Was checking out the masala dabba (spice tin ) and noticed I was out of curry powder . Had no dried oregano or marjoram . What’s in the containers in the spice tin ? From 12 o’clock , dried chives , use heaps of them . Turmeric , an old favourite . Garam masala , good general purpose spice . A five spice mix I ground up in the mortar and pestle . Can’t remember what I used but adds a good kick to what I add it to . . /
What are your favourite herbs and spices and how to you use them ? If you " grow your own " please feel free to chime into this post . I mainly used dried herbs stored in glass jars or the dabba as shown in the picture for convenience sake ./
We grow thyme, chives, corriander, oregano, mint, ginger, parsley and turmeric in the aquaponics systems, so use them fresh. The thyme and chives, mint and oregano grow all year, the parsley and corriander almost all year, so are harvested just before use, and the ginger and turmeric are used as long as they last after harvesting.
EDIT, forgot to include the couple of varieties of basil, mostly used fresh, but have also dried it in the past.
I grow our tumeric both for fresh use and drying and grinding into powder, we also have sage, sweet basil, Mediterranean basil, thyme, mint, chillies (around 4 varieties including Ghost), galangal and ginger is our standard fresh. We are now also growing our first crop of vanilla beans.
I also carry about 25 spices in jars ranging from nutmeg, mace, cinnamon (both powder and quills), chillies, garam masala, paprika (smoked, hot & sweet), coriander root and leaf, pepper, cloves, dried tamarind to currently purchased vanilla beans and saffron.
The right mix of spices can elevate some dishes from good to great.
We did in the past but not currently. It has a slight camphor type taste to it and I prefer oregano to it but I do admit it goes well with chicken and lamb but I still prefer the oregano for it’s pepperishness. If growing marjoram avoid placing it in cold areas (as we found out it prefers heat), a nice sunny warm position will improve both it’s growth and flavour.
I should also add while not a spice we use a bit of balsamic vinegar in our cooking The sweetness of the balsam adds a tantalising flavour to many dishes and some would say strangely it also enhances strawberries. The better the quality of the balsamic vinegar the better the results are.
Spices include garlic, ginger, cinnamon (ground or stick), star anise, pepper are possibly those we use the most. We also have a tressure trove of others (sumac to fenugreek to chilli to Sichuan pepper to paprika and so on). Unfortunately went we go to our local Indian supermarket to buy something, I end up buying more spices and we have possibly more varieties than that available in the local supermarket.
Herbs, well the ones we use most are coriander, mint (common and Vietnamese), basil (fresh when iin the garden, dry otherwise), oregano (fresh and dried), thyme (fresh and dried) and parsley (curly and flat Italian). Others include garlic and onion chives (fresh and dried), bayleaf (fresh) etc.
Herbs and spices are used with every meal…and in every form of cooking/cuisines.
We also usually don’t buy small jars like those in the supermarkets as it would become expensive. We usually buy 100+gm bags and store them in glass bottles.
Great selection of herbs and spices there Peter . I live in Altona in Melbourne but we have had a large Indian and Anglo Indian population buy and settle in the next suburb which is Point Cook . There little shopping centre, Seabrooke , has quite a few spice houses and great restaurants . I’m starting to get my spices there now as I find , like you , the cost in the supermarkets is becoming prohibitive . /
I grow - parsley (triple curled & Italian), marjoram, oregano, thyme (citrus & ordinary), sorrel, sage, native mint, mint (spearmint, peppermint, mint & one other variety), basil (several varieties), ginger, white turmeric, Bay tree, chives. I have an extensive collection of herbs & spices in bottles, but these are many, many years old, and was given another collection which is more than 30 years old. My husband likes plain food, so for the last 10 years I that have been feeding him, little is used. I did put mint in the potato/pasta salad yesterday.
My wife the excellent cook loves using herbs and spices - some of which we grow fresh in our garden:
Chili, English mint, Italian parsley, Vietnamese mint, coriander, dill, basil, sage, thyme, rosemary.
We also ‘borrow’ dried herbs and spices from our Moroccan chef son-in-law (Moorish Bites), including Ras El Hanout and saffron.
Noting Moroccan spice cooking is all the go these days- but cringe every time I see an advertisement for: ‘Moroccan Spice Pork’
A couple of good on-line spice sources are:
Spice Road Spices: www.spiceroadspices.com.au
Herbies Spices: http://www.herbies.com.au/