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Which spices do you use most often?

by DamienR (follow)
Photographer and writer.
Spices (59)      Question (20)      favourite (3)     
The right spice can bring a richness to almost any dish. Spices are featured predominantly in almost every meal made in my house. Which spices do you use most? For which recipes?

"Spices1" by Photo taken by Bertrand Devouard - Own work/travail personnel. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spices1.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Spices1.jpg

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I use a lot of spices and herbs to flavour food instead of using butter and salt. The most common everyday ones we use are basil, oregano, turmeric, fennel seeds and chilli. A little spice goes a long way in ramping up a plain meal into a delicious one.
I recently made a point of learning how to cook some Indian dishes, so I find I'm using turmeric a lot. I see fennel seeds in a lot of recipes too, but I can't seem to find a store that carries them here.
I buy fennel seeds from Coles and Woolworths (their own brand).
go to health food shops, they have celery and fennel seeds

by davja
Curry powder, garam masala and chipotle are my faves, but we us oregano and basil more often than anything else.
Paprika is usually the spice I go for. As for herbs, I usually choose oregano.
I never used paprika very often until I started writing RecipeYum. Now I find myself adding it all the time!
You must find a lot of good recipes for it on here then.
I love lighter asian style dishes so I cant go past garlic power, ground cumin and celery leaf.

Also, if you can find a really good dried herb mix then it's invaluable for any beef- or potato-based dishes.
Paprika, cayenne pepper, and chilli powder for dishes that need a bit of spice. I also use paprika in things like dips. In dishes that aren't spicy, like cottage pie, or anything with minced beef, turkey, or pork, I'd use herbs: oregano most regularly but also marjoram, thyme, rosemary, parsley. I like to use fennel seeds occasionally too, although they are not as popular with the rest of the family!
Lately we have been cooking quite a few curries and I think turmeric, cumin and ground coriander where used the most. We've also done some experimentation with unusual spices in Italian sauces such as mace and fenugreek. Mace is probably the most unique, coming from the outer shell of nutmeg, it has similar characteristics but slightly peppery overtones making it a great addition to both sweet and savoury meals - we highly recommend giving it a try!
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