If you’re into using spices (and I hope you are if you happen to cook often!): black pepper and turmeric. Before even getting into the flavor profile there’s actually a scientific reason for this.

Turmeric is a yellow spice most noted for giving curries they yellow hue. Actually, turmeric comes from a root and is then ground down into powder form, which is available in many grocery stores today. It has been a staple in Indian cuisine for ages. While its color is incredibly vibrant, its flavor is pretty mild, and has mustard undertones. It is actually found in most mustards if you check the ingredient lists.

The active compound (known as curcumin) has anti-inflammatory properties and is a known antioxidant. It has many other health benefits as well. Because of its many benefits, it would be wise to add such a unique spice to your cabinet. Unfortunately, however it is not well absorbed at all. However, if you add some black pepper, it will increase the absorption rate!

Freshly cracked black pepper has a much more potent flavor than more finely ground pepper. Either kind of black pepper is fine, so it is up to you to decide which you prefer. Additionally, you can buy whole peppercorns and crack them yourself if you so choose.

So, if you are using turmeric in a recipe, be sure to add black pepper. Adding some black pepper increases the absorption rate of turmeric’s active ingredients.

Hope this helps!