Do you have a shelve full of spices you have used only once or twice in a year?
Do you wonder how you could reuse the spices and make different meals with them?
This post will show you how to reuse leftover spices by combining them with other ingredients and make exciting meals. I also share a convenient list of most commonly used spices in a one-page spice combinations chart for easy reference.
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.
So if you happen to hoard herbs and spices then this Spice Combinations Chart will show you:
· A one glance list of spices used for cooking popular Indian food or other cuisines.
· Ideas and suggestions to reuse spices and combine them with other ingredients for making different meals.
· Spices that go well with different kinds of meats, vegetables and legumes.
· Making spice combinations by mixing different kinds of spices.
If you have just started to use spices I suggest you to read this easy 5 step Guide to using spices 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.
You may what to read on the Top 10 spices to have in your pantry to make yummy meals under 30 minutes.
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!!
Combine Spices & Seasonings to Suit Your Taste
When I mentioned earlier that spices are very versatile it reflects the fact that using spices to season your dishes is a personal choice.
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 of it to the dish you wish to make.
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 chart 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, its 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 lists of different kinds of spices and herbs for you to choose from, you simply need to understand what spices you like best with a particular 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 to add new flavour and dimension to your everyday meals.
Feel free to make your own spice and flavour combos as you become more used to its taste and develop an idea of what flavour your chosen spice or spices will impart to the dish you add it to.
Do you have spices laying in the cupboard that you are not sure what to do with?
This list of Spice substitute for difficult to find Indian Spices may help you in using your extra spices
Write to me or leave a comment with your spice query or share your experience. I may be able to help! Enjoy spicing it UPP!!