Mixing it up with herbs and spices

I use a lot of herbs and spices when I cook. They’re great for adding a zing to veg and bringing out their flavour.  So if you’d like to mix it up with herbs and spices or liven up an otherwise bland dish then read on.

The sights and sounds of countries can be evoked by the flavour found in their dishes. An Italian dish wouldn’t be complete without basil or oregano for instance. If you’re looking to capture a flavour from your holidays but you can’t quite put your finger on what herbs and spices to use here’s a quick guide.

American – chilli powder, garlic, onion powder and paprika

Chinese – cinnamon, cloves, fennel, pepper, star anise, five-spice powder that consists of star anise, cinnamon, fennel, Sichuan peppercorn, ginger, cloves, orange peel and liquorice.

Indian – asafoetida, cardamon, chilli poweder, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry powder, fenugreek, garam masala, ginger, mustard seeds, pepper, saffron, tamarind, turmeric

Italian – basil, bay leaves, black peppercorns, garlic, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme

Mexican – basil, chilli powder, coriander, cumin, marjoram

Thai – chilli, coriander, garlic, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, turmeric, Thai sweet basil

Sprinkle any of the above on your pulses, grains or veg to give them a pop of flavour. Start with adding just a little then gradually adding more until you’ve achieved the right flavour for you. Once you’ve added it you can’t take it back! As a rule of thumb when you’re using dried rather than fresh, 1 teaspoon of dried is the equivalent of 1 tablespoon of fresh.

Store your spices in a cool, airtight container, preferably in a dry place. They’ll be good for two to three years.

And remember to make sure that when you’re buying shop bought herbs and spices that they’re salt free and are 100% herb or spice and not full of other ingredients.

What I’d Ask You To Do Now Is…

Up above, I told you about Mixing It Up With Herbs And Spices and why they’re brilliant to use in a lot of your cooking.

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