Turmeric is made from the Zingiberaceae plant a member of the Ginger family. The rhizomes are boiled for several hours and then dried in hot ovens after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in curries and other South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine for dyeing and to impart colour to mustard condiments. Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has a distinctly earthy slightly bitter slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.
Turmeric has become the key ingredient for many Malay dishes not only in curry but also in masak lemak rendang and many more.
In non-South Asian recipes turmeric is sometimes used as an agent to impart a rich custard-like yellow colour. It is used in canned beverages and baked products dairy products ice cream yogurt yellow cakes orange juice biscuits popcorn colour sweets cake icings cereals sauces gelatins etc. It is a significant ingredient in most commercial curry powders.