Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes and propagated from some of those rhizomes in the following season.
Turmeric powder has a warm, bitter, pepper-like flavor and earthy,mustard-like aroma.
It is one of the key ingredients in many Asian dishes, imparting a mustard-like, earthy aroma and pungent, slightly bitter flavor to foods. In India, turmeric plant leaf is used to prepare special sweet dishes, Patoleo, by layering rice flour and coconut- jaggery mixture on the leaf, then closing and steaming it in a special utensil (chondrõ). Most turmeric is used in the form of rhizome powder to impart a golden yellow color. It is used in many products such as canned beverages, baked products, dairy products, ice cream, yogurt, yellow cakes, orange juice, biscuits, popcorn color, cereals, sauces, and gelatin.