Thursday, 17 February 2011

Essential store cupboard herbs and spices

Here's a list of some of the basic seasonings in my cupboard :
  • Coarse ground black pepper: Coarse because then the flavour doesn't disappear and you can actually see it!
  • Atlantic seasalt, fine and coarse: I think this is the best salt; contains minerals and is naturally produced (saw it being produced when I was on holiday in France last year).
  • Black salt: Actually pinkish. We don't use this that often because I'm the only one in the family who actually likes its distinctive, sulphur-y taste. It is really good on avocado.
  • Dried bay leaves: We dry them ourselves from my mother in law's tree. I couldn't make tomato sauce without them! They can also be used in khir (Indian rice pudding).
  • Rogan josh masala mix: The one I use is free from onion or garlic powder. Perfect for quick veg "curries".
  • Hing: I have had the resin, which you grate as needed, but the powder is more widely available where I live. I use it in dishes which traditionally call for garlic and/ or onions as it is comparably pungent. You don't need much as it's very strong.
  • Braggs liquid aminos/ soy sauce: Instant orient! Braggs is better, as it is unfermented therefore more sattvic.
  • Chilli powder: for obvious reasons...
  • Dried oregano: I think this is the best herb for pizza
  • Dried basil: Distinctive Mediterranean flavour
  • Chinese 5-spice: Great in stir-fries and also mixed with flour and chilli for spicing roasted nuts and seeds.
  • Powdered ginger root: A good substitute for fresh root in savoury dishes and teas; also good in baking
  • Herbes de Provence: This is an aromatic French mixture of dried herbs which includes thyme and lavender. It's lovely for anything with a fresh, summery feel like green pea soup or salad dressings.
There are so many more packed into that little cupboard of mine, including cumin seeds and all the other Indian spices... I just picked the ones I use in the most recipes at the moment.

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