warming stew.


Tandoori cauliflower and quinoa bowl

Veg and quinoa get spiced up for this oh-so healthy supper. Makes delicious leftovers, too.


Chicken, butternut squash and peanut curry

This delicious, healthy curry tastes as bright and zingy as it looks.