No kitchen is complete without a rack of essential spices below you will find a list of essential spices that are important for any kitchen.
One of the most basic of essential spices that are important in any kitchen is salt and pepper. Pepper can be black or white. Black pepper can be used as whole peppercorns or as a ground spice to flavor any kind of food. White pepper is mostly used in its ground form also used for flavoring many kinds of dishes.
Cloves are an essential spice in any kitchen. Cloves can be used whole or in its ground form, but it is only used sparely in cooking because of its strong flavor. They are used in rich and spicy dishes and are a key component of garam masala along with a mixture of other spices to flavor Indian dishes. Cloves are also used in Indian teas. In the Netherlands they are used to flavor cheese and to make stews .Apart from culinary uses cloves also have a few medicinal uses. Cloves are used in oil form to help with toothache and to help with gum infection for dental emergencies.
Cinnamon has to be included on the essential spice list. Cinnamon is used mainly in desert dishes like apple pie and doughnuts, but also in Mexico it is used to flavor chocolate too. Cinnamon is often mixed with fine sugar to create flavoring for bread and pastries and to flavor cereals. It is also often used as a spice in curry dishes and stews.
Nutmeg is a fantastic spice for both savory and sweet dishes. It is used in Middle Eastern cookery quite a lot for savory dishes. In European cooking it is used to flavor potatoes and soups. For sweet dishes it is used to compliment products using eggs like an egg custard and for some drinks such as egg nog.
Cardamom has a unique strong intense flavor, it is best stored in its pod, and it is used to release flavors when cooking rice. It is a very common ingredient in Indian cuisine. It is also used to flavour sweets in Indian cuisine too. Cardamom also has many medicinal qualities as well as culinary uses. It is used for teeth and gums infection as well as for the treatment of kidney and gallstones. As with most spices there are many uses both in the kitchen and in the medicine cabinet.
Chilli is one of the better known spices that are an absolute essential in the kitchen spice rack. This spice is used to flavor savory dishes, it adds strong flavour and heat to dishes. The chilli can be in a powder form, but also used as chilli seed flakes. Chilli is used to flavor a popular dish called chilli con carne. There are varying degrees of heat available in chilli powders depending on your need for strong flavors.
Mustard seeds can be colored black or yellow. The most popular type of mustard used in kitchens today is of the yellow variety. Mustard seeds that are ground into a yellow powder are used in many savory dishes. The seeds and powder have a very pungent smell and hot taste. They are used to flavor soups and stews and used in marinades for meat.
Saffron is a little indulgent spice that is essential for the kitchen. It is a spice that is derived from the crocus flower. One of the most expensive spices available to buy it is used to colour food a yellow or bright orange color depending on how much is used and for what purpose. It is also used in confectionery and liquors.
Paprika is used in a variety of savory dishes as well as to color certain foods like soups and stews and rice. It is available in various intensities; a Spanish paprika is slightly smoky. Paprika that is formulated using capsicum peppers has more vitamin C by weight than lemons contain, so is a valuable source of vitamin C too.
Vanilla is an essential spice for sweet dishes. Vanilla is derived from the orchid plant, Madagascar vanilla is a common type of vanilla grown in Indonesia. It is primarily used to flavor chocolate and sweet custards or puddings. It is available in pod form or an essence form, the best flavor comes from vanilla in a pod.
Coriander Seeds have a lemony taste to them and are used in lots of Indian cooking to flavor meat dishes and to marinade meats in, these are essential for any home cooks’ kitchen. Coriander can also be found in its ground form to flavor many savory dishes too. Often in India roasted coriander seeds are eaten as a snack. Many people use coriander seeds to pickle vegetables such as onions. Some Belgian beers also use coriander seeds in the brewing of certain beers.
Ginger is another spice that is used on a very regular basis in the home kitchen. Ginger is available in dried ground form that can be used to add to both savoury and sweet dishes. They are mainly used in Europe for sweet dishes like biscuits and cakes. South Asian cuisine uses ginger in dishes of all kinds including vegetarian savoury dishes.
Turmeric is essential in you spice rack if you enjoy cooking and eating curries. It is one of the main ingredients in curry. It is sold in the form of root powder which is bright yellow in appearance. In Nepal turmeric is used in most dishes to give the dish a lovely yellow color but also for its medicinal properties. In South Africa turmeric is used to give white rice a lovely golden yellow color. It will also stain anything it comes into contact with and was once used as a dye for materials.
As you can see all of the above spices are essential in any kitchen and can be used for many things, savory dishes, sweet dishes, and many also have the added advantage of medical properties.