This article investigates the possibility of using electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) technique for detection and quantification of metanil yellow (MY) in turmeric powder. The observation is supported by ultraviolet–visible (UV–Vis) absorption spectroscopy and Fourier transform mid infrared (FT-MIR) spectroscopy. Variation of electrical parameters like capacitance, impedance, conductance, and current–voltage (I–V) characteristics for pure as well as adulterated turmeric are analyzed. System capacitance, conductance, and current are observed to increase, whereas the impedance values have been found to decrease with increase in MY content. Also, UV–Vis and FT-MIR spectroscopic measurements suggest the increase of absorbance with gradual increment of MY in the solution. Electrical and optical results have been physically corroborated with respect to the system internal energy. This study sought to provide a deterministic approach towards developing an EIS-based adulterant sensor for simple, rapid, economical, and precise quantification of controlled percentage weights of MY in pure turmeric powder. © 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.