Turmeric is the rhizome or underground stem of a ginger-like plant. Popular in East or Middle East cooking, turmeric is usually ground into a fine powder and used as a culinary spice. Its yellow-orange color has also served as a dye since ancient times. Turmeric has a peppery taste that adds color and flavor to Indian and Asian recipes. In China and India, it has been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory.