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Beyond Curry: Creative Uses for Turmeric, Cumin, and More

29 April 2024

Curry is a popular spice blend known for its dynamic and bold flavour profile. It usually consists of turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and ginger.

These singular spices, however, have many more applications beyond curry. We will explore some of them in this article. To learn how to incorporate these spices into your next food product (or custom spice blend), contact the food experts at Hela Spice.

Other Ways to Use Turmeric

Turmeric is a foundational ingredient in curry powder, as well as many Indian and Southeast Asian curry recipes. It has a distinctive and vibrant orange-yellow colour, which infuses recipes with a golden hue. The taste is earthy, warm, and peppery.

Use For Its Golden Colour

Ground turmeric is a great addition to a wide assortment of recipes because of its bold and bright colour. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way! Adding just a pinch of turmeric to recipes or food products completely transforms the look of the dish. Suddenly, the dish possesses a beautiful golden colour. It instantly looks more appetizing and visually interesting.

Scrambled tofu is a popular example of using turmeric to change the colour of a dish. This dish uses tofu as an alternative to scrambled eggs. It lacks the white-yellow colour of eggs, as a result. However, adding a bit of turmeric gives the tofu a yellow colour, making it more closely resemble the original recipe.


  • Roast Spiced Potatoes
  • Turmeric Rice or Rice Pilaf
  • Laksa (Malaysian Noodle Soup)
  • Pumpkin Soup with Turmeric
  • Cauliflower Soup with Turmeric
  • Black Pepper Turmeric Chicken
  • Turmeric Sauce for Salads
  • Lemon Tart
  • Turmeric Tea
  • Golden Milk Latte

Other Ways to Use Cumin

Cumin seeds, or ground cumin powder, are a favourite ingredient in many recipes. It possesses a slightly sweet, warming, and nutty flavour. When cooked, it becomes earthy and aromatic. Consequently, cumin is often considered cinnamon’s savoury alternative.

Cumin Salt

Cumin salt is a common sight on restaurant tables in Morocco. This seasoning works as a simple spice rub on lamb or as a finishing spice on roasted vegetables. It contains equal parts kosher salt and coarse ground cumin, although you can also stir in some crushed red pepper flakes. This elevates the flavour profile, while also making it a little spicy.


  • Spicy Cumin-Braised Pork
  • Cumin-Infused Rice
  • Cumin-Fennel Rub for Beef or Pork
  • Roasted Carrots with Cumin and Honey
  • Smoked Paprika and Cumin Ketchup
  • Raita (an Indian-Style Flavoured Yogurt)
  • Spiced Roasted Chickpeas
  • Cumin Chili

Other Ways to Use Coriander

Coriander comes from the seeds of the cilantro plant, albeit it tastes nothing like the herb. These small, bead-like pods can be used both whole and ground. Although if you’re using it in its whole form, it’s important to toast the pods first.

This unlocks the intense flavours and aromas. Like turmeric and cumin, coriander is a warming spice that combines well with other spices. It has a deep, nutty taste with a slightly citrusy smell.


  • Carrot and Coriander Soup
  • Coriander and Pea Soup
  • Spanish Rice with Turmeric and Coriander
  • Spiced Coconut Chicken with Coriander
  • Coriander and Mint Raita
  • Lemon and Coriander Hummus
  • Coriander Butter
  • Garlic Coriander Potatoes

Other Ways to Use Cardamom

Cardamom is a common ingredient in curry spice blends. Technically, cardamom comes in three varieties: green, black, and white. The flavours vary depending on the type.

Green cardamom has a herbal flavour with mint and pepper undertones that’s sweet and citrusy. Black cardamom, on the other hand, is earthy, smoky, and pungent. Lastly, white cardamom is more mild with notes of citrus and wood.

Holiday Baked Desserts

When the holidays begin, cardamom begins to fly off the shelves. Its sweet and aromatic characteristics add depth and dimensions to many kinds of baked goods. It combines well with other sweet spices, like cinnamon and cloves. Moreover, many distinctive festive flavour profiles rely on the presence of cardamom.


  • Cardamom Chicken (Masala Murgh)
  • Cardamom Honey Chicken
  • Sweet Potato Soup with Cardamom
  • Yellow Rice with Cardamom and Cloves
  • Masala Chai
  • Swedish Cardamom Buns
  • Norwegian Krumkaker Cookies
  • Pistachio Cardamom Ice Cream
  • Blackberry Cardamom Peach Crisp

Other Ways to Use Cloves

Cloves are an intense and pungent spice, renowned for its warmth and subtle sweetness. They also have a slight note of bitterness and astringency, which means that no clove is ever too sweet. There’s also a bit of spiciness, making cloves a wonderfully complex ingredient.

Clove Syrup

Tiny and flavour-filled cloves can be reduced into a syrup. It’s warm, slightly sweet, and extremely tasty. Since the sweetness is relatively mild, it can enhance the flavour of desserts without overpowering them. Consequently, it can be used as a dessert syrup, topping, or as a simple syrup for aromatic cocktails.


  • Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
  • Clove and Cider-Glazed Ham
  • Stuffed Butternut Squash
  • Moroccan Spiced Carrot Hummus
  • Rum Raisin Bundt with Chai Spices
  • Dutch Poached Pears
  • Mulled Wine
  • Spiced White Hot Chocolate
  • Hot Buttered Rum

Other Ways to Use Garam Masala

Garam masala differs from curry spice blends. However, it is a crucial ingredient in many Indian curry recipes—in particular, tikka masala and, of course, garam masala curry.

Like curry, garam masala is a spice blend with no set ingredient list. That being said, it typically includes cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, mace, cardamom, peppercorns, coriander, turmeric, and cumin.

These ingredients mean that garam masala is usually brown in colour. They also create a distinctive flavour profile that is warm and slightly bitter, yet sweet enough to add sweet undertones to meals. Traditionally, it’s used as a finishing spice.


  • Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup with Garam Masala
  • Garam Masala Scrambled Eggs
  • Savoury Yogurt Dipping Sauce
  • Beef Steamed Buns
  • Cumin and Garam Masala Rub for Lamb
  • Crispy Garam Masala Chicken Wings
  • Roasted Vegetables
  • Garam Masala Hot Chocolate Mix

Hela Spice: Your Expert Food Product Development Company

Hela Spice is a food product developer and flavour expert. As a food product development company, we understand how to take high-quality ingredients and transform them into bestselling food products.

Furthermore, our services are backed by consumer data and implemented using the latest advanced technologies. Reach out to us today to start developing your new food product that will delight consumers across North America.

To learn more about food product development from Hela Spice, visit our website or contact us here.

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