Similar to thyme, but stronger and less subtle. A native of southern India, its light brown to purple-red seeds resemble celery seeds in size and shape. Ajwain is most commonly added to chutneys, curried dishes, breads and legumes. Coming from the same botanical family as cumin and parsley, it is also known as carom and bishop’s weed.
The whole berry of the pimento bush, this is the size of a large pea and has a deep rich brown color. Clove and pepper-ish flavors are very pronounced, especially when ground fresh. Used widely in Jamaican jerk and Caribbean dishes. Also nice in holiday pastries.
Unripe mangoes are sun-dried and ground to a powder which is used to give a sour tang to many East Indian dishes including meats, vegetables and curried dishes. Often added to chutneys, pickles and some stir fries much as vinegar is used in other parts of the world. It is also called simply mango powder.
Anise is primarily associated with cakes, biscuits and confectionery, as well as rye breads. It is used in much the same way as fennel to flavour fish, poultry, soups and root vegetable dishes. Anise is the true taste of licorice.
MEDICINAL: It helps with digestion and sweetens the breath, so it is chewed after meals in parts of Europe, the Middle East and India.
This dried, star-shaped fruit grows on small evergreen trees in China and Vietnam. A dark brown pod that contains a pea-sized seed in each of its eight segments. Its smoky, licorice flavor makes it a distinctive ingredient in Chinese braised dishes and Malaysian curries, or use it as a garnish.
Annatto is used for coloring cheeses, confectionery, butter and cheeses. It is more widely used in the Caribbean and Latin America, especially Guatemala and Mexico. The seeds are also particularly associated with Filipino cuisine, in dishes like; ukoy, shrimp and sweet potato fritters; pipian, chicken and pork in an annatto oil sauce; and kari-kari, a brightly colored vegetable and oxtail stew. Annatto has a slightly peppery taste with a hint of nutmeg.
ORIGIN: Central America
MEDICINAL: Annatto was once used to control fevers, dysentery and kidney diseases, though is now used mostly as a dye in medical preparations such as ointments and plasters.
Use in minute quantities, adding directly to cooking
liquid, frying in oil, or steeping in water. Asafoetida
is used mostly in Indian vegetarian cooking, in which
the strong onion-garlic flavour enhances many dishes.
It is also suited to many fish dishes and some
pappadums are seasoned with asafoetida.
MEDICINAL: Known as an antidote for flatulence and is
also prescribed for respiratory conditions like asthma,
bronchitis and whooping cough.
Tomato sauces call out for a dash of this intense
dried form of the common herb. Gardens in Egypt
can produce an intensely flavored leaf with hints
at an anise flavor and mild sweetness. Best in
dishes that will be heated to release the full flavor.
MEDICINAL: Eases abdominal pains,relieves flatulence.
OUT OF STOCK
Black cumin grows wild in Iran and Kashmir. Called royal cumin, or kala jeera in India, the small, dark brown, curved seeds are highly aromatic, with a resinous, astringent flavor that’s sweeter and more complex than common cumin. It’s preferred for northern Indian meat kormas and shows up in savory dishes of North Africa and the Middle East.
OUT OF STOCK
MEDICINAL: Helps build your immune system
The highly aromatic, somewhat fermented flavor notes in black limes complement chicken and fish particularly well. Surprisingly, one or two pierced black limes in an oxtail stew give it a welcome degree of piquancy. When adding whole black limes to a dish or putting one in the
cavity of poultry before cooking, make a few holes with a skewer or the tines of a fork to allow the cooking juices to infuse with the tasty inside.
The Smoked black pepper many of us use every day to season food has a wide variety of medicinal applications. Ancient herbalists used pepper as a stimulant to weak membranes, especially to treat runny nose, and also to treat hemorrhoids. This is certified organic.
One of the world’s very ancient spices. Cardamom is often included in Indian sweet dishes and drinks. At least partially because of its high price, it is seen as a ‘festive’ spice. Other uses are; in pickles, especially pickled herring; in punches and mulled wines; occasionally with meat,
poultry and shellfish.