Food Global Cuisine

22 Essential Spices For International Cooking At Home

The world is becoming a smaller place every day. We are travelling more than ever and we are opening up to the idea of experimenting with different cuisines. Each cuisine in the world has a unique taste and nutritional value to offer. These spices for international cooking at home can make your every day a little more exciting!

Indian Spices

The land of butter chicken, kebabs, biryani, dosa, chole bhature, rasgulla, jalebi, thandai, the list is endless. Indian cuisine is known for its spicy food and different regions of India can offer something unique for each palate. Irrespective of what you cook, these spices are a must.

  1. Cumin Powder: Cumin has been added to various cuisines for centuries primarily for its digestive properties. It aids digestion by increasing the activity of digestive proteins, is dense in iron, providing almost 20% of your daily iron in one teaspoon. It contains antioxidants that stabilize free radicals, may restrict the growth of infectious bacteria and fungi.
  2. Red Chilli Powder: Primarily provides taste and used in many cuisines.
  3. Turmeric Powder: Turmeric is the new superfood with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in your brain. It also helps in reducing joint inflammation. In Indian cuisine its purpose is to provide a bright colour to the curries.
  4. Coriander Powder: Adds freshness to cooked food and also helps relieve constipation and ensure the regular bowel movement.


In terms of spices, all the cuisines we have mentioned have overlaps with each other. For instance, cumin is also a staple in Mexican, middle eastern and african cuisines. Mexican food is a full package of flavorful spices precisely balanced to give afresh and pungent taste. Whether you are for choosing chicken, juicy beef or fresh vegetables, there will not be lack of flavors in your plate. Garlic and onion are usually used fresh or in dried form. Some unique spices of mexican cuisine are

  1. Achiote: is used to add yellow color to chorizo, butter, margarine, cheese, and smoked fish. Achiote powder mixed with other spices and herbs can be turned into an achiote paste to marinate and give a smoky flavor to meats, fish, and poultry. When used in larger amounts, it imparts an earthy, peppery flavor with a hint of bitterness. Achiote seeds give off a slightly floral or peppermint scent.
  2. Anise:In Mexican cooking, several spices are used in both savory and sweet dishes. Anise and cinnamon seem to find their way into everything from moles to cookies, and even vanilla, usually considered a flavoring for sweets, is also used in shrimp and vegetable dishes.
  3. Bay leaf: Bay leaves are used whole to season soups, stocks and the delicious pozole. These leaves are perfect for stews that are cooked over low heat. The leaf flavor is balsamic and a little bitter

Middle Eastern

  1. Za’atar: Pronounced zah-tar, this supremely aromatic spice blend combines toasted sesame seeds, dried thyme, dried marjoram, and sumac. Za’atar makes an excellent spice blend for flavoring roasted and sautéed veggies, breads and meats. It is commonly eaten with pita, which is dipped in olive oil and then za’atar. Since ancient times, people in the Middle East have thought za’atar could be used to reduce and eliminate internal parasites
  2. Sumac: The sumac bush, native to the Middle East, produces deep red berries, which are dried and ground into coarse powder. The spice was long used in Europe to add tartness to many dishes until the Romans introduced lemons to the area. It’s used in everything from dry rubs, marinades, and dressing. But its best use is sprinkled over food before serving. It pairs well with vegetables, grilled lamb, chicken and fish. Sumac was used as a treatment for several different ailments in medieval medicine.
  3. Baharat: Bahārāt is a spice mixture used in Middle Eastern and Greek cuisine. Bahārāt is the Arabic word for ‘spices’. The mixture of finely ground spices is often used to season lamb, fish, chicken, beef, and soups and may be used as a condiment.


  1. Berbere: is a spice mixture whose constituent elements usually include chili peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, korarima, rue, ajwain or radhuni, nigella, and fenugreek. It is a key ingredient in the cuisines of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Hot, peppery, and fragrant, this spice blend is especially great in soups and stews, but is versatile enough for just about anything. It can also be used as a dry rub for meat, in marinades, sprinkled on veggies, and to add heat to any dish that could use a little kick. Use it in couscous or quinoa. Add it to apple chips or dried fruit.
  2. Harissa: In Moroccan cuisine harissa is used as a seasoning for tagines and couscous and as a spread. Harissa is also often used in harira and lentil soup. Almost any bland dish can be enhanced with this spicy and flavor-packed sauce or paste. Harissa is made with red peppers that are very rich in vitamin Evitamin Cironmanganesecoppervitamin B6 and vitamin K.

East Asian

  1. Miso: is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji. The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso soup. High in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, miso played an important nutritional role in feudal Japan. Miso is still widely used in Japan, both in traditional and modern cooking, and has been gaining worldwide interest.
  2. Sesame: Sesame seed is a common ingredient in various cuisines particularly Asian. It is used whole in cooking for its rich, nutty flavour. Sesame consumption produces small reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

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