15 Creative Turmeric Substitutes for Soup to Impress Asians

Turmeric is a prominent ingredient in Thai, Indian, and other Asian cuisines. It may also be used in curries, meat and vegetable dishes, and drinks. Turmeric is also required in the preparation of pickled mustard and chutney.

If you dislike turmeric or just ran out of it, you may substitute other spices.

Here are some of the finest turmeric replacements for soup.

  1. Mustard Powder
  2. Fresh Ginger
  3. Cumin Seeds
  4. Curry Powder
  5. Fresh Galangal
  6. Smoked Paprika Powder with Mace
  7. Garam Masala
  8. Madras Curry Powder
  9. Black Cardamom

Still unable to locate a suitable option from the list above? Continue reading for the complete list of the top turmeric soup substitutes.

But first, let’s learn more about this wonderful substance.

15 Best Substitute For Turmeric  

Turmeric is the species Curcuma Longa of the genus Curcuma in the Zingiberaceae family. It is related to ginger and originates from the same family.

The rhizome (root) of the turmeric plant is dried and powdered to make the spice. It has a light yellow exterior and a vivid orange inside. It alters the color of your meal when used in cooking.

Turmeric has a bitter flavor as well as an earthy, pungent flavor. Turmeric may be used fresh or powdered. If you are using turmeric in raw dishes such as smoothies or drinks, it is better to use fresh turmeric.

Fresh turmeric is grated on top of boiling soup to provide a spice and make it more fragrant and tasty. It also adds color to your soup, making it more visually appealing.

If you are unable to use turmeric, the closest flavor and color replacement is dried mustard (also known as Mustard Powder).

Of course, the other options listed below work just as well.

Dry Mustard (Mustard Powder)

Dry mustard is made from powdered and pulverized mustard seeds. This is distinct from the mustard condiment often seen on sandwiches.

Dry mustard is a condiment that may be found in sauces, spice rubs, vinaigrettes, soups, and other meals. Add liquids to the powder to release the oils that give the spice its heat and taste.

Because mustard is not a good component for soup, it should not be used interchangeably with dried mustard.

Fresh Ginger

Ginger powder is made by grinding the rhizome of ginger into a fine powder. Ginger is related to turmeric since it is from the same family but in a separate genus.

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Ginger tastes sweeter, sharper, and more spicy than turmeric. Using too much ginger might make your dish harsh, so use it carefully.

To add flavor, peel a knob of ginger and cut or grate a teaspoon into your soup.

Cumin Seeds

Closeup of a Heap of Cumin Seeds in a Wooden Spoon on a Wooden Background

Cumin is a parsley family member that is popular in Indian, Mediterranean, and Asian cuisine. It has a similar earthy taste to turmeric but is more caustic.

Cumin seeds come in whole and powder form. The cumin seeds are fried in hot oil for 2 minutes to release their flavor before adding to a broth.

In Indian cookery, this is the method for making lentil soup. When the seeds are briefly toasted, the taste becomes more intense.

The cumin is dry-roasted before being pounded into a powder. Because cumin powder does not need cooking to unleash its flavor, you may put it right on your soup. To season your soup, just sprinkle it with ground cumin.

Curry Powder

Turmeric, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, fennel seed, mustard seed, cloves, and black pepper are all ingredients in curry powder. It is not a common ingredient in Indian cuisine.

Is it the Indian spice used in making curries?

The British produced curry powder to replicate the taste of Indian food. It is not the same spice as used in Indian curry dishes. The gravy-based Indian curry recipe utilizes garam masala rather than curry powder.

Curry powder has a moderate to spicy earthy flavor with sweet and savory overtones. Season soups, sauces, and stews with it.

Fresh Galangal

The rhizome of the galangal plant, a close cousin of ginger, is used to make raw or fresh galangal. The galangal rhizome is stiffer and woodier than ginger. The meat is fibrous and reddish-brown.

Galangal has a more pronounced cardamom-like, gingery, and acrid taste than ginger. It may be finely processed into a powder or paste.

Fresh galangal may be used to flavor soups, but the rhizome should be removed before serving since it is inedible. While heating the broth, you may also add paste or powder, but the flavor will be different.

Smoked Paprika Powder with Mace

Paprika is prepared from dried and ground sweet and fiery chili peppers. Mace is related to nutmeg since they both originate from the same plant. The only plant that produces two separate spices is the nutmeg tree.

The seed yields nutmeg, whereas the dry protective covering of the nutmeg seed yields mace. However, nutmeg has a distinct taste from mace, and they are not interchangeable.

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The flavor of mace is woody, sweet, warm, and somewhat acrid. Depending on how it is prepared, paprika may have a sweet, spicy, or smokey flavor. The combination of the two spices imparts a spicy bite, muskiness, and a distinct hue reminiscent of turmeric.

Paprika with mace adds a distinct flavor and aroma to your soups.

Garam Masala

Garam Masala is a spice combination that includes ground cardamom, cumin, black pepper, clove, and cinnamon, among other herbs and spices.

The name approximately translates as hot spices, however this does not imply that the spice is really spicy.

Garam masala, not curry powder, is the key ingredient in Indian curry dishes, contrary to popular belief. It enhances the taste of your soup, particularly vegetable soups.

Madras Curry Powder

Madras curry powder is created using the same spice combination as ordinary curry powder. Except for one specific distinctive heat, the color and flavor are identical.

Madras curry powder has a stronger flavor than normal curry powder. Madras curry powder has one component that ordinary curry powder does not: cayenne pepper.

It works well while cooking Indian or South Asian meals. This powder adds extra heat while retaining the turmeric taste.

Black Cardamom

Cardamom is an of of the Zingiberaceae family, specifically the genusamomum.Because it is related to ginger, it may be used in place of turmeric.

Black Cardamom is a fire-dried seed pod that has a flowery, earthy taste and a smokey scent. The open fire drying method intensified the smokey taste and fragrance. [Source]

Camphor, menthol, and resin are also present in black cardamom. The powerful minty scent imparts a spiciness to black cardamom that is akin to black pepper and chiles.

Garam masala contains black cardamom, which is often used in spicy Indian recipes. The seed pods may also be found in chowders, marinades, casseroles, and soups.

Ajwain Powder

Ajwain has a seed-like fruit that resembles cumin and caraway. Ajwain is a popular spice in the Middle East, Pakistan, and India.

It has an acidic, bitter flavor and a thyme-like scent. The natural oil of ajwain includes thymol, which accounts for the thyme-like aroma.

Sauces, rice, meat, and soups are all flavored with ajwain.[Source]


Many people believe that saffron is the finest turmeric substitute since it has the same color and texture and taste as turmeric. Turmeric is often referred to as Indian saffron.

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Saffron, on the other hand, has a sweet flavor that turmeric does not have.

Saffron enhances the taste and color of rice, sauces, and soups. However, try to limit its usage to protect your meal from being excessively sweet. Saffron is also one of the most expensive spices in the world.

Safflower Oil

Safflower should not be confused with saffron. Saffron belongs to the iris family, but safflower belongs to the sunflower family. Safflower is also known as Mexican saffron and American saffron. Pressing the seeds yields safflower oil.

Safflower oil is flavorless and may be used to improve the natural taste of your soup. Its yellow tint may also alter the appearance of the soup. It is also less expensive than saffron.

Paprika Powder

As previously said, paprika is created from many forms of capsicum that vary from sweet to hot.

Paprika comes in three varieties: smoked, sweet, and spicy. You may use any of these three types of paprika in your recipes, but your soup should have a sweet, moderate spiciness. Don’t worry; its brilliant color will not fade regardless of the sort of paprika you choose.

Too much heat might dilute the spice’s flavor and color. So, at the conclusion of the cooking time, add the paprika.

Annato Seeds

Annato seeds come from the Achiote tropical tree. The seeds or extract are naturally brilliant yellow to dark orange in color and have a sweet peppery flavor.

The fruit of the Achiote tree mimics the heart-shaped fruit of the banana. When the fruit grows, you may harvest the seeds. The seeds are pulverized into powder, pasted, or infused in oil.

Annato is used to color soups by soaking the seeds in oil before adding them to the recipe. If you use the paste, dilute it with water to remove the color before using it as a soup. To use, sprinkle the powder over your soup and mix.

Yellow Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds and organic microgreen sprouts on a wooden spoon, dispersed and isolated on a white backdrop

Brown, white, and black mustard seeds are the most often used mustard seeds in cooking. The yellow mustard seed is derived from the white plant’s seeds.

The seed has a natural light tan tint. It only becomes yellow when turmeric is added. The flavor is sweet and spicy, but it lacks the flavor of turmeric.

A spice is yellow mustard seed. It is not to be confused with mustard, which is a condiment.

Before adding the yellow mustard seed to the soup, toast or sauté it.


What spice can replace turmeric?

The most effective turmeric alternative
Saffron (to add color). A good turmeric substitute for color? Saffron! …
Ginger powder. Another turmeric substitute? It’s not an identical taste match, but you might try replacing the turmeric flavor with half the amount of powdered ginger.
Mustard that has been dried. What about another turmeric substitute?

What spice tastes like turmeric?

Paprika. Sweet, spicy, or smoked paprika, a ubiquitous pantry item, may be used in place of turmeric. You may substitute any of the choices based on your taste preferences. Sweet paprika would be an excellent alternative for someone who does not like spicy!

How to make curry without turmeric?

Another common spice in Indian cuisine is yellow mustard seed, which may be used in place of turmeric powder. Adding whole or crushed yellow mustard seed to any curry, lentil, or rice meal may transform the flavor.

What can I use instead of fresh turmeric root?

Aside from these specifics, here are several alternatives to turmeric that may be used to emulate its flavor:
Curry Powder. Turmeric is often used in Asian cuisine.
Curry powder from Madras. Photo by oyatsutosukinamono.
Garam Masala is a spice blend.
Mace and smoked paprika.
Galangal Powder.

What is the secret ingredient of turmeric?

Turmeric includes curcumin, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substance.

What can I use instead of turmeric and cardamom?


Here are the finest turmeric substitutes for soups, stews, and curries: Curry powder, turmeric paste, garam masala, cumin, smoked paprika + mace, galangal powder, annatto, sweet paprika, Madras curry powder.StewsSoups

Does turmeric taste similar to cumin?

Turmeric tastes significantly milder than cumin. To begin, use a 1:1 ratio. However, you may discover that you need to add extra to your recipe in order to emphasize the earthy tastes that are absent when cumin is not used.

Does cumin taste like turmeric?

Turmeric has a mild, somewhat bitter, and nutty flavor in cuisine, but cumin has a sweet, earthy flavor. In certain recipes, cumin may be used in place of turmeric (though this should be done with caution), but cumin cannot be used in place of turmeric.

What is a yellow spice not turmeric?

Saffron is an excellent substitute for bright yellow coloring and provides plenty of earthy-grassy hay-flavor depth, but with a sweeter undertone. Because saffron is one of the most costly spices in the world, it is seldom advised as a straight substitute (turmeric is a fairly inexpensive component).

How do you make turmeric tasteless?

Although turmeric may be used alone, it is preferable to use it as a backdrop to other flavors: if you discover you have added too much and caused undesired bitterness, balance this with lime or lemon juice rather than any sweetness.

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