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How to Substitute Dried, Powdered Turmeric for Fresh Turmeric Root

Fresh Turmeric Root

If you love to use fresh turmeric root in cooking, chances are you have been in this predicament: you are about to make your favorite dish featuring fresh turmeric when you realize you only have dried turmeric on hand, and no time for a trip to a supermarket that sells fresh turmeric root. The good news is that in these situations, you can usually substitute turmeric powder for fresh turmeric (or frozen turmeric root) – just make sure you use the right conversion ratio. HealWithFood.org recommends the following ratio for converting fresh turmeric root to turmeric powder, and vice versa:

1-inch piece of fresh turmeric equals 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

When substituting dried, powdered turmeric for fresh turmeric root in recipes, you should use the above conversion ratio only as a general guideline. The ideal substitution amounts can vary significantly depending on how old the turmeric powder is and how long the packet or jar has been open. What's more, the thickness of fresh turmeric root varies from knob to knob, so the amount of turmeric you get when you grate one inch of fresh turmeric root can vary significantly depending on the size of the knob. As a result, your taste buds should always be the ultimate judge of what the ideal amount of fresh or dried turmeric should be in a dish.

The tips for converting fresh turmeric to dried turmeric powder are only useful if you have turmeric in one form or another on hand. But what do you do when you have neither fresh nor dried turmeric at home? The good news is that there are a couple of spices that can be used as substitutes for turmeric in some cases. For example, if your recipe uses turmeric for its yellow color rather than its flavor, saffron or annatto may work as substitutes.

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