Entertaining

6 Unusual Spices You Didn’t Know You Should Be Cooking With

6 Unusual Spices You Didn’t Know
Image courtesy Amazon
Image courtesy Amazon

* Discover new spices to give your dish bold flavors and depth
* Featuring rare and uncommon spices
* Can be used with sweet and savory foods

You might not be the next Gordon Ramsay or Nancy Silverton, but for pro and novice cookers alike, experimenting and adding the right spice can help elevate even the simplest of dishes and bring your food to life. Spices such as cinnamon, turmeric and coriander are commonly used, but here are 6 unusual spices that will wow you with their bold and exotic flavor profiles.

1. Sumac

The sumac berries are indigenous to Iran and are a popular ingredient in many Middle Eastern dishes. Thanks to its tart, lemony flavor, the sumac makes for a great substitution for recipes that call for lemons while giving your food a gorgeous deep red hue color, naturally.

Sumac Spice

  

2. Instant Espresso Powder

This uncommon form of spice helps elevate sweet dishes such as chocolate, pudding, cake batter and frosting. For those who aren’t fans of coffee or don’t want the taste to linger in their dessert, you’re in luck, as the espresso powder is used solely to enhance and enrich the chocolate flavor instead of masking it.

Espresso Powder Spice

  

3. Annatto

Annatto seeds come from the tropical Achiote tree that likely originated in Brazil. Fun fact: Did you know annatto is what’s used to turn processed cheese orange? While it adds a brilliant orange color, annatto is also known to create savory layers of flavors to meat dishes, like pork. By combining a simple blend of herbs, spices, onions, garlic and citrus, the annatto paste acts as a marinade, then as a sauce so each bite you take brings out its bold, earthy and slightly peppery flavors.

Annato Spice

  

4. Nigella Seeds

If you’re a fan of naan, you’ve probably had nigella seeds on more than one occasion. These tiny black seeds can also spice up your favorite stew and vegetable dishes thanks to its peppery flavor and subtle onion scent.

Nigella Seeds Spice

  

5. Anardana

Anardana is made from pomegranate seeds, but don’t expect them to taste like them, too. Drying the seeds bring out its tartness and gives them a slight molasses flavor which pairs nicely with orange zest and cinnamon. Try anardana on roasted or steamed vegetables to give them a kick of flavor and depth.

Anardana Spice

  

6. Black Sesame Seeds

With its rich, nutty flavor, black sesame seeds add a distinguished flavor that will elevate any dish and provide a nice contrast. Sprinkle some on noodle dishes like stir-fry, chow mein or pad thai; throw in a lime wedge and chopped scallions to take your meal to a whole different (and delicious) level.

Black Sesame Seeds

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