Posted on by Cleverona Kitchen

A Quick Guide to Herbs and Spices

Have you ever been confused with your herbs and spices? Have you confused coriander with cumin? Do you know what recipes work best with curry powder?  So, here’s a quick guide to herbs and spices that are commonly used in the kitchen:

Dried Herbs & Spices

dried herbs and spices

  • Achiote (Annato) –It is reddish-brown in color.  It is powder grounded from annatto seeds.  It has earthly flavor.  It is commonly used in Latin American recipes like tamales.
  • Allspice – Like cloves, this has pungent smell and deep flavor.  It is best for spice mixes.
  • Bay Leaf – This gives soups and sauces a woodsy flavor.
  • Cardamom – This gives Indian food a warm, aromatic flavor.  It is also used together with clove and cinnamon.
  • Cayenne Pepper – This is made from dried and ground chili peppers.  This adds heat to spice mixes and soups.
  • Chia Seeds – These can be grounded and added to cereals, baked goods, and smoothies.  They give additional nutrition and texture.  These are often used in vegan recipes.
  • Cinnamon – This is found in most world cuisines.  This is perfect for sweet and savory dishes.
  • Cloves – This is used in baking or cooking braised meat.  This is a sweet and warming spice.
  • Coriander Seed – This offers an earthy and lemony flavor.  It is often used in Mexican and Indian cuisine.
  • Cumin – This adds a smoky and earthy flavor to U.S. and Mexican dishes.  It is also commonly used in North African, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisines.
  • Fennel Seed – It has a licorice-like flavor, and it tastes lightly sweet. It is an excellent addition to meat dishes.
  • Fenugreek – It smells like maple syrup once it starts cooking.  However, it has a bitter burnt sweet taste.  It is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines.
  • Garlic Powder – It is made from dehydrated garlic cloves.  It is added to give dishes a garlicky flavor.
  • Ginger – It is made from dehydrated fresh ginger.  This gives dishes a spicy bite.
  • Nutmeg – This is sweet in flavor and pungent in smell.  It is a perfect baking ingredient, and it is also great for savory dishes.
  • Oregano – This has a robust citrus-like flavor.  It is commonly used in Mexican and Mediterranean cooking.
  • Paprika – This works as a red food coloring.  It also has a sweet note to it.  It is perfect for stews and spice blends.  Paprika can be spicy as well.
  • Peppercorns – These things come in various colors like black, white, green, and pink.  They give out a pungent smell and add a mild heat to dishes.
  • Rosemary – It has a strong pine-like scent.  This is perfect for eggs, beans, potatoes, and grilled meats.
  • Saffron – It has a subtle yet distinct taste and smell.  This also gives dishes a yellow color.
  • Sage – This has pine-like flavor with a touchy of lemon and eucalyptus notes.  This is commonly used when cooking Italian dishes.
  • Smoked Paprika – This gives dishes a bright red color.  It also offers a sweet smoky taste.
  • Star Anise – This is used to give dishes like soups and sauces a sweet licorice flavor.
  • Turmeric – It is usually added to give dishes a yellow color.  However, it has a mild woodsy flavor.  It is an alternative to saffron if you’re on a budget.
  • Thyme – This gives dishes a woodsy flavor.  It is great for all kinds of dishes.

Fresh Herbs

fresh herbs

  • Basil – This herb is highly aromatic.  It gives dishes a robust licorice flavor.  This is perfect addition to pasta dishes and sandwiches.
  • Chives – It has a delicate onion-like flavor.  This is usually used as a garnish.
  • Cilantro – This is from the coriander plant.  It gives dishes a pungent smell and a herb-packed flavor.  It is often used in Latin American, Asian, and Caribbean cooking.
  • Curry Leaves – These things have strong smell, but they are not related to curry powder.  Still, they give dishes the same flavor.  It is commonly used in Indian, Sri Lankan, Singaporean, Malaysian, and Pakistani dishes.  They’re perfect addition to soups, stews, curries, and chutneys.
  • Dill – It is a light herb that gives a pungent herbaceous flavor to dishes.  It is used when pickling fish or over potatoes.
  • Mint – This is quite versatile considering its intense flavor. It is paired with peas, potatoes, lamb and chocolate.
  • Parsley – A very popular herb, it gives dishes light and grassy notes.
  • Tarragon – This has a strong anise flavor.  It can be used in salads and eaten raw; or it can be added to chicken, seafood, eggs, or tomato based dishes.

Make Chopping and Mincing Herbs Easy

Bamboo Cutting Board with Juice Groove

When it comes to prepping herbs like mincing or chopping herbs, you’d enjoy using our Bamboo Cutting Board with Juice Groove.  It is made of 100% Moso Bamboo to ensure years of use.  It is compact and easy to store.  It is durable and incredibly gentle on knives.  It is great for food safety, and it is quite versatile.  It is reversible. It actually functions as a serving board or tray as well.  It’s also on sale right now!  So, get your board now!