Archive: Spice Rack

Guided Curry Tour

K Street: I love curries but am a bit intimidated by all of the spices. In an attempt to overcome this, I've talked some friends into joining me for a "curry day" and having a do-it-yourself cooking class. We want to get the relevant spices, toast and grind them -- we are planning to make 3-4 dishes, if possible, and then we'll sit down and eat when all is over. My question is whether you can suggest a good source for recipes that will go over how to handle the spices, etc. I saw that you referenced a new curry cookbook in your blog recently, so thought that might be an option. Ideas? As I mentioned in this week’s chat, I love this idea. In fact, it’s got me thinking about the possibility of doing a “Curry Week” in this space this fall, announced in advance so that readers could...


By Kim ODonnel | September 19, 2008; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (6)

Spice Rack: Cumin and Coriander, the Ancient, Dynamic Duo

Coriander and cumin. They go together like... peanut butter and jelly? Well, sort of. While cumin lends a musky perfume, coriander is more citrus-like, even a little dusty. They complement in each other in cuisines around the world -- Cuban, Mexican, Indian, Turkish, Lebanese -- and they've been pals for ages. These spice girls have been hanging together a really long time. Spice power: Coriander (left) and cumin (right) seeds. (Kim O'Donnel) In fact, there are biblical references to both plants in the book of Exodus (16:31): And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. And in the book of Isaiah (28:25): When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed...


By Kim ODonnel | February 20, 2008; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (15)

What's Your Spice IQ?

"How do I know which spices and herbs go together?" This is a question I've been hearing with increased frequency over the past few months. It's one thing to learn how to salt and pepper your food, which is an art unto itself; it's quite another to take the seasoning quotient to another level and infuse it with flavors that represent cuisines from different parts of the world. Variety is the spice of life: (in clockwise order) cardamom pods; nutmeg; cloves; coriander seeds. (Kim O'Donnel) It got me thinking how I first learned to use herbs and spices (by trial and error) and how I attained a higher spice IQ (practice and study). Still, some of the most enthusiastic cooks remain tripped up by the mysterious contents of those glass jars, and all too often, stick with what they know, using the same old spice combinations for every dish. To...


By Kim ODonnel | January 15, 2008; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (39)


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