A list of spices is vital for any basic cooking repertoire. Here's a spices list showing common herbs and common spices to get you started, and what I have in my spice drawer.
Different herbs and types of spices (also called seasonings) can add a whole new dimension to a dish, and really bring them alive. There's a huge range of herbs and spices for cooking, but many people have a few favourite spices for cooking.
You can also get them either whole or ground, in packets or small glass jars with built-in shakers.
Here's a list of herbs and spices that are used more regularly in most kitchens (both dry and fresh), and what they are used for:
Rosemary: used in meat (especially roast lamb), potatoes and tomato-based sauces.
Tarragon: used for some fish and chicken dishes, as well as Hollandaise and Béarnaise sauces.
Bay Leaves: used in stews and casseroles. Note – remove before serving and don't eat it!
Thyme: used in roast chicken, stir fries and soups. Lemon Thyme can be used in these as well as fish dishes.
Chives: used in a mixture with sour cream and poured over baked potatoes. Also used with eggs and creamy soups.
Dill: most commonly used with smoked salmon, but also with potatoes.
Coriander: used in stir fries, especially spicy ones.
Marjoram: used in omelettes and stuffing.
Oregano: used in tomato based sauces for casseroles or stir fries.
Lemon Grass: used in chicken stir fries and Asian/Oriental dishes.
Basil: used in Italian dishes, tomato-based pasta sauces, and with chicken and rice.
Sage: used in pork and other game dishes, like rabbit or venison.
If you're starting out, you might be wondering what you should start with. There is a list on the basic pantry page, which I'll reproduce here:
|Bay Leaves||Cloves (whole)|
Once you've made a lot of different dishes, your collection will certainly grow over time. To give you an idea, here's what I have in my spice drawer (yes, there's so many they have their own drawer in my kitchen):
|Allspice (ground)||Cayenne Pepper (ground)||Celery Salt|
|Chillies (ground)||Chilli Flakes||Chinese Five Spice|
|Cinnamon (ground)||Cloves (whole)||Coriander Seeds (ground)|
|Cumin (ground)||Garam Masala||Garlic Powder|
|Ginger (ground)||Italian Herbs||Marjoram Leaves|
|Mixed Herbs||Mixed Spice||Nutmeg (ground)|
|Oregano (ground)||Paprika (ground)||Rosemary Leaves|
|Sage Leaves (ground)||Sesame Seeds||Thyme Leaves|
|Turmeric (ground)||Oregano Leaves||Black Peppercorns|
|Bay Leaves (whole)||Saffron|