Do you have a shelve full of spices you struggle to put into other use? These unassuming looking jars tend to lose their identity given the many culinary distractions that go in the kitchen.
Do not underestimate the power of these miracle flavour shots.
They may just come handy to rescue your bad kitchen day!!
If you happen to hoard herbs and spices and are not sure of how to reuse them then this Spice Combinations Chart will show you:
|Ideas and suggestions to reuse spices and combine them with other ingredients for making different meals|
|Is there anything called the 'Right Way' to combine spices|
|How to make meals reusing the extra spices with the easy spice to ingredient combination method|
|A one glance list of spices and their best combination with other ingredients|
Why Should Spices Be Used Up
Most of us will have bottles or packs of spices or herbs laying in the kitchen pantry enjoying their little cozy place in the darkness not having to do any work! (wish I had a life like that)
Keeping opened spices for a long period of time makes them lose their quality and flavour.
So if you have them then use them.
Using spices adds versatility to cooking and if used correctly they adapt well to the dish you are using it in.
All you need to know is the right way of cooking with spices.
If you are new to using spices or have spice confusion I suggest reading this easy 5 step Guide for beginners which will make working with spices easier for you.
This Spice Combinations Chart will help you take little steps and make meals with the best food and spice combinations what work well together.
What are the Best Spice Combination and Flavour Combos?
In theory, there is no ‘Right Way’ to add spices to your meals. But you do need to understand its taste elements.
Who knew that adding chilli to chocolate one day would become a fad!
One of the best way to start using spices is to experiment with them.
Try with adding just a teaspoon of cumin powder or garam masala powder to your favourite roast or pie.
There is nothing wrong is going beyond what the recipe calls for as long as it’s done in moderation.
For instance, I certainly would not advocate adding curry leaves to rice pudding or cinnamon powder to mayonnaise!
No one with a remote sense of taste should even try this, unless you call your not so favourite ex for dinner that is!!
A reason for Indian cuisine to appeal to many globally is the combination of contrasting flavours all put together to make a flavourful dish. Spices playing the part of a flavour challenger as well as the changer.
This combining or pairing of ingredients is different from western cuisine. Western cooking involves ingredients sharing similar flavour compounds such as bread, milk, cream, cheese, flour etc.
If the Indians and other Asian cuisines have been doing it right all this while, there is nothing stopping you from trying flavour combinations too!
Combine Spices & Seasonings to Suit Your Taste
Spice are one of the most versatile cooking ingredients. What I mean by this is that the choice of adding one or not is entirely yours.
Few people like spicy and hot food and are happy to add a bail of chilli powder to their dish (which I personally think kills the flavour of other ingredients completely) while others may like the subtle aroma and flavour of cardamom, cloves, or cinnamon.
When it comes to combining spices with other ingredients for example with chicken, fish, beans, quinoa etc, or other spices or herbs such as nutmeg, saffron etc its best to start with adding small quantities to the dish you wish to make.
The infographic below shows the 4 steps you can follow to make different meals using the spice to ingredients combination method.
Let’s learn with an example
Lets say that I have few cloves, cinnamon and cumin seeds lying in my cupboard from a Lamb Curry made few days ago.
Referring to the spice combination shart below I can see that cloves, cinnamon and cumin seeds can be used to make soup, rice, stews or curries.
A curry is something I have already made, so to try something new I choose to make soup instead.
I have the option to stir fry my chosen veg soup (carrots, onions and tomatoes) with a tsp of cumin seeds. I then add the broth and when it all comes to a boil, I add 2 cloves and a small stick of cinnamon and leave it to simmer for some time until done.
Before blending the soup, it is always advisable to remove chunky whole spices.
What happened, in the example above is that I managed to use the spices and also made a yummy aromatic carrot and tomato soup with hardly any additional effort.
The learning from this is that the kind of spices or the quantity of spice you use depends on your personal and family preference.
If you do not like cinnamony taste in soups then choose not to use it, go for green cardamon instead.
Its amazing at how versatile and easy spices can be to work with.
There are different kinds of spices and herbs for you to choose from.
You need to use your personal or household preference and main a judgement about what spices you like best with meat, veg or combined with other spices.
The Spice Combinations Chart below illustrates what spices go best with other raw ingredients such as vegetables, meat and the type of dishes or meals it can be used to make.
Spice Combinations Chart
Use this guide and the chart below as a starting point to begin with your experimentation.
There are no limits to the different flavour and dimension you can add to your everyday meals with spicing it UPP.
Feel free to make your own spice and flavour combos as you become more used to the taste.
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Left over spices will lose their flavour if not used. The best way to reuse spices is to combine them with other ingredients and make different meals.
Since there is no ‘Right Way’ of combining spices as such, it gives you the flexibility to use spices and ingredients you and your family enjoy.
Use the 4 step spice to ingredient method and refer to the spice combination chart above for ideas on meals you could be treating your family with.
Do you have spices laying in the cupboard that you are not sure what to do with? Let me know if I can help in any way.
This list of Spice substitute for difficult to find Indian Spices may help you in using your extra spices