General Question

hug_of_war's avatar

What spices/herbs do you use a lot?

Asked by hug_of_war (10720points) October 15th, 2010

I’ve recently started cooking most of my own food and we only have a few and I’d like to expand my seasoning capability.

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25 Answers

losanjealous's avatar

cayenne, cumin, coriander

jaytkay's avatar

Dill. I just ran out of dill so that’s what I really want now. If you have garden space, it’s really easy to grow and frozen is just as good as fresh.

Also curry is fun. Amazing how far a tiny amount goes.

This year I discovered that spices at the little ethnic groceries in my area are about ¼ the price of the chain supermarket.

crisw's avatar

Garlic, ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, mint, fenugreek, cardamom, garam masala, and an herb blend marketed as “yogurt dip mix” with all kinds of fragrant herbs in it (including rose petals.) Plus lots more!

palerider's avatar

garlic, cinnamon, basil, oregano, thyme, cumin, marjoram, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, sugar. also almost every meat dish i cook has onion, a spicy pepper, and sweet (bell) pepper.
don’t forget soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, chicken and beef buillion cubes or broths, ranch and italian salad dressings. they all can add flavor to most meaty dishes .

also season salt, allspice, season all, chili powder (which is a blend of a lot of other spices)

judochop's avatar

Garlic, cilantro, cayenne, pepper, salt and red pepper.

augustlan's avatar

Don’t forget sage and paprika… if you want to go a little exotic, buy smoked paprika.

Qingu's avatar

Equal parts dry mustard, black pepper, chili powder, and fresh garlic—with a bit of cumin and cayenne and dry thyme—is pretty good. Cajuny. Bay leaf helps too if there’s liquid involved.


Chilli peppers, turmeric, black pepper, white pepper, dill, and fennel seed.

palerider's avatar

oh yeah, forgot about bay leaves and parika

ZAGWRITER's avatar

I use a Mediterranean oregano and Essence of Emeril (a wonderful blend of spices) quite often and sometimes Cavender’s All Purpose Greek Seasoning.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
NaturallyMe's avatar

I’m new to using spices too, but i often use coriander and sometimes coriander plus cinnamon in rice dishes, or curry and cumin with bean dishes, as well as bay leaves in soy meat dishes and crushed chillies in bean chilli. I love to use fresh basil in my salads.

autumnsunset's avatar

What type of food do you like? Italian? Mexican? I use loads of garlic powder and onion powder in almost everything. I like italian food so I use alot of Italian seasoning and basil and parsley. Thyme is great with red meat. Sage is good with chicken. Also I like to use lemon pepper seasoning on chicken and fish.

Seek's avatar

Rosemary, Marjoram, sage, thyme, oregano, basil,
Ginger, cilantro (sometimes, in Asian food)
I usually keep some dried minced onion and garlic powder (not garlic salt) on hand for quick meals when I don’t feel like chopping them myself.

I’m hardcore into vinegars: balsamic, red wine, apple cider, rice, brown rice, malt… They’re like friggin’ Pokemon – I gotta catch ‘em all.

downtide's avatar

black pepper, ginger, chilli, rosemary, coriander (cilantro), garlic, basil, paprika, cayenne.

jca's avatar

Fresh cilantro is used in a lot of Hispanic foods. I like hot spicy food so i often use a hot sauce called El Yucateco. It comes in green and red, and i like the green one (habanero, I think). It’s very thick and believe me, about three drops in a pot of rice is enough to make a cool burning heat in your mouth.

I also like curry. In the supermarket, there’s often a red curry and a yellow curry. I like the red one, it’s more potent, and you can just use less if you want less flavor, but the price is probably the same. From what I’ve been told, there are many different curries in India, regional curries, individual curries formulated by individual chefs, so we have one or two available at the supermarket, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, apparently. Curry is a blend of other spices, which is where the varieties come in, because they’re just different blends. Sometimes I make baked chicken and i put a little barbecue sauce on it, while it’s in the oven, except I add to the store bought barbecue sauce a little of the above-mentioned El Yucateco and about a half a teaspoon curry powder, for a spicy barbecue. Or sometimes i leave out the El Yucateco and just add curry powder.

When I tell people that, they often say “I don’t like curry.” However, if you put just a little curry in something else, it adds a little spiciness but it is not a strong overwhelming curry flavor, as people might expect.

Also, as someone mentioned above, instead of spices at the supermarket, if you check your local ethnic grocery store, like an Indian store or Asian, spices can be cheaper. I buy cardamom in the Indian grocery for about $4, and in the supermarket, a bottled cardamom is about $11 or 12. Yes, huge price difference. The Indian one comes in a bag, not a bottle, but for the price difference, I’ll compromise!!

I try to avoid pre-formulated spices like chili spice or lemon pepper, because they often contain a lot of salt.

Seek's avatar

@jca That’s true even in my big-box grocery store!

At Publix, a small container of dill weed was $8 or more in the spices aisle. I got a container twice as big one aisle over in the Hispanic foods section for $2. Seriously.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Like others have written, I go to a few ethnic markets to buy my spices less expensively, sometimes from loose caches so I can choose my own amounts. I buy the half size ziplock baggies to store them in.

Black pepper seeds for grinding
Brown Corriander seeds
Bay leaves
Fresh dill fern
Fresh cilantro
Curry powder
New Mexico red chili powder

RomanExpert's avatar

Black pepper and garlic salt, not garlic powder.

rowenaz's avatar

Vegeta and Adobo.

augustlan's avatar

Garlic powder, not garlic salt. I’m not trying to be contrary here, I just like to control the two flavors separately.

johlucmoha's avatar

When is season my meats and seafood (fish) i use cilantro, blackpepper, garlic powder, onion powder, lemon pepper, sazon, a dash of Angostura Bitters, fresh onions, fresh garlic, a tomatoe
which can be fresh or canned whatever i have available. and also thyme.

Some of these seasonings depending on the dish i am cooking. If i make curry chicken, i use two types of curry, to give it a good yellow flavoring. During the summer months i grow my own
herbs. oregano, parsley, dill, thyme, different types of mint. I love using mint in certain dishes,
it gives a good flavor to the dish.

autumnsunset's avatar

To chime in on the garlic powder verses garlic salt discussion. Garlic powder can clump together quicker but I like to be able to be able to add as much garlic flavor as I want without making a recipe too salty. So, I purchase garlic salt and garlic powder for this reason. It is funny how and why we have our preferences.

palerider's avatar

@autumnsunset yep, same here, i have both in the cupboard. it all depends on your tastes and the particular dish in regards to garlic salt and garlic powder.

noname50's avatar

Garlic the most, usually the pre-crushed type. Alot of garlic and onion powder as well, not the salts, as they have too much salt and not enough garlic or onion flavor. Curry, cumin, allspice, cilantro, pepper, (red and black). I use “five spice” for asian cooking.

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