Have you ever wondered what the contents of my spice cabinet look like? You might imagine a vast sea of seasonings, herbs, and bottles upon bottles (which it is), but the reality of my cooking is that I frequently use the same spices. Of course, I enjoy experimenting with new flavour profiles, blends, and other ingredients, but when it comes to keeping things simple, there are a few key ingredients I simply cannot live without. In this post, I’ll discuss a few essential spices that every kitchen should have.


You most likely have cumin in your spice cabinet. In my opinion, it’s just as important as good cracked black pepper. You can buy it whole as a seed (as shown above) or ground into powder. For the most explosive, fresh flavour, you could also grind it yourself with a mortar and pestle.


Paprika and smoked paprika are both popular spices in people’s spice cabinets. This nightshade spice is made from sun-dried or smoked red peppers and adds a slightly sweet and smoky flavour to a variety of dishes. Its bright red colour makes it appear spicy, but there are several variations. Sometimes the colour is as appealing as the flavour! Sweet paprika is naturally sweeter, smoked paprika has a smokier punch, and spicy paprika will give you that kick you crave.


There isn’t much that beats fresh ground cinnamon for flavour and amazing aromas. It’s a spice I’ve grown to enjoy not only in desserts but also in savoury dishes. Its warmth enhances the flavour of other aromatic spices and herbs. It goes well with starches, root vegetables, and a variety of cuisines. For a unique flavour explosion, I like to add a dash to stews, meats, and mashes. Don’t dismiss it until you’ve given it a shot!

Chilli Powder

Chilli, also known as chilli powder, is the dried and ground flesh of one or more types of chilli peppers. Chilli powders come in a variety of flavours, such as cayenne pepper or Aleppo chilli, and are frequently used as chilli flakes rather than powder. The amount of heat you want, the texture, and the specific recipe you’re making will all play a role in making the distinction.

The amount of heat, flavour, colour, and aroma characteristics of the powder will vary depending on the type of chilli used. You don’t have to be able to handle a lot of heat to handle a small amount of chilli.

Curry Powder 

Curry powder is the most common spice blend in Asia, with different ingredients depending on the country and dish. Ground coriander seed, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chilli are common ingredients. Spices such as ginger, caraway, cardamom, pepper, nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon can also be included. You can easily make your own at home using bulk spices, or you can purchase your favourite ready-made. It’s best when it’s fresh, just like any other spice!

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