Also known as haldi, turmeric is the root of an herbaceous plant and is a spice used to make Indian food yellow. It is used in its fresh or dried form (similar in appearance to ginger) or more commonly, as ground turmeric which is golden orange in colour. Its yellow pigment is staining so take care when handling it. It is slightly bitter to taste. Indians use it to marinate fish, or add it to meat, fish or vegetable dishes by pan-frying it for a few seconds to release its flavour. Sometimes used as a cheap substitute to saffron, turmeric is also used in rice dishes, curry powder and pickles.