Super spices

The happy yogi loves to learn about all things 'cooking'. These tips were found in a favourite book, Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal, PHD. The book also has wonderful information about the healing benefits of many spices.


  • To intensify aroma, roast coriander seeds before you grind them.
  • Add whole or ground seeds to stews, marinades, casseroles and vinaigrettes.
  • Sprinkle coriander on sautéed mushrooms.
  • Add fresh coriander leaves to salad dressings or Vegenaise.
  • Coarsely grind coriander and rub it into tofu or seitan before cooking.
  • Mix coriander seeds with peppercorns in the peppermill you use at the stove.
  • Create a Moroccan rub for your meat substitute: mix asafoetida, butter, paprika and coriander, and rub it on before cooking.
Pairs well with:

allspice, cardamom, clove, coconut, cumin, fennel seeds, ginger, sun-dried tomato, turmeric.



  • Make a glaze for vegetables by combining ½ cup cooking oil with ½ cup orange juice and 1 tbsp of ground cumin. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Use it as a flavouring in cheese sauces.
  • Add roasted seeds to marinades.
  • Use cumin to help spice up creamy dips. Add toasted seeds to lentils or rice pilaf.
Pairs well with:

ajowan, allspice, basil, black pepper, caraway, chilli, cinnamon, coriander, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, ginger, mustard seeds, oregano, pumpkin seeds, saffron, turmeric.


Curry Leaves

  • Add fresh curry leaves to salads and salad dressings.
  • Try them in chilli.
  • Add a few fresh leaves to vegetable soup and add a fresh leaf to each bowl of soup.
  • Use instead of bay leaf for a change of pace and taste.
  • The citrus-like flavour of curry leaves makes them a natural for marinades.
  • Add a leaf or two for pickling recipes.
Pairs well with:

allspice, chilli, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, fennel seeds.


Fennel seeds

  • Mix a tablespoon of seeds into your favourite dough.
  • Dry and crush toasted fennel seeds and steep them in tea.
  • Sprinkle fennel seeds on top of muffins or cakes before baking.
  • Add ground fennel to scrambled tofu.
  • Add to fruit salads.
  • Fennel also works well with tomatoes, olives and olive oil.
Pairs well with:

bay leaf, black cumin seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, fenugreek seeds, galangal, ginger, mustard seeds, rosemary, sun-dried tomato, tamarind, turmeric.


  • Make a Chinese dipping sauce with ¾ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup rice vinegar, 2 tbsp fresh grated ginger and ½ tbsp sesame oil.
  • Grate fresh ginger and dried mint into melted butter and serve as a dipping sauce.
  • Rub into tofu before cooking or grate fresh ginger over cooked tofu or noodles.
  • Sprinkle ground ginger in apple sauce or use it in fruit pie fillings.
Pairs well with:

allspice, cardamom, chilli, cinnamon, clove, coconut, coriander, cumin, curry leaves, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, parsley, sesame seeds, star anise, tamarind, turmeric, vanilla.



  • Add a dollop of horseradish to potato salads, coleslaws and dips.
  • Use it to give apple sauce a kick.
  • Mix horseradish with sour cream and whip it into mashed potatoes.
  • To make a cocktail sauce, mix equal parts of ketchup and horseradish. Add a few splashes of lemon juice.
Pairs well with:

basil, black pepper, celery seeds, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, parsley, rosemary, sesame seeds, sun-dried tomato.


Lemon grass

  • Cut the stalks coarsely and add them when steaming veggies.
  • Use whole stalks as stirrers to put a touch of lemon in drinks or to intensify lemonade.
  • Break 2 stalks into pieces and grind them with coriander seeds. Combine the ground spices with salt and brown sugar, and rub into veggie kebabs.
  • Add to stews with a base of coconut milk.
Pairs well with:

black cumin seeds, cardamom, chilli, cinnamon, clove, coconut, coriander, cumin, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, galangal, ginger, tamarind, turmeric.


Mustard seeds

  • Add whole seeds to marinades for grilled foods.
  • Toast mustard seeds and grated coconut, and sprinkle over steamed beans.
  • Mustard seeds go with all the cruciferous vegetables. Fry in oil until they pop and sprinkle them over cooked cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens or mustard greens.
  • Make mustard vinaigrette by combining 2 tsp of mustard seeds, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar. Slowly whisk in 1/3 cup of olive oil.
Pairs well with:

allspice, black cumin seeds, cardamom, chilli, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, fennel seeds, galangal, ginger, star anise, tamarind and turmeric.



  • Add a teaspoon or two to stews.
  • Add to fried cabbage.
  • To optimise its cancer-fighting properties, add it to cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and watercress.
  • Add to scrambled tofu for extra flavour and intense yellow colour.
  • Heat turmeric in a little oil before adding liquid to make basmati rice.
  • Use it as flavouring for stews and dishes using coconut milk.
  • Blend it into butter and drizzle over cooked vegetables.
  • Use it as a spice in dishes featuring lentils.
Pairs well with:

allspice, black pepper, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, coconut, coriander, cumin, fennel seeds, galangal, ginger, mustard seeds, sun-dried tomatoes.

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