We have a recipe that calls for us to make annatto (achiote) oil and fry some chilli peppers in it. We are unable to find annatto seeds. Is there a good substitute?

1 Answer 1


can you even find the whole annatto seed? that's what makes the oil that color. i don't think it really imparts a much of a flavor. a thread at chowhound.com suggests maybe using turmeric instead to color the oil -- i can see a bit of a resemblance.

  • "Can you even find...": I assume by "you" you mean "one", since the OP already said he can't find it. There wouldn't be so many recipes for annatto oil online if you couldn't buy it. I've seen it in some more specialty stores, though to be fair I'm originally from Texas. And it does have some flavor, though it's mainly used for the color.
    – Cascabel
    Feb 22, 2012 at 1:31

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