Home | Blog | Planning | Garden Care | Evergreens | Deciduous | Flower Beds | Plant List | Site Map |
Facebook Like With Thumbs Up spacer Twitter Bird Logo spacer

Turmeric And Mustard - Complimentary Spices

Turmeric and mustard are two great spices that compliment each other well. We'll talk about turmeric first.


Turmeric is a fascinating spice. It is native to tropical Asia and China, and is grown in the West Indies, especially in Haiti. India is one of the biggest producers of the spice. This plant is also popular in Jamaica, Philippines, and Indonesia.

The specie does not grow well outdoors in the United States, but can survive in a greenhouse setting. The essential ingredient of the plant is the rhizome. The rhizome is the horizontal stem of the plant, which produces a wonderful aroma.

The plant can mature anywhere from three to six feet tall. Roots and shoots branch off the rhizome. The color of the root and flowers will depend on where the plant is grown. In China, the flowers and foliage produce a dark green color. In the East Indies, the flowers take on a vibrant orange tone.

There are three main varieties grown throughout the world. The Alleppey grows in India and produces a mellow orange - yellow color. The Madras is a light lemon tone. The Haiti root has a much dark orange color with a small amount of yellow tones mixed in. This is by far the richest of the root colors. The flowers also have a different appearance.

The plant is started in the spring by divisions of the rhizomes. The root divisions are put out in rows and as the plant matures, the stems, leaves and flowers emerge from the ground. The plant is at its full maturity when the leaves begin to wilt and the flowers die off.

The roots are dug up and put out in full sun to dry. This takes around ten days to two weeks. Once all the moisture is gone from the root and it becomes brittle, it is ground up for culinary use.

Ground Turmeric

Turmeric is a favorite spice in India and is blended in dishes for its rich, tangy flavor as well as distinct bright color. It is used throughout the world in pickles and relishes, as well as cakes, cookies, curry blend, salad dressing, different meats and also fresh and shell fish.

Herbee and I have been to a couple of weddings where the couples were from India. This was a wonderful cultural experience. To see the stunning attire, hear the native music, as well as the aroma of curry flowing throughout the reception room.

Turmeric also has a variety of potential medicinal values. In China and India, the powder is mixed with fresh lime juice and water. It is made into a paste and used to sooth lesions, measles, mumps, and other skin irritation.

This spice is said to help in taking care of ear and eye discharges, may help with diabetes, and possible liver fat.

Over the years there has been much research done on this plant specimen. If you are interested in learning more about the medicinal value, take the time to contact a professional in your area. You shouldn't ingest or apply any plant specimen without checking out the possible side effects.

The Turmeric plant gives a us a distinct aroma and flavor to use in a variety of culinary dishes. The growth pattern as well as drying process is similar to ginger. You can learn more about ginger by following the link at the bottom of the page.


The Mustard plant produces a variety of different colored seeds that are used today in many culinary dishes. Seeds come in black, white, yellow, and brown. The plants are grown all over the world, and date back to the Greeks over 2000 years ago. The Greeks used the leaves from the plant in salads, and as a vegetable.

Today, the leaves are popular in many different dishes served in restaurants and kitchens around the world. In the United States, the plant is grown in a variety of different regions. The most popular areas are out west in California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Idaho. England used to have the seeds from this plant imported from India and Russia. Today, England is self sufficient in growing Mustard plants.

This plant needs cool and damp conditions. The seed itself is taken from the pod of the plant. The plant is picked when the pods are full of seeds. This is usually done in late summer. The plants are cut and dried completely in the summer sun.

Yellow Mustard Seeds

Yellow Mustard Seeds

Ground Yellow Mustard

Ground Yellow Mustard

Prepared Yellow Mustard

Prepared Yellow Mustard

The seeds are taken to an area where they are crushed to remove the pods. Some of the oil is extracted and the seeds are formed into mustard cakes. This is where they are pressed or crushed again in stages to get different results. When they are run through the mill the first time, the result is dry or ground mustard.

Herbee Greenthumb

Herbee's Special Tip

Hi everyone, Herbee here. If you find a recipe and you don't have turmeric available, you can substitute mustard, either ground or seeds. You will need to play around with the amount to get the flavor you are looking for.

The second crushing stage results in the colors of yellow or brown. The third stage is a combination of the cakes and the hull of the seeds.

The brown seeds are grown the most in the coastal region of Italy, in the southeastern part of the country. In the United States, California is known for the brown seed. The yellow seed is popular in England, Holland, Germany, and Austria. Black Seeds are best found in France and Sweden.

The plant itself ranges in size from sixteen inches to three to five feet in height. The flowers are yellow and the foliage has either a yellow or green tone. The white or yellow seed comes from a smaller plant and can be incorporated in your garden. This plant grows to about one and half feet.

A tip for if you, this plant will self sow itself, so it also could be used in a container or planter. Most growers have open fields or orchards.

The black seed is an annual and can grow mature to three and half to four feet high. This particular seed can adjust to some different soil conditions, such as dryer soil. It will still require some watering to produce a good yield. All seeds are popular in flour.

The brown and yellow are best known for commercialized use in prepared Mustard. Many companies are also creating different flavors such as hot and spicy and cranberry. This is one of the most popular spices to use in many different dishes. The seed or ground variety can be used in appetizers, fish, meat, poultry, salad, sauces or vegetables.

Herbee's Hot Buzzing Book Pick For You

Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference is your top notch guide to cooking with spices and herbs. Jim does a fantastic job with explanations and details. 271 five star reviews. (Rated 4.7 out of 5!) A great addition to your cooking delight. Also makes a wonderful gift!

Many homes across America use the ground or prepared version in baked beans. An easy recipe for making your own is to crush two teaspoons of black seed, two teaspoons of white seed, one fourth of a teaspoon of black and white pepper and fresh orange or lemon peel. Mix the paste in with some honey or vinegar and store in the refrigerator.

I like to use this paste or the ground in a rub on a beef or pork roast. You can also do a great dipping sauce for chicken using honey and mustard. Cook on a grill or make a glaze and bake the chicken.

This is a fantastic spice when you use the whole seed, the ground variety, or the prepared mustard. You can create new and exciting dishes in your own home. Many chefs around the world prepare wonderful dishes for us to enjoy in our local restaurants.

This plant also has some medicinal value. The prepared version is combined with some alcohol and made into a paste. It can be used to alleviate pain in the lower back, knees and any joint.

There also is a prepared form using ginger root powder and some olive oil. This mixture is good to help with congestion. As always, with any use of herbs either ingested or externally, consult a professional for your own individual needs.

A highlight is using it to make herb vinegars. The herb vinegars are great on any other type of greens. Use your imagination and experiment. The results may be one that you can do over again. To read more, follow the herb vinegar link below.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In.

How To Plan A Garden --- Herb Vinegars

Ginger --- More Spices

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box.

Facebook Like With Thumbs Up

Twitter Bird Logo

[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!
  • Subscribe with Bloglines

top of the page

Copyright© 2015 - 2017
No photos or materials can be reprinted without the permission of this web site.