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Questions tagged [spices]

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

39
votes
13answers
286k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
60k 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?
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Other 'hot' spices

The restaurant assured me that there was no chilli in the food but it was still too hot for me. What other spices, etc. can cause the heat effect in the mouth? it was a Sri Lankan restaurant, very ...
8
votes
2answers
456 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
75k 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 ...
34
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
15k 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?
2
votes
3answers
12k views

How do I save curry with too much cumin?

I think I may have added too much cumin in my curry sauce last night and it has this dry seasoning taste in every bite. It may have soaked into the veggies as well... Is there a way to save the curry ...
18
votes
10answers
31k 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 ...
13
votes
12answers
12k views

What spices taste umami?

Are there natural spices that taste umami? I don't want to use MSG in my food, but I'd like to add some umami flavour.
16
votes
6answers
95k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
28k 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 chili-...
16
votes
3answers
1k 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 stems ...
11
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
12k views

How do you finely grind coriander seeds?

Whenever I grind coriander seeds the outside seems to separate like a husk and doesn't grind well. I use a pestel and mortar. Is there a trick to getting finely ground coriander?
5
votes
1answer
480 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 "...
5
votes
4answers
73k 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 pre-...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

What should I know about storing my homemade 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 ...
31
votes
7answers
12k views

Will Cinnamon ever dissolve in a cocktail?

I have this idea, that making a cinnamon, vanilla and brandy cocktail would be delicious, and it is. But it is also kinda grainy. What I have been doing: In a 500ml glass, add 15m brandy, add 1/2 ...
22
votes
9answers
226k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
539 views

Best online source for spices [closed]

I'm looking or good online sources for spices. Good selection and good prices.
15
votes
5answers
13k 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 of paprika that is less bland? For example, I've seen certain "special" varieties such as ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

What technique best infuses spices into a dish?

If I have a group of spices, all dried and ground, say: nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper... I'm curious about how to maximize their flavor for a drink or dish, and in what liquids ...
9
votes
7answers
27k views

Chili and bell pepper substitute due to allergies?

I recently learned that I am allergic to ALL forms of pepper except black pepper. Bell peppers, chili peppers, etc. I am allergic to and it makes my throat swell up. I have several recipes using ...
36
votes
10answers
83k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
58k 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?
5
votes
3answers
15k views

What sauce / spices can make a tofu steak taste like a beef steak

I had an unbelievably good tofu steak in a restaurant in Tokyo many years ago. I have never been able to reproduce it. It tasted uncannily like a beef steak. What sauce / spices could I use to ...
4
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
21
votes
11answers
23k views

What is this fungus/lichen in my Garam Masala? (“Trifle”/truffle?)

I just bought a lovely bag of Garam Masala, and was all ready to grind some when I got home! But when I opened it, I found something I didn’t recognise — at first I thought something had gone mouldy, ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

Why is garam masala in many curry paste/powder recipes?

Garam masala, of course, is a blend of warming spices. However, many of those spices are listed individually in recipes for curry pastes and powders that also call for garam masala. Since most garam ...
7
votes
2answers
8k 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?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the best way to find a reliable pepper mill?

After someone posted a link to a hand-turned coffee grinder, I was reminded that I needed to replace my pepper mill. My third one in about seven years. After reading the 1 through 4 star (and skimmed ...
5
votes
4answers
937 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
5k 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?
11
votes
5answers
7k views

Avoiding grittiness with sichuan pepper

I've got a big bag of Sichuan pepper but I've often found that when I cook with them it's difficult to avoid grittiness from the outer kernel. I don't have this problem when I visit Sichuan Chinese ...
9
votes
2answers
4k 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
5answers
650 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the possible substitutions for Cumin in Indian cuisine?

I've always been interested in trying to make some type of dahl or other Indian cuisine but I'm severely allergic to Cumin. This typically strikes me out for recipes with curry or chili powder. Does ...
6
votes
2answers
9k views

How to best cook potatoes to be used in a curry?

My favorite restaurants always manage to impart the flavors of the various spices used to the potatoes, rather than only having the potato's own flavor. However, when cooking curries on my own, I ...
5
votes
4answers
18k views

Getting flavor powders to stick to nuts

I've just checked for some recipes online on how to make flavored (in particular, hot and spicy) peanuts. It seems that in every one of these recipes, there has to be some kind of roasting procedure (...
5
votes
1answer
577 views

How do you get the flavor out of dried peppers?

A recipe calls for dry chili peppers for my Moroccan fish. I know sweating fresh chili peppers will release the flavor, but how do you release the flavor of dry spices like dried chili peppers?
3
votes
5answers
116k views

What can I use as a replacement for cumin?

I've just run out of cumin and rather than go to the shops for more I wonder what I could substitute for cumin? I'm making a lentil soup, which calls for sweating onions and the finishing the onions ...
2
votes
1answer
378 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
526 views

Mustard seeds for tempering lentils brought out a little bitter after taste

I am fond of using whole spices for tempering therefore used mustard seeds along with cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida & nigella seeds. Thereafter used some cilantro and kasuri methi for ...
2
votes
5answers
14k 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 ...