Turmeric is technically a root but is mostly used and stored in its powder form. It has the power to flavor and color any kind of food. Most recipes only call for a very small amount.
Colored flour can look exactly like ground turmeric. While this may be a disturbing concept, it is quite easy to tell the fake turmeric from the real. Some turmeric powders may even contain starches, lead, or rice powder. If you dissolve the powder in water, natural turmeric won’t form whitish stains on the surface. The whole root of turmeric is yellow or orange. The skin is thin and its interior is bright. The root should also be hard and smooth, not soft or wrinkled.