Here’s a list of what I use regularly. Keep them in airtight containers in a dark place, as this stops them from losing their flavour and colour so quickly. I store mine in a clean (!) old shoe box in the cupboard, with their names written on the lids. This way I can pull them all out and quickly find the one(s) I want.

Spices galore!

Spices galore!

  • Black Peppercorns – for grinding and using whole, to season before and after cooking.
  • Caraway seed – vital for authentic flavours in Gulasch.
  • Cinnamon – ground and sticks, for comforting desserts and bakes.
  • Coriander – ground and whole seeds.
  • Cloves – whole for flavouring and removing after cooking and ground in fruit recipes such as crumbles.
  • Cumin – whole seeds and ground – my all time favourite savoury spice. Brilliant with lamb and root vegetables.
  • Garam Masala – a general spice blend, useful for making curries. I also like to try out others’ spice blends too.
  • Ginger – ground in the spice drawer, fresh and pre-prepared in the fridge. Great for fighting off colds and other lurgis.
  • Mustard – English mustard powder in the cupboard, great putting a bit of background warmth in your cheese sauce and essential with roast beef, hot or cold; mustard seed for making chutnies; Dijon and wholegrain mustards in the fridge for spreading and making stroganoff. American mustard also in the fridge for sandwiches, toasties, burgers and anything where you want a mild flavour.
  • Nutmeg – my favourite sweeter spice. Lovely on creamy baked potatoes and essential for my Gran’s silky smooth egg custard pies – yum yum!
  • Paprika – both the sweet and hot types. Note to self- must not mix up… must not mix up… Great for paella and giving sauces a bit of a kick.
  • Pink peppercorns – not as hot as the black ones but just for fun!
  • Saffron – really expensive but a little goes a long way. Great for giving rice a deilcate colour – just add a couple of strands to the cooking water.
  • Star anise – lovely oriental spice with warming flavour.
  • Turmeric – alleged antibiotic qualities but again great for livening up rice. Just pop a tsp in the cooking water.


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