Turmeric Spice Paste

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

NotesVegan Friendly

Pastes are easy to use in cooking because they blend easily into dishes as they simmer. Make small amounts and always store spice pastes in the refrigerator. Fresh turmeric is not always available and when it is, it is usually only found in Indian spice specialty stores.

Store and label spice in a small clean jar with lid in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Equipmentmortar and pestle

Taste and Texturespiced

Type of DishCondiments


  • 1 piece (1 inch/2.5 cm) cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds (15 mL)
  • 1 tbsp whole allspice berries (15 mL)
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 piece (2 inches/5 cm) fresh turmeric root
  • 1 piece (Ā½ inch/1 cm) fresh gingerroot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (approx. 25 mL)


  1. Break cinnamon into small pieces. In a small spice wok or dry cast-iron skillet, combine cinnamon, coriander, allspice and clove. Toast over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until the seeds begin to pop and their fragrance is released. Let cool.

  2. In a mortar (using pestle), pound toasted spices until finely ground. Add turmeric, ginger and garlic. Pound, stopping to add oil every few seconds until a smooth paste is formed.

  3. Variation:

  4. Use 2 tbsp (25 mL) ground turmeric in place of the fresh root and add in Step 2.


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