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Cooking with Herbs and Spices

3 min read

Spices come from the dried parts (seeds, fruits, roots) of various plants and trees. Herbs are the leaves of plants and can be used dried or fresh. When used fresh, they have more flavour and stronger aroma.

Cinnamon 
Has a sweet woody flavour. It can be used with sweet foods (apples, bananas) as well as in savoury foods, such as soups and curries.

Ginger 
Adds a spicy and sweet taste to dishes. 
Ginger is used in cookies (the-loved-by-all gingerbreads for example) and many other sweet dishes, as well as savoury ones. 

Mint  
Has a sweet, fresh minty taste with a cooling effect. You can add mint to sauces, hot chocolate, yogurt, smoothies.

Cumin  
Very common in the Middle Eastern cuisine and has a bittersweet taste with warm earthy flavour. Cumin is added in curries, some sauces, rice dishes and soups. 

Curry powder  
A mixture of spices such as turmeric, chillies, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, coriander. It is often used with meat and potato based dishes and is common in Indian cuisine. It adds a spicy hot flavour to dishes (when it has chillies inside). 

Paprika  
Made from a combination of dried peppers and it has subtle and sweet peppery taste (this is the sweet paprika). Some types of paprika can be hot and stronger. You can sprinkle paprika over eggs, hummus or potato salad. It is also used for flavouring meat, creamy sauces and vegetables. 

Black Pepper  
Has a sharp and strong aroma with a mildly spicy flavour. It can be added to vegetables, meat, soups, fish, sauces and dressings, scrambled eggs and many more. 

Basil 
Has a strong aroma with peppery, sweet flavour. The most common use of basil is in tomato sauces, pesto, salads or you can have it in a combination with tomatoes. 

Dill  
Has a fresh, light citrusy flavour. Dill goes well with various salads, cream, cream cheese, eggs, vegetables, potatoes and is often used to garnish dishes. It’s also one of the main ingredients of Tzatziki, a traditional Greek yogurt dip. 

Parsley
Has a distinctive flavour - fresh, mildly bitter herbal taste and it’s very healthy. It’s usually used as a seasoning in salads and to garnish dishes and goes well with lemon and garlic. It can be added to vegetables, soups, pasta and many more. Fresh parsley is stronger than dry parsley.

Did you recognise the herbs and the spices? Check this quick game and guess the ingredients.

 

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