They say variety is the spice of life, which couldn’t be truer, especially when it comes to using spices in your cooking. When you come up with the right combinations, you can make magic in the kitchen, experiencing delicious, flavorful meals. However, you have to be smart about what you’re mixing. Certain spices play well together, while other combinations can be overwhelming. Like many things in life, the right blend of spices is all about balance! If you’re looking for inspiration, try these seven spice and herb combinations in your cooking to wow your palette.
Spices and Herbs You Can Mix Together
Rosemary and Thyme
Rosemary and thyme work well together because of their robust and complementary flavors. Though rosemary has a piney, earthy taste, it still pairs beautifully with thyme’s subtle lemon flavor. These herbs are classic companions in roasts and stews, but they also create depth in many other savory dishes. Use them to enhance the aromatic profile of meats, vegetables, and sauces.
Cinnamon and Cardamom
The warmth and sweetly spiced taste of cinnamon blend seamlessly with cardamom’s citrusy, floral undertones. When used together, cinnamon and cardamom create a complex, multi-dimensional flavor that can enhance beverages like chai tea. This pairing is also a staple in various baked goods like cinnamon rolls and spiced cakes, infusing them with a comforting and exotic aroma.
Basil and Oregano
Basil’s sweet and slightly peppery taste and oregano’s earthy, pungent notes form a dynamic duo. This combination of spices is often found in Italian cuisine, working wonders in tomato-based dishes like pizzas and pasta sauces. Together, they enhance the herbal depth and balance of traditional Mediterranean flavors.
Allspice and Cloves
If you want something that complements whole cloves’ rich, intense warmth, try pairing it with whole allspice, which features a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Combined, these two spices help amplify the warm, comforting sensation that both herbs individually bring to dishes. This pairing is a fan favorite during the colder months because you can use it to spice up hearty dishes like braised meats or mulled beverages.
Coriander and Cumin
Are you making a Middle Eastern or Indian dish? You’ll want to try mixing coriander and cumin. Coriander’s citrusy, slightly sweet flavor combines with cumin’s earthy, nutty tones to create a delicious flavor explosion. Use these spices together to add depth and complexity to things like curries, roasted vegetables, and rice dishes.
Mint and Lemon Verbena
The combination of mint and lemon verbena might sound like a body lotion or soap, but it works just as well in the kitchen — or at the bar. Mint’s cool, refreshing flavor complements lemon verbena’s bright, citrusy notes and is excellent for creating herbal teas, infusions, and cocktails. The results? A revitalizing and aromatic beverage, perfect for soothing and invigorating the senses.
Ginger and Turmeric
You probably know that spices and herbs possess many health benefits. This is especially true when it comes to ginger and turmeric. The best part is they go great together! Ginger’s zesty, slightly spicy kick combined with turmeric’s earthy, slightly bitter undertones works wonders in the kitchen. Often seen in Asian and Indian cooking, this duo adds depth to dishes like curries, stir-fries, and soups.
Remember, striking the right balance is the key to working with any of these spices and herbs. Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavor pairings — doing so will help you develop a better understanding of how to use them effectively in your cooking.
Here’s to creating harmonious flavors in your dishes with these spice pairings!