Unique Spices You Should Consider Adding to Your Spice Cabinet

Posted: August 26, 2022 1:06 pm

One of the best things about cooking at home is that you can create your own recipes and use your favorite spices to personalize what you make. Every kitchen should have a variety of spices to make the most flavorful dishes possible. Here are 14 unique spices that are not as commonly found in most spice racks, so be sure to check them out!

1. Amchoor

Amchoor is a spice that gives the food a tangy, lemony taste. This spice is made from unripe green mangoes, which are ground and made into powder. You can use Amchoor in sweet and savory recipes.

2. Sichuan pepper

Sichuan pepper has a light, spicy kick with a warm, numbing sensation in the mouth that lasts for quite some time. It is because the Sichuan pepper contains a compound called anandamide, which is also found in chilies and black pepper. This spice usually enriches pretty bland recipes as it makes them taste more flavorful.

3. Asafoetida

Asafoetida is made from the resin of the giant fennel plant and can be ground into powder form or made into little grayish-yellow pastes. The best quality asafoetida comes from Afghanistan. Asafoetida is known for being anti-inflammatory.

4. Nigella seeds

Nigella seeds are black and thus are also called black cumin seeds. This spice is used as both a medicinal herb and a culinary spice. It is native to the Mediterranean region, South Asia and North Africa. You can use this spice used in both savory dishes and baked goods.

5. Sumac

Sumac is a type of berry. It is found in the Middle East. You can use it in many savory dishes in this region. This spice has a distinct flavor which can range from lemony to fruity, and is used to flavor salads and yogurt.

6. Garam Masala

It is a heady blend of exotic spices, including cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper. Garam Masala is typically used in Indian cuisine. However, it is not limited to just Indian recipes. This spice blend has a sweet taste that most people cannot resist and can be used in many other recipes, such as soups and meats. This spice can also treat sinus problems such as the common cold or food poisoning because of its potent anti-bacterial properties.

7. Za’atar

Za’atar is a blend of herbs, including thyme, oregano, marjoram, and sumac. This spice is used in Middle Eastern recipes like tabbouleh salad or pastries. It is because it has an earthy and smoky taste. The thyme in the spice helps to make it sweeter, while the marjoram makes it more citrusy.

8. Tandoori Masala

Tandoori Masala has a citrusy taste and contains cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper. This spice makes Indian dishes such as chicken tikka masala and naan. This spice helps to add flavor to foods that would otherwise be bland or dry.

9. Shichimi

Shichimi is made from seven ingredients, including chili peppers and black sesame seeds. It is a popular condiment in Japan. You can use this blend of spices to make chicken or fish teriyaki, soups and rice rolls, and even grilled fish dishes. The flavor of this spice is described as a combination of citrusy heat and sweetness. Using this spice will change the flavor profile of your dishes.

10. Berbere

It is a blend of spices used in Ethiopian and Eritrean cooking. The exact blend of this spice depends on the region where it’s being used. However, most berbere ingredients include paprika, garlic, onion powder, and chili peppers. Berbere is typically used in stews but also to season meats and poultry.

11. Dukkah

This spice is used in Middle Eastern cuisine. This seasoning also includes pine nuts, sesame seeds, and pistachios. You can use dukkah to season many dishes, including salads, vegetables, fish, and chicken.

12. Saffron

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, which is why it is commonly used as a flavoring, not an ingredient. When used, it is added to dishes towards the end of their cooking time to maintain its bright red color. This spice comes from a flower with a strong aroma. Saffron is even thought to slow down the aging process of skin because of its antioxidant properties.

13. Star Anise

Star Anise is a prevalent spice on Chinese and Japanese restaurant menus. The aroma of this spice is similar to black licorice, which makes it even more appealing when it’s added to your food. You can use this spice in sweet and savory dishes, but you should not boil it as it will lose its unique flavor.

14. Turmeric

It is a yellowish-brown spice from India. Turmeric is used to spice marinades, and you can use it to season chicken, meat, or fish. This spice has anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric also helps lower cholesterol levels in the body and contains antioxidants that will help you fight diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes.


If you’d like to explore new cuisines and flavors, adding more spices and herbs to your pantry is the best way to do that. Just remember that these are just a handful of the many spice blends that are out there. There are so many more that you will want to try!



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