Do you like spices and herbs? I certainly do! I love to combine herbs and spices to diversify the flavors of a dish. There are so many combinations that celebrate cuisines from around the world. You can use these blends with the same base ingredient to get a variety of dishes.
Today, I’m going to talk about spice and herb combinations from seven different cuisines. This doesn’t mean that these are the only herbs and spices used in these cuisines… but these are definitely combinations that I use with veggies, fish, beans, poultry, meat – you name it.
The depth of flavors that you can get from warm spices and bright herbs are amazing in Mexican cuisine. I use cumin, oregano, and chili powder on the grill, in a sauté pan, and even in the oven.
• Chili powder
Boy, do I love cuisine from India! There are so many warm flavors to enjoy. I enjoy making curry chicken in the slow cooker. To give the dish an Indian feel, I use spices like those listed below with a veggie combo of tomatoes, onions, and peppers. The slow cooker makes a rich, spicy broth that was perfect when soaked up with garlic naan. When serving the dish, I add fresh cilantro right before serving. Here are some of my favorite spices that are celebrated in Indian cuisine:
• Red pepper
Middle Eastern Cuisine.
The bright food from Middle Eastern countries comes from a mix of lovely herbs like mint, cilantro, tarragon, and parsley. And, the deep flavors of cinnamon, paprika are lovely.
The herbs used in French cuisine are ones I use almost each week. It’s wonderful to be able to grow fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, and parsley. The good news? Even if you don’t have a big space to have a garden, many of these herbs can be grown in a pot on the windowsill! I use these herbs when roasting chicken, baking potatoes, and sautéing vegetables (green beans and carrots, for example).
Who doesn’t love the rich, aromatic cuisine of Italy? Those lovely flavors of basil and oregano combine so perfectly with tomatoes and garlic….what’s not to love? I enjoy a quick weeknight meal of basil marinara. While boiling whole grain pasta, I quickly sauté onions and garlic, add crushed tomatoes, and stir in a dash of red pepper flakes. After the pasta is cooked, I mix the sauce and pasta, and finish the dish with a combo of fresh basil and oregano.
• Red pepper
Southeast Asian Cuisine.
India isn’t the only country that boasts a lovely curry combo! Thai cuisine uses golden turmeric, pungent ginger, cumin, and coriander. Mixed with lemongrass, mint, and basil… the flavors are fresh, light, and bright. I love mixing these flavors with light coconut milk.
When my spouse and I went on our honeymoon to Croatia, we could not get over how enjoyable cuisine from the Mediterranean was. We loved the combination of rosemary, oregano, and mint with lamb and vegetables. The fresh herbs were also lovely with nutmeg (especially when spinach was involved!)
What herb and spice combinations do you like best? Let me know in the comments!
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