Whatever your taste buds prefer, having a few spice grinders is the best way to integrate a variety of whole spices into a world of flavoursome cuisine styles. From Asian to Indian; Mexican to Italian and even Middle Eastern, spice plays a vital role in many of the dishes enjoyed around the world. While it is possible to buy pre-ground spices when cooking exotic dishes, buying whole preserves the full aroma and taste, while also giving you the best health benefits.
Today, we take a look at some of the best whole spices to use when cooking various cuisine styles.
Explore a World of Flavours With Whole Spices
Some spices and herbs may overlap. After all, as diverse as our planet may be, certain staples are enjoyed everywhere. While the same spices may be used in Chinese, Thai, Indian and Italian cuisine, they are used completely differently in each part of the world. So, you might have a spice such as cumin, cardamom or chilli appear internationally, but how that spice is introduced into food will be totally unique to each region. This is what makes spice such an amazing addition to dishes – it allows you to add a huge depth of flavour and experiment with combinations, ingredients and varietals.
- Asian Cuisine
Chinese and Thai spices include dried pomegranate seeds, whole green aniseed, black onion seeds, black peppercorns, caraway seeds, cardamom seeds (black and green), cinnamon, cloves, black cumin, fennel seeds, fenugreek leaves, green peppercorns, mustard seeds, stone flower, punch puran, dried chilli, kokum seeds, sesame seeds (white and black), dried hibiscus flower, dried plums, white pepper, Sichuan peppercorn, star anise, dried citrus peel, allspice berries, bay leaves, and dried sand ginger.
- Indian Cuisine
Spices used in Indian meals include coriander seeds, curry leaves, garam masala, nutmeg, dried chilli, saffron, linseed, aniseed, caraway seeds, black and green cardamom, cinnamon bark, dried melon seeds, Charoli seeds, cloves, cumin, dagarful, fenugreek (leaves and seeds), dried garlic flakes, halon seeds, black kokum, liquorice root, long pepper, lovage seeds, mace, mustard seeds (black, yellow and brown), crispy fried onion, onion seeds, popped lotus seeds, blue and white poppy seeds, and tamarind seeds.
- Mexican Cuisine
Spices used in Mexican meals include a wide variety of fresh and dried chilli (Chipotle, Ancho, Pasilla, Habanero, Guajillo, Serrano and De Arbol), as well as dried garlic, cumin, coriander, Canela (also known as Ceylon or ‘true’ cinnamon), dried avocado leaves, anise, cloves, mint, basil, dried onion, nutmeg, annatto seed and Mexican oregano. It is important to learn about each type of chilli before using – some can be extremely hot, while others are on the milder side.
- Italian Cuisine
Spices and herbs used in Italian cooking include anise, star anise, basil, bay leaves, crushed red pepper flakes, juniper berries, parsley, oregano, dried and fresh rosemary, sun dried tomatoes, sage, hot pepper, black peppercorns, thyme, fennel seeds, dried garlic and dried tomato powder. Often, the focus is on fresh herbs, but some can be dried and crushed in a spice grinder. Ideally, it is best to stick to one or two seasonings rather than mixing too many.
- Middle Eastern Cuisine
Spices and herbs used in Middle Eastern cuisine include cumin, coriander, turmeric, dried mint, Aleppo chilli, green and black cardamom, cinnamon, Moroccan coriander seeds, cumin, fenugreek, paprika, saffron, sumac, Turkish urfa biber pepper, sesame and caraway. Many blends are also used, including Baharat (allspice, black peppercorn, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, nutmeg and dried chilli peppers or paprika).
Stocking up on a good range of glass or plastic bottled spice grinders is a great way to build a spice collection that will allow you to experiment with many different types of spice. By choosing quality whole spices, you will get the best results from your delicious meals.