The Spice Trade

Industry insider knowledge, and usage tips on spices and other ingredients


saffron farmers

Saffron is known as the emperor of spices. Why? Because it’s an extremely laborious and tedious process to harvest. It can grow in extreme hot and dry climates, as well as survive in snow. But, good grains of commercial saffron need extremely precise conditions to develop their exquisite flavour. Saffron threads are taken from the insides of orchids – perhaps the rarest and most expensive branch of flowers. A grain of good commercial Saffron contains the stigmas and styles of nine flowers, and consequently 4,320 orchids are required to yield around 30 grams of Saffron. The stigmas need to be … keep reading

Curry Powder (Recipe)


Everyone buys it, but everyone doesn’t know how to make it. We covered a simple version of our curry powder in our guide to grinding spices and herbs. Here is a more potent and flavourful version, adapted from vegetarian food blogger Veggie Belly’s recipe. This curry powder can act as a base for most Indian and Malaysian curries. Usually 15-20 grams are used per serving. So this curry powder recipe is good for around 4 meals. Curry Powder (full flavoured) Ingredients – makes 75 grams 2 tablespoons Coriander Seeds 1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds 1 tablespoon Fennel Seeds 2-3 dried Red … keep reading

Yogi Tea (Recipe)


Not to be confused with the brand name tea, Yogi tea is also a type of tea. Very similar to Indian Masala Chai, Yogi Tea is another type of spiced tea drink. Unlike Masala Chai, Yogi tea is brewed using a slower process which allows the spices to be fully infused in the tea. Drinking Yogi tea has many health benefits. It’s loaded with numerous spices, and the flavours and health potential of each of these is conveniently transferred to the drink! No wonder it’s so popular around the world. If you have a good stock of spices, the drink … keep reading

Bay Leaves: The Healthy Leaf from the Past?

spicerack bay leaves

Bay Leaves are an ancient spice, most famous for their usage in ancient Greece. It’s now a staple in European cuisine, as well as growing in popularity around the world. They can be used in cooking most soups, stews, sauces, vegetable and meat dishes. One or two leaves plus a slow cooking method is enough to infuse a score of new taste. The leaves are most often used whole and removed before eating, so making them very simple to add to recipes. Nowadays, more parts of the world have also begun to cultivate their own Bay Leaves. India and Pakistan … keep reading

Spice cheat sheet: Your one stop spice resource


SPICE (click to see more info) BIRTHPLACE USED COMMONLY IN Bay Leaves Turkey Curries, stews, soups, and generally all sauces with a long cooking time Black Pepper India All cuisines as seasoning, chinese sauces, tea Caraway Finland Beef, chicken, vegetable dishes, breads Cardamom India Tea, curries, soups, rubs, desserts Cassia China Desserts, spice rubs, tea, soup, sauces, baked goods, grilled dishes Chilli Worldwide Almost all dishes, also marinades, salsas Cinnamon Sri Lanka Baked goods, desserts Clove Tanzania Tea, soups, french sauces, noodles, pork, beef, vegetable dishes Cubeb Indonesia In place of pepper in Asian cuisine Cumin India Bread, vegetable, curry, … keep reading

Recipe: Chole Masala (Indian Cooking)


Chole Masala is one of the more popular North Indian dishes, and also relies heavily on traditional Indian cooking techniques. Also known as “Garbanzo beans” or “Chickpeas”, this recipe for Chole Masala is the result of layering spice upon spice to produce a rich, flavourful curry. Garbanzo beans are also highly nutritious. As a member of the legume family, they are highly recommended for optimizing health and preventing disease by the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and American Cancer societies. Rehydrating dried beans is always going to be more healthy and flavourful, but this recipe can be sped up … keep reading

The BIG Guide to Chillies


The most popular chillies from around the world Chillies are a spice used in every part of the world. They provide one of the basic flavours and is an essential part of many traditional dishes. There are many different kinds of chilli peppers used across the world. Chillies from Mexico are different from the chillies in India or China, and then there is the branch of European chillies too. These varieties all complement their national cuisine in their own unique ways. Even though the primary flavour given by chillies is spice, they are more complex and have other flavour notes … keep reading