Tuesday 7 April 2020

10 Essential Herbs And Spices For Your Kitchen

Over the past year and a half I've become much more adventurous with my cooking.
My favourite kinds of meals to make are vegan soups and main meals like chickpea curries and pasta dishes.
All of these require seasoning and spices.

I haven't always put effort into cooking and so when I first lived on my own I wasn't really sure what spices I needed in my cupboard. Therefore this post is aimed at anyone wanting to take up cooking if they don't already know how or are moving out and need a list of herbs and spices to have available for any meal.

Salt and Black Pepper

Obviously these are two separate seasonings but they come as a pair really. I put salt and black pepper in pretty much every recipe I make. I would say these are the ones you need most. Perfect for all recipes! Pink Himalayan salt is a great one to have in your collection.


Cajun is an all round essential for curry style dishes. I also opt for cajun spices if I want my soup to feel more like a winter warmer. For example my Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup uses cajun spices and it just instantly makes it feel that bit warmer. And of course, Cajun is great for all chicken dishes.


Allspice is lovely with butternut squash and nuts. Another winter warmer. This is one of my favourite tasting spices. The smell of it when mixed with food frying in the pan is just a dream. Be careful not to use too much though because it can feel heavy on your throat when overused!


Another essential that goes with the majority of meals. It's a good topper to add to the meal when it's plated up, it can just complete the look and taste of a homemade creation. Fresh basil leaves are great but dried basil is just as good. Same applies for coriander, mint, dill, parsley etc. All good ones to add to the list! If you want a mix you can always grab a little bottle of mixed herbs!

Smoked Paprika

Paprika isn't something I use all the time but it's definitely useful to have. I especially like smoked paprika for that BBQ style tang to it. It's great for having on salmon, so is chilli powder (another good one to have!) 
I also love paprika on potatoes.

Bay Leaves

I find myself reaching for bay leaves more than I ever thought I would. You'd be surprised how much bay leaves feature in recipes, especially vegan ones! Just remember to take any dried ones out before serving. I much prefer dried bay leaves than buying fresh as they last A LOT longer!

Chinese 5 Spice

5 spice is probably my favourite smelling spice. I wish I could add it to everything but this is my favourite addition to my sweet potato and coconut soup. I tend to save it for that but I imagine there is so much you could do with it. 

Garam Malsala

Another essential for curry dishes. I love making different styles of masalas with this spice. Chickpea curries, Mauritian recipes, and quorn chicken tikka masalas. 


I'm probably not a big fan of cumin after I overused it in a recipe before but I do find it pops up in a lot of recipes so if you plan on following cookbooks then I'd suggest grabbing some to have ready. Ground cumin is preferable.


Cinnamon is great to have for so many uses! Not just in food dishes but even for skincare recipes you might want to make, or even for your hot drinks, especially in winter time! So much you can do with cinnamon!

I hope this has been a quick, simple and helpful guide if you want some advice on beginner herbs and spices to use in the kitchen! 

Happy quarantine cooking!
I hope you have fun trying out as many new recipes as I have! 
Search 'recipes' at the top of the page to find some of the recipes I've created on my blog that you can re-create!


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