The basic spices every new cook needs

The basic spices every new cook needs
October 21 05:44 2017 Print This Article

Spices really enhance the flavour of a meal, and can turn a bland dish into something much more appetising. If you’re new to cooking, here are some staple spices that deserve a place in your spice rack.

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Black peppercorns

Arguably one of the most frequently used seasoning ingredients, black peppercorns can jazz up any dish. It’s worth choosing peppercorns that you can grind in a mill, rather than pre-ground pepper, for intensity of flavour.

Cayenne pepper

To bring a touch of heat to dishes, this spice is a winner. Made from a small red pepper, it boasts great versatility, and is a firm favourite for use in Indian dishes.


The beauty of having cinnamon close to hand when cooking is that it can be used in sweet or savoury dishes. According to Craftsy, you can grind your own cinnamon using cinnamon sticks, but ground cinnamon is much more convenient.

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Curry powder

If you like Indian cooking, having curry powder in your spice rack is an absolute must-have. This handy spice is a blend of ingredients like cumin, fenugreek, coriander and turmeric, and you can buy different heat strengths, depending on your tastes.

Garlic powder

Fresh garlic is a kitchen staple, but having some garlic powder in your cupboard can also prove useful on certain occasions, particularly if you’ve run out of fresh cloves. A dash of garlic powder in a soup or on some bread can liven up a meal in an instant.

Ground ginger

For many food recipes, such as those from the Food-tales online food recipe site, you’ll find that ground ginger often comes in handy. It’s particularly called-for in baking recipes, but you’ll also find it cropping up in Asian dishes. It provides a much more intense flavour than fresh ginger.

Dried oregano

Any kind of dish with a Mediterranean influence is bound to demand a sprinkling of dried oregano, but it’s also a top choice for Mexican food recipes. If you want a faintly citrusy herb that adds depth of flavour to a dish, this is your go-to option.


Made from ground sweet red pepper pods, paprika enjoys incredible versatility in cooking, but is a favourite for seasoning meat dishes, seafood and vegetables. If you want to add a smoky flavour, opt for smoked paprika – it can work wonders in a chilli.

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Clare Louise
Clare Louise

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