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I'm a spice noob but I'm looking for spices suitable for cooking ancient grains other than your basic salt and pepper. So far I've successfully stumbled into nutmeg, but I'm not sure what else may go.

Edit

I'm thinking of when you eat ancient grains like oatmeal, so they are not used along-side anything.

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closed as off-topic by Jefromi Feb 3 at 18:28

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Just a note for other members, with apologies to bobobobo for this meta distraction: I will not be making this question Community Wiki because polls are no longer covered by Community Wiki. I would encourage people to back up their answers (why is a particular spice good or bad?), and/or to edit the question to further encourage more detailed answers. If you're still not happy with the results, use your close votes. –  Aaronut Nov 12 '10 at 15:19

4 Answers 4

For me it usually depends what I'm having with it. If making something with chicken I might use parsley and lemon. If using lamb - maybe rosemary. I think the grains for me are usually not the main star of the recipe, they are the bulk, the background so I have never flavoured according to which grain I'm using.

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Ahm, I'm thinking, when you eat ancient grains like oatmeal.. –  bobobobo Nov 13 '10 at 17:09
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In that case, I'd say look at the "dessert" spices and dried fruit. Also slivered almonds or chopped walnuts or pecans would be nice. –  bikeboy389 Nov 13 '10 at 17:45

I think that anything that goes well with dried fruits can work (such as cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, etc.). And it's actually really nice to add a little dried fruit like raisins, dates or apricot. Kind of Middle Eastern that way.

Mushrooms or onions are always a solid addition (though not so much with the Middle East spices) and bring a lot of flavor cooked in.

I sometimes "adulterate" the plain grains after the fact: Parsley adds a lot, as does a little lemon.

Otherwise, I'd go along with Bluebelle and work toward whatever you're serving it alongside.

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I've used a stick of cinnamon when preparing quinoa.

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A little pinch of saffron and some cayenne powder makes awesome quinoa.

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