Know your spices Part Three

3 November 2015 / Posted in Be FoodWise

The last of our three part series of getting to know your spices introduces us to gems like nutmeg, aniseed and caraway. It's always good to keep in mind that spices don't go bad or old, but they do lose their flavour and colour as time goes by. Store them in airtight containers and away from direct sunlight. Ground spices can last 1 - 2 years if stored correctly and whole spices can last up to 4 years. Storing your spices in a refrigerator will also extend its shelf life.    

Garam Masala

Garam Masala is an aromatic mixture of ground spices used as a base in many Indian dishes. The proportion of spices changes according to the dish being cooked (and the cook!) but typical ingredients are cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper, with substitutions or additions made depending on whether the dish includes meat, vegetables or fish.


With a sweet and pungent flavour it pairs well with baked goods. It also adds a warm note to savoury dishes such as waterblometjie bredie. Available in both ground and whole spice.


A small brown oval seed that has a liquorice flavour. It goes well with stews and baking.


Turmeric, also known as Borrie, gives food a bright yellow colour. Use sparingly as it can taste bitter. Use in curries, Indian dishes, sauces, pickles and for colouring dishes such as rice. 

Caraway seeds

Caraway is a warming and aromatic seed with an aniseed-like flavour.  Commonly used in rye breads, cabbage, roasted carrots, potatoes, soups, pickles (sauerkraut), teas, liquors and spirits.

Want to read more?

 Enjoyed this article? Read part one here and read part two here