Turmeric is a spice used in cooking, as well as for medicine and as a dye for food and fabric. It imparts a subtle flavor and brilliant yellow color. Therapeutically, turmeric is known as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, helpful in the treatment of skin diseases, digestive problems, bacterial and viral infections, wounds, and many other uses. In India it is the king of all spices. It is widely found in south Asian cuisine.
What does it look like? Fresh turmeric roots are small, knobby roots about the size of your finger with brownish skin and pale to deep-orange flesh. When boiled, dried, and ground, the powder turns a deep yellow.
What does it taste like? Turmeric adds a slightly bittersweet, astringent flavor to foods. The active ingredient is curcumin, which is unrelated to cumin seed.
What’s the best way to store it? Place ground turmeric in an airtight container and store in a cool, dark, dry place. Store fresh turmeric root in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic or sealed in a glass jar up to several days; freeze for longer storage.
How is it used in food? Turmeric powder is widely used to color and flavor mustard, relish, chutney, and pickles. It is a component of curry spice mixtures and commonly used in Indian and Indonesian cooking, where it originated. Turmeric enhances the flavor of many foods, including meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, potatoes, rice, lentils, and vegetables.
What are some substitutes for it? For yellow color, you can substitute annatto seeds, marigold blossoms, saffron (which is much more expensive), curry powder, or mustard powder. However, there is no substitute for the flavor of turmeric and each of these substitutes carry their own distinct flavor.
Turmeric has a lot of medicinal benefits. You can find them in this link http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html