- August 3, 2008 at 4:49 pm #248165
Spices & Seeds
Spice seeds should be left whole until you are ready to use them.
Coriander — highly aromatic, with a mild hint of orange peel; whole seeds or ground, in Indian dishes, with poultry, meat, and veggies, especially carrots
Turmeric — musky, peppery; mainly sold ground, use to color foods yellow for curries or bean dishes and is an alternative to saffron
Cloves — sweet, highly aromatic; stud onions, oranges and baked hams, ground for baking or on fruit
Cardamom — strong, with a lingering lemonlike aftertaste; in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking, especially sweet dishes…use the seed not the hull
cumin — very distinctive, slightly bitter, a little like caraway; in mexican, african, and indian food, with chicken and veggies
cinnamon — subtle, spicy-sweet; fruit, baking, syrups, custards
ginger — hot, pungent, warming; desserts, pickles, indian and chinese spice mixtures
saffron — pungent, aromatic, sometimes faintly bitter; very expensive (stigma of crocus), but good on rice and fish
caraway seeds — pungent, bittersweet; in austrian and german soups, stews, veggies, breads, cheese and sausage
white sesame seeds — mildly nutty, best recognized in tahini paste made from ground white sesame seeds; in middle eastern and chinese cooking
poppy seeds — nutty, slightly sweet; in baking and indian dishes, as a garnish for salads, noodles, and veggies
dill seeds — lingering, with a hint of aniseed similar to caraway; in scandinavian and eastern european cooking with fish, pickled cucumber, veggies, and bread
the pepper family
many peppers are made from dried capsicums.
paprika — the mildest of the pepper family; in hungarian and spanish dishes and as a colorful garnish
cayenne — made from one of the hottest varieties of chilies; in mexican and cajun dishes and to add ‘heat’ to any dish
hot pepper flakes — very fiery with lots of seeds, so use with caution; sprinkle sparingly in or over foods, before or after cooking
chili powder — in fact a blend of chilies, garlic, cumin, and oregano; for authentic mexican, indian, and southwestern dishes
ready-made blends of ground spices are time-saving, economical, and very handy to have in the pantry.
curry powder — source of product determines amount of ‘heat’; gives curry an authentic flavor, which is often difficult to achieve by mixing spices at home
garam masala — usually a mix of cumin, coriander, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, mace, and bay; in mild curries
pie spice — traditional mixture of ground sweet spices: usually allspice, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, mace and nutmeg; mainly for baking
salt & pepper
these are essential in the kitchen, both for cooking and as table condiments.
table salt — refined salt with anti-caking agents; for cooking and at the table
coarse salt — large or medium-size crystals; for cooking and at the table
black pepper — whole peppercorns and ground; grind the whole for a fresh ‘kick’ and pre-ground for large meals
fresh herbs are preferable to dried in salads and sauces, but dried herbs are often better in dishes like casseroles and stews that require long cooking, so a small stock of dried herbs is essential.
sage — lightly bitter, stronger than fresh sage; good with meat, egg and cheese dishes when used sparingly
dill — subtle, tones of aniseed; for marinades and dressings, cucumbers, fish and root veggies
oregano — powerful, almost spicy; in mediterranean and italian dishes and sauces
bay — pungent, resinous; in stocks, sauces, soups, and stews
basil — sweet, spicy; in salads, long-cooking sauces and casseroles
rosemary — pungent, spicy yet refreshing; in casseroles and marinades with any meat, potatoes and breads
- August 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm #458149
Thanks for sharing, i gotta cut down on my salt intake.
- August 27, 2014 at 12:35 am #458166
Love growing & drying my own herbs!
- September 4, 2015 at 2:02 pm #462120
I have found a few things that I did not know. So thanks for sharing. Have a great day