Exotic Spices to Use in Your Kitchen

They enrich any recipe with unique flavors and help you get unforgettable dishes. Learn how to use some of the most exotic spices in the kitchen.

Exotic Spices to Use in Your Kitchen

1. Green pepper

Subject to evaporation in vacuum and at very low temperatures, this pepper becomes very strong, having both the spice and also the specific aromatic properties. Although it comes from the same branch as simple pepper, it is green – gray. This color is due to the fact that in order to obtain green pepper, it must be picked while the berries are still unripe.

Green pepper is often used in decorating foods. It has made its way into the top spices in Europe, thanks to the famous green pepper steak recipe. It is best to use it in traditional dishes from the countries where it originates (a curry or a spicy Asian sauce).

Exotic Spices to Use in Your Kitchen

2. Sechuan pepper

Sechuan is a province of China. Sechuan pepper offers a nice balance between a slightly spicy taste and a pleasant delicate aroma, reminiscent of Chinese teas. Component of the well -known spice mixture called five spice (Sechuan pepper, garlic, cinnamon, dill / fennel and anise), Sechuan pepper came in the graces of famous chefs. And rightly so. Very fine in terms of aroma, it adds a particular flavor to dishes, perfect for mushrooms and also ideal for seasoning poultry meat. The slightly sweet taste makes it ideal for sweet and salty dishes, such as duck. It also offers the spice heat needed to cook pears in wine and it is perfect in Asian recipes such as sauces.

Exotic Spices to Use in Your Kitchen

3. Paella – special mix

This mixture of different spices and flavors was specifically designed to highlight the specific preparation of the Spanish dish paella. It replaces the Indian saffron and adds a touch of pungency due to other spices found in the composition of the mix: garlic, saffron, paprika, red pepper (cayenne). At the same time, it may be ideal for a chef who does not have all these spices in their separate form.

During preparation, you can add the equivalent of a sachet of spices for 4-6 servings paella halfway through the cooking.

Exotic Spices to Use in Your Kitchen

4. Yellow ras el hanout

Turmeric plant is the one that provides the specific golden color to ras el hanout. It is not spicy, but slightly sweet and very aromatic. This blend of spices is specific to North Africa. Yellow ras el hanout has in its composition coriander, turmeric, sweet fennel, rosemary and fenugreek.

It may also contain traces of nuts, milk, soy, gluten, celery, sulphites, sesame, mustard. This blend of spices is the key ingredient in preparing couscous. This is exactly the thing that makes the difference and gives a special note this dish. Using this mixture is as simple as possible. Heating the spices in a little bit of olive oil concentrates all the wonderful flavors.

Exotic Spices to Use in Your Kitchen

5. Red ras el hanout

Red pepper gives it a bit of spice, easily annihilated by cumin. It contains coriander, dill / fennel, fenugreek, rosemary cumin and red pepper (cayenne pepper). It may contain traces of nuts, milk, soy, gluten, celery, sulphites, sesame, mustard.

Exotic Spices to Use in Your Kitchen

6. Tonka beans

The flavor of this type of beans comes closer to that of the bitterness of almonds, but with a slight vanilla taste. Recently discovered in European cuisine, Tonka beans come in good resonance with chocolate. It seasons very well creams, foams, chocolate and generally all chocolate desserts.

Its peculiarity is that it provides durability of taste. Used with a Belgian or Swiss chocolate (less than 75%) it highlights a slightly bitter note, which will make the desert unique. Tonka beans must be ground to obtain a powder, or just crushed to obtain small pieces.

Other recipes borrow tonka beans as well. For example, used in mashed potatoes or a creme brulee it simply delights your taste buds.

Exotic Spices to Use in Your Kitchen

7. Saffron

Presented in small transparent bottles like those for pepper, crushed saffron (Spanish origin) is of the highest quality. Once you open the bottle, its pleasant scent foretells taste. Saffron can be added in both salty and sweet dishes. A pinch added to a paella or a risotto or couscous will make a strong difference! The same effect can be used for the preparation of Mediterranean-style fish. For a touch of originality, season an orange salad with it.

Exotic Spices to Use in Your Kitchen

8. Sumac 

Sour, not acidic! Sumac highlights the taste of wild mushrooms. The sensation in the mouth is very pleasant when you taste  a bit of this red powder on your fingertip. Salty, sour, fragrant, small fireworks. It finds its place in the kitchen when used in seasoning stews of wild mushrooms or mushrooms à la Grecque. At the same time, it can be an ideal condiment for peas or white beans.

Exotic Spices to Use in Your Kitchen

9. Tagine mix

An intense spice due to white pepper, but which allows the subtle flavors of coriander and ginger to make their presence felt. Turmeric, ginger, coriander, white pepper and cinnamon. May contain traces of nuts, milk, soy, gluten, sesame seeds, sulfur mustard, celery. This mixture is ideal for cooking the delicious North African tagine.

This mixture will be used exclusively on recipes with vegetables and white meat (chicken and veal), including the famous preserved lemon chicken tagine.

Exotic Spices to Use in Your Kitchen

10. Star anise

It comes from Southeastern China and was discovered by Marco Polo. Anise is a key ingredient of the Chinese mixture five spice, defining its taste. Using powder or whole anise will prove to be a real help for those foods that require a bit of flavor, spice.

Whole anise can be cut into pieces or simply added during cooking. It accompanies Mediterranean fish dishes very well, as well as white meat or fish. For dessert, add anise to baked butter pears.