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Questions tagged [spices]

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

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39 votes
14 answers
303k 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 ...
user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
6k 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 ...
jane bowden's user avatar
34 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
Dinah's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
724 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 ...
RI Swamp Yankee's user avatar
21 votes
5 answers
11k views

Why does my curry taste flat

I made a curry using onions, garlic, tomato passata, coconut milk, coriander (leaf and ground), cumin, cardamom, star anise, ginger and chilli powder. I tasted it and it felt like it was missing ...
ShadySpiritomb's user avatar
15 votes
7 answers
23k 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?
papin's user avatar
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14 votes
7 answers
85k 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 ...
clueless's user avatar
  • 3,030
4 votes
1 answer
5k 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 ...
mfg's user avatar
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30 votes
7 answers
17k 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 ...
Frames Catherine White's user avatar
18 votes
12 answers
46k 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 ...
going's user avatar
  • 475
17 votes
5 answers
78k 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?
warren's user avatar
  • 583
16 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
BaffledCook's user avatar
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16 votes
6 answers
124k 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 ...
Doug's user avatar
  • 3,218
14 votes
4 answers
29k views

Why whole peppercorns?

Some recipes call for whole peppercorns. Why not crack them and use a lot less? In a cooking show I watched recently the host specifically said "Do not crack or grind them" but he did not explain why. ...
Sly's user avatar
  • 917
14 votes
12 answers
19k 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.
configurator's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
spiceyokooko's user avatar
  • 2,523
12 votes
1 answer
12k 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 ...
user avatar
10 votes
8 answers
46k 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 ...
Allergy Plagued's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
29k 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-...
sysadmin1138's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
17k 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?
Megasaur's user avatar
  • 1,718
6 votes
4 answers
4k views

Do spice containers need to be hermetic?

Spice containers purchase I'm planning on upgrading my spice storage. Reading some advice online (e.g. article 1, and article 2) I came to the conclusion that spice containers should: Not be exposed ...
Robert Kusznier's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
79k 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-...
James Sumners's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
600 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 "...
Jolenealaska's user avatar
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2 votes
5 answers
25k views

What is the difference between kosher dill pickles and Polish dill pickles?

What is the difference in taste between kosher dill pickles and polish dill pickles? Do they have any visual distinctions that would make it possible to differentiate between them on sight?
ME.'s user avatar
  • 33
39 votes
10 answers
98k 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 ...
Dinah's user avatar
  • 4,939
23 votes
9 answers
234k 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 ...
Rob Walsh's user avatar
  • 333
23 votes
10 answers
33k 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, ...
PLL's user avatar
  • 1,060
19 votes
6 answers
5k views

Removing turmeric colour from mortar and pestle

We have a large granite (I think) mortar and pestle, and while keeping it clean generally doesn't seem too difficult, I have absolutely no idea how to avoid it staining when it's used with turmeric ...
Will Robertson's user avatar
16 votes
5 answers
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 ...
CodeToGlory's user avatar
14 votes
10 answers
84k views

How much Saffron to use?

I'm a bit confused with how much saffron to use in a paella recipe. I've seen numerous recipes that state to use 1gram. However I have a 1gram jar and that seems like a lot of saffron to me. I've ...
Fadzy's user avatar
  • 141
13 votes
6 answers
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?
Daniel Moura's user avatar
  • 1,215
12 votes
5 answers
11k 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 ...
Treblekicker's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
8k views

What happens to the flavour of meat when you cook it Star Anise with Onions?

What exactly is the chemical reaction that occurs when you cook Star Anise with Onions? According to Heston Blumenthal doing this intensifies the flavour of meat. Ultimately what I want to know is ...
Pram's user avatar
  • 355
12 votes
5 answers
5k 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 ...
Ocaasi's user avatar
  • 5,761
11 votes
3 answers
72k 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?
Matthew Scouten's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
5k 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.
shabbychef's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
52k views

How to store tamarind paste?

I bought some tamarind paste the other day, and I am wondering how should I store it once opened, as the package does not say anything special. Should I put it in the fridge? Store it in an airtight ...
nico's user avatar
  • 3,798
7 votes
3 answers
602 views

Best online source for spices [closed]

I'm looking or good online sources for spices. Good selection and good prices.
7 votes
1 answer
538 views

How do different spices react to heat?

I'm working on a chili recipe. It has a bunch of spices. I'm trying to figure out when best to add them. People sometimes recommend "opening up" spices like cumin by toasting them or frying them in ...
Scott Stafford's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
plonk420's user avatar
  • 125
7 votes
5 answers
820 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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
6 answers
4k 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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
9k 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?
Jeremy French's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is this seed pod?

Every now and then I come across this seed pod when I order Baingan Bharta (aka Punjabi Eggplant) from my favorite Indian restaurant. They're roughly 2cm (3/4 inch) long and about as thick as a ...
redick's user avatar
  • 73
7 votes
2 answers
29k 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 ...
CaseyJones's user avatar
7 votes
6 answers
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 ...
MargeGunderson's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

What gives Vietnamese Chicken the red tint?

A local oriental restaurant used to sell "Vietnamese Chicken", a hot plate dish of big chunks of chicken breast with onion and spices. The distinguishing feature of the dish was a deep red tint of the ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 3,023
6 votes
5 answers
14k views

How can I use white pepper without having the odor dominate the food flavour?

I received several different pepper (spice) for christmas. One of them is a white pepper. Whenever I use (very) little of this white pepper in my dishes, the odor/flavor is very dominant cutting out ...
froeschli's user avatar
  • 173
5 votes
3 answers
528 views

Pepper spice varieties

How many varieties of edible pepper spice there are? I know white, black, green and pink pepper, but I'm sure that around the world there are many more varieties. There is a comprehensive list or a ...
Wizard79's user avatar
  • 4,613
5 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
Celeritas's user avatar
  • 1,625