How To Use Spices Like A Pro


We all know that adding spices to our dishes is a cheap and easy way of imparting great flavour. A lot of people fear using spices but adding ready ground spices is a simple way of bringing great flavour to otherwise bland dishes.

Spices are essential to Pakistani and Indian cuisine and we have years of experience in using spices in cooking, but we feel that everyone should be able to use spices at home to create tasty dishes day in, and day out. The best way to improve your spice game is to experiment.

One spice can be used in a number of different ways to bring out different flavours and aromas. One cooking technique can help make a certain spice give a warm and earthy taste to one dish but another technique – toasting, for example – can add a more robust and smoky flavour to another dish. By experimenting with spices, you can learn the different ways that spices react to different cooking techniques and be on your way to becoming a spice master in the kitchen:

How to Experiment With Spices

  1. Spice Versatility

Take the spice cumin. Cumin is used a lot in Pakistani and Indian cuisine and is one of the main spices in a huge number of famous dishes. Why? Because of its versatility. If you don’t know much about spices then starting with versatile spices is a great way to begin. Versatile spices, like cumin, go with a large number of meats and vegetables, and blend brilliantly with a number of other spices: cumin, coriander and mustard seeds is a famous trio of spices you will find in a lot of dishes.

  1. New Spices, Old Dishes

A great way of introducing yourself, your family, even picky eaters, to new spices is to use them in a dish that you and your family already enjoy. When you know that you already like 90% of the ingredients in the dish, it isn’t so much of a risk to add one or two new spices to the mix.

  1. Basic Spice Knowledge

When you cook with spices it is always wise to remember these golden rules:

  • When you toast spices, add them towards the end of the cooking process or sprinkle them on the dish just before you serve. Toasting has already brought out the flavours.
  • When you bloom spices, they are best used in soups and stews. They are also the best places to experiment with blooming spices for the first time.
  • Spices can be added to your cooking oil at the beginning of a recipe before you begin to add other ingredients.
  1. Use Sparingly

Over-spicing your food is the same as over-salting: it simply ruins it. Make sure you are liberal with your amounts when trying spices for the first time, so you don’t ruin your experience with the spice alongside the dish. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take any out once it is in.

To see how the prfessionals use spices, visit Royal Nawaab’s halal restaurant in Manchester.