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Herbs

Basil
A distinctive aromatic, bitter-sweet taste that works particularly well with tomato dishes like soup or pizza but also great in salads, stews and casseroles.

Bay leaves
Often in used in French or Indian dishes providing a slightly bitter taste to meat, poultry and fish, casseroles and soups.

Cardamom seeds or pods
Often used in Indian dishes such as curries. Cardamom tastes very sharp, like lemon zest but also has a slightly perfumed flavour. Try in dessert dishes.

Fresh chillies or chilli powder
There are a variety of chillies ranging from mild to extremely hot. Use sparingly in dishes such as Indian curries, Mexican food, Thai food and other Asian/Middle East inspired dishes. 

Ask me how to use chilli in salads.

Cinnamon
Cinnamon adds a warm, slightly spicy flavour and can be used in sweet and savoury dishes. For example try it in rice pudding or apple pie or add some to mashed potato or curry.
I also add a little cinnamon to tomato sauces and soups!

Cloves
Its strong sweet aroma can distinctively flavour dishes such as festive treats like sweet mince pies, fruit cake and ham joints.

Coriander or Coriander seeds
Works very well in rice dishes, curry dishes, soups and stews. The flavour is similar to sage and lemon.

Cumin
Mistaken for curry powder, cumin has a fresh, lemony flavour and is used widely in Indian cooking to flavour curries, meat, rice, casseroles, stews and sauces. 

Check out my idea for mushrooms, cumin and lemon!

Ginger 
Available fresh as a root or as a dried powder, and is used in Chinese and Thai cooking, particularly with stir fry and curry dishes. It can also be used in sweets and puddings. Add ginger to red cabbage and taste the difference!

Mixed herbs
Usually comprises parsley, rosemary, thyme and marjoram (oregano) and can be used in casseroles and soups, pizzas
and pasta sauces.

Mustard
Hot and fiery, mustard comes in a number of varieties. It adds flavour to meat and meat dishes to give extra flavour and kick. Try it in homemade burgers or mash potatoes.

Nutmeg
Often used in sweets and desserts such as custard, apple pie or in fruit dishes, but also works with vegetables. Try it in mashed potatoes or in soup.

Oregano
Frequently used in Mediterranean cooking, most would recognise this on a pizza or in a pasta dish. However, it can work well with meat, cheese-based dishes and with some vegetables such as onion and aubergine.

Paprika
Ranges from sweet and mild to fiery and hot, Paprika is famous for adding to goulash and stews but can also be added to meat, soups, eggs and cheese.

Parsley
An earthy flavour that works well with fish, chicken, and root vegetables. Dried can be a lot stronger flavour than fresh so add a litle at first.

Peppercorns or pepper
When crushed, pepper is possibly one of the most used spices. It is used to enhance flavour in most savoury dishes.

Rosemary
Typically added to lamb dishes, but its delicate flavour also complements fish, potatoes and stews.

Sage
Traditionally used in stuffing for poultry, but can also be used with other meats such as pork or game, or sparingly in soups or salads to add a savoury flavour.  

Tarragon
With its tart and aromatic flavour, this herb is good with stews, casseroles, chicken and fish dishes.

Thyme
Often used with sage to flavour poultry, but can be used with tomatoes, stews or try it in hamburgers! 

Turmeric
Mild yellow spice used to colour dishes such as rice, eggs, curry or in paella.

Vanilla pods
Strong, sweet flavour often associated with custard or ice cream.

There are no rules when using herbs and spices. Experiment with a little, taste and add more if needed. Be careful with herbs and spices with strong flavour's and make sure you taste the food so that they do not ruin the flavour of the natural produce in your meal.

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