Working with herbs and spices in your recipe can be intimidating because too much or too little can impact the overall flavour of your dish. When it comes to using herbs and spices, you must have a good understanding of their flavours. And in this article, we will help you add herbs and spices to make flavorful dishes.

Basil

Basil is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory herb known for its high magnesium content. It is added to different types of pasta, white meat, stir-fries, etc. Make sure you add it in the end or else it will tamper with the flavour.

 Paprika

Paprika is commonly used to spice and garnish the food. It is typically made by grinding various kinds of red pepper pods. Considering that different kinds of peppers are used, the colour and flavour may vary. Paprika is used in different parts of the world as a staple to add flavour to their meat, salad dressings, curries, etc.

Cumin

Cummin is popularly used in Asian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cuisines. It is a common ingredient in chilli powders and curries. It is toasted and can be used either as a whole or grounded to add to the dish. While you can get pre-ground cumin, it tends to lose its potency quickly. Therefore, it is better to roast the cumin in medium-low heat and add it to the dish freshly while cooking.

Cayenne Pepper

A good sprinkle of cayenne pepper can add a lot of heat to your dish, without changing its flavour radically. This spice combines different types of chilli peppers and used in a wide range of cuisines across the globe, especially in Mexican and Italian. Cayenne pepper is offered in powdered form; therefore, you should not be storing it for more than six months.

Peppercorn

Black pepper is an essential spice that is used as the season in basically every savoury cuisine out there. It grows in small grape-like shapes on a pepper-plant. Peppercorn can be white, green, or black; the black pepper offers the strongest flavour. It can add a strong flavour to your food without providing too much heat. Do not buy pre-ground pepper in large amount as it will lose its flavour within a matter of four months.

Nutmeg

The distinctive flavour of nutmeg blends into the flavours of other ingredients, accentuating them. Nutmeg is used in different kinds of desserts and cakes. You can nutmeg on your custardy dishes to give it a unique, warm flavor. It is recommended to buy it whole and ground it whenever necessary.

Ginger

This pepper root can be used in a dish in plenty of ways, including fresh, ground, dried, crystallized, or pickled. Irrespective of the way, ginger is going to give you a distinctive flavor as well as textures to your roasted meats and stir-fries. Fresh ginger can stay fresh in your refrigerator up to 10 days. It is generally peeled, minced, grated, or squeezed and then added to the dish. Additionally, dried ginger is commonly used in baked goods, and known to add a sweet and hot flavor to savory dishes.

Allspice

With a blend of sweet and hot ingredients like nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and pepper, allspice was incepted in the Caribbean. It accentuates the taste of fruits by giving with warm flavours.

While ground allspice is available in a majority of grocery stores, whole dried berries are considered a better option. Get Pomegranate Molasses, add allspice and other seasonings to marinate the meat. The blend of these ingredients will make your meat extra juicy, spicy and flavorful.

Tips to Store the Spices Safely

Similar to any other food, spices also have their own shelf life and will go bad post the time. Heat, air, sunlight, and humidity all affect the chemical compounds found in the spices. When these compounds break down, the spices tend to lose their potency. After a point of time, some spices become musty, mouldy, or rancid. So before you buy any herbs or spices, make sure you are aware of its shelf life.

  • Ground spice – up to 1 year
  • Dried herbs – up to 1 year
  • Whole spice – up to 3 year
  • Salt – indefinitely
  • Flavored salt – up to 3 years
  • Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, truffle, and nuts – 3 to 6 months

It is better to always go for whole spice as they have a longer shelf life. Therefore, you can ground the spices as and when needed to get most of its flavour. Ensure that you store your herbs and spice in an airtight container and keep them in a cool dark place.

If you can use glass jars that would be perfect. People often argue about keeping the spices in the refrigerator. However, humidity inside it can alter the flavour of the spice and may result in the growth of bold or bacteria.

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