Culinary use of spices, defined as the edible but non-leafy parts of certain plants.

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25
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12answers
155k views

How can you make a sauce less spicy/hot?

Sometimes when I'm making a sauce or soup that needs to be a bit spicy, I have no troubles spicing how I want to. But if the dinner party is a bit late, or I made the sauce in advance to really draw ...
49
votes
7answers
2k views

What's a good resource for knowing what spices are and what to use them in?

I know what spices like garlic and black pepper are, and what foods you typically put them in. But spices like cardamom, rosemary, thyme, paprika, etc., completely elude me. I haven't found a good ...
15
votes
8answers
120k views

What herbs and spices are in “Italian Seasoning”?

I'm beginning to grow my own herbs and would like to put together something similar to the "Italian Seasoning" found in the grocery store spice section. (It's an easy way to add more flavor to pasta ...
10
votes
6answers
4k views

How much salt should I add to a dish?

I find it hard to figure out how much salt to add to dishes. I'm always afraid I'll make it too salty. Recipes always call for salt to taste, but what does that mean? Is there a good rule of thumb?
13
votes
7answers
30k views

How do I keep soup from being bland?

I've been experimenting with soups recently and trying different recipes, and I've found that I often come out with a good soup that's a bit too bland in taste. And yes, salt and pepper makes a huge ...
15
votes
9answers
7k views

Which spice gives brown colour to Indian curry?

Many of the premixed curry pastes and curry dishes I have eaten have a brownish / reddish colour to them. I have a nice collection of spices that I cook with, but my curries seem to always look and ...
27
votes
5answers
1k views

Shelf life of spices

The common wisdom I've heard is that dried herbs and spices: have a shelf-life of about a year or 2 keep best in a cool dark place will release more flavor when crushed That's fine but some spices ...
14
votes
6answers
31k views

How do I remove turmeric stains from metal/plastic cookware?

As much as I value tumeric for its rumoured cancer-battling qualities, I find its tendency to stain anything it comes into contact with (including 'stainless' steel) discouraging to the point that I ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

What herbs and spices should a beginner cook have?

What herbs and spices should a new cook purchase? These should be versatile herbs and spices that are used in many dishes.
11
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2answers
1k views

Oil separating from fried onion/spice mixture, why does it happen?

I was always taught when cooking Indian dishes to fry spices in a chopped/pureed onion and garlic mixture to release their flavour and essential oils. I was also taught that when the oil separates ...
7
votes
2answers
15k views

Chili powder substitutions

I'm having trouble converting the chili recipes I find to use something other than of-the-shelf chili-powder. Thanks to a simply wonderful local spice shop, we have several different kind of ...
11
votes
1answer
4k views

When should I flavor my Bolognese?

My Bolognese sauce usually contains some combination of salt, pepper, basil, oregano and thyme. It is easier to taste if I add them towards the end, but is the taste affected by when I add the herbs ...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

The name or chemical compound responsible for a specific quality of some spices (numbness)

I'm putting together the results of a kitchen experiment and I'd like to be able to identify a phenomenon that I've noticed when using certain spices. I've felt it in some of what are often called ...
4
votes
2answers
33k views

Convert seed based measurements to pre-ground?

I want to use a recipe that gives ingredient measurements based on the spice seeds. My local grocery store does not have at least half of the ingredients in seed form. But the store does have them ...
2
votes
1answer
744 views

What should I know to store my chili powder?

I am planning on making some chili powder this weekend using ancho, pasilla, and guajillo peppers. I got a nice big bag of each recently and have some questions about chili powder. The second part of ...
7
votes
3answers
363 views

Best online source for spices

I'm looking or good online sources for spices. Good selection and good prices.
14
votes
5answers
5k views

What are the differences between various types of paprika, and which have the most flavor?

I've tried various different brands of paprika but none seem to have any flavor. Can anyone recommend a kind or brand of paprika that is less bland? For example, I've seen certain "special" ...
14
votes
4answers
36k views

What good substitutes for saffron exist?

I am a big fan of paella, amongst other uses for saffron. However, it can be a very difficult and/or expensive spice to obtain. What good substitutes exist?
26
votes
8answers
23k views

White pepper vs. black pepper

Other than color, what is the difference between white pepper and black pepper? I thought it was purely a color thing so that black pepper wouldn't ruin the color of, say, a white sauce. We tried ...
8
votes
3answers
25k views

Substitute fresh garlic instead of garlic powder?

I have a recipe that calls for garlic powder, but I only have fresh garlic on hand. What ratio should I use to substitute?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Curry powder mix

I mostly make curry from scratch. However some recipes (kedgeree)call for using curry powder. I can never get the mix right. Is there a standard spice mix substitution?
3
votes
2answers
931 views

Toasting spices with and without oil

After heading to my trusty Indian market yesterday I was speaking with the owner about how awful fenugreek seeds are uncooked. He suggested (with black mustard seeds and cumin seeds) to throw them in ...
15
votes
3answers
616 views

How to treat your saffron right?

Similar to this question, but not the same (by the way, I like Hobodave's answer). What's the correct way to treat saffron to get most of the flavor? I've seen the following methods: Let the ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

How to dry oregano?

I have oregano in my garden. But I only use it fresh. How should I properly dry the oregano so I can get something similar to oregano found in the stores?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Pimenton ahumado vs. Pimenton de la vera

Besides the noticeable cost difference between these two, what is the difference between pimenton ahumado and pimenton de la vera? Both are purported to be Spanish smoked paprika.
7
votes
2answers
233 views

Seasoning Chili for Young Children

We have a 3 year old toddler who is not a fan of spicy foods. She doesn't like heat of any type, and doesn't like strong flavors. How can we season a turkey chili to keep her happy, and still make it ...
6
votes
4answers
467 views

Why does salt taste different in different dishes?

If I salt tomato, potato and pasta, their tastes change in completely different ways to me. Why is this? Had I put oregano on them, they'd all taste like oregano. Update: The question is not "is it ...
5
votes
5answers
25k views

What are appropriate spices/herbs for spinach? [closed]

Tonight, my mom prepared spinach and we were discussing what spices go well with spinach. I google'd a bit and I found 'nutmeg' on some sites, but it seems like a strange combo to me. Honestly, I ...
4
votes
2answers
236 views

Is it true that putting spices in something then baking it destroys the spices?

I heard that putting spices in something and putting it in the oven will eliminate the taste of the spices. Is this true? For example if I were to put spice in lasagna before putting it in the oven ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the best way to learn what each seasoning is?

For example, Iike cayenne pepper is spicy and marjorum has a smoky flavor. I just want to learn the different flavors of each seasoning, so I can know exactly what seasonings to use for the different ...
3
votes
1answer
154 views

How to boil potatoes for curry?

My favorite restaurants always manage to mask the potatoes own flavour with spices to the point where you have more taste from the spices blending in with the potato. Every time I tried, it never ...
1
vote
5answers
5k views

What should I do with too-dry vanilla beans?

A few weeks ago, I bought a few vanilla beans to make mint ice cream. I only needed one, so I put the other bean back into the glass container it came in. Today, I was having a hard time using the ...
1
vote
1answer
200 views

What tweaks can be made when preparing chili powder?

I am planning on making some chili powder this weekend using ancho, pasilla, and guajillo peppers. This is a follow-up to the question about storage-lifetime that is to do with the powder itself. The ...