One of the things that make us happy is food, and Chefs will always tell you that every well-made food should have its own secret spice that would give it a unique taste. For the purpose of this post, we will like to refer to these spices as ‘super tastemakers’. They are known to add an unusual taste and flavor to different foods, from local African dishes to continental dishes. Just try not to salivate as we take you through this interesting ride on popular super tastemakers that often make interesting meals.
First on our list is Ginger. The healing properties of this interesting spice cannot be overemphasized. It is known to be a home remedy for common cold, cough and also serves as an antioxidant in the body, cleansing the body from a number of toxic materials.
Besides the healing properties of ginger, it has an irresistible taste in stews and sauces. Have you tried it with tomato stews or chicken soups? How about other meals like Jollof rice, fried rice or curry rice? You will certainly be blown away with its tasty goodness.
Let’s introduce this curry leaves analysis with a little joke of a popular friend of the house, John, who decided to use curry leaves in making Egusi soup. So hilarious! He did that because he was totally blown away with how good it tasted in his tomato stew the previous day, that he thought he could replicate that with his local soup. Your guess is as good as ours. They weren’t exactly a perfect fit, but John enjoyed his meal all the same.
Curry leaves are natural spices that taste great in a number of dishes, especially continental dishes. They do not often go well with African dishes but are a healthy and yummy fit for continental dishes. Use it for your stews, sauces and a variety of dishes like beans porridge, yam porridge, rice dishes etc.
This is probably one of the most powerful and highly medicinal spices that nature has. It is difficult to name any dish that doesn’t go well with onions. Yes it could give the mouth a funny smell when eaten raw, but we are certain that your internal organs will be having a time of their life to have those raw onions nourish and clean them up. Research shows that putting slices of onions in your socks, under your feet before going to bed, could be a perfect way to clean the body. Use onions for your local and continental soups and sauces.
Just as the name implies, they provide that natural mint flavor you just can’t do without. If you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, grow deep love for mint leaves, as they will keep your system free from free radicals that cause strange diseases and illnesses in the body. For best results, don’t cook them. Use them raw to flavor your food, soups and teas.
This is a very important spice with the botanical name, Parkia Biglobosa and used by almost every tribe in Nigeria. Commonly referred to as ‘Iru’ by the Yorubas and ‘dawa dawa’ by the Igbos, this spice, though it comes with a very unpleasant smell, makes delicious and tasty African soups you just can’t help but love. So, when you want to add a local flavour to your meals, just throw in a few locust beans.
Ogiri, often mistaken for Iru, is a local spice made from fermented oil or sesame and egusi seed. It has a very repelling odour but works wonders in meals. It is the super tastemaker for Nigerian soups like Bitter leaf soup, Oha soup, White soup, Egusi, Ogbono and many other soups.
Can we really get tired of Garlic? We are probably tired of its odour, but its health benefits and tastiness in meals is one in a million. Just like ginger, it might not be perfect for local soups and sauces. But when it comes to continental dishes, you can be sure of an A in every dish. Use garlic in marinating chicken and your taste buds would be in for a life changing experience.
Did we just say pepper? Yes Black pepper. It is not just super spicy hot, but it has an interesting flavor it adds to meals. The flavor is just different and is not like the regular peppers you have. Note that it is called black pepper because it gets black when dried. The fresh version of it is the yellow pepper.
Popularly known as ‘Nchanwu’ in Igbo language, scent leaf is a naturally grown leaf that adds a super flavor to meals. It is a weed but a very useful one at that as most dishes can be said to be incomplete without it. Just as the mint leaves, it is preferably used fresh and serves as a flavor for a variety of local and continental dishes.
This is a boom companion for bakers. It adds a special flavor to a variety of pasteries and snacks and is readily available in stores and markets. Besides baking, it is also used to give an interesting flavor to meals like jollof rice, yam, beans porridge etc.
Do you think we have left out any popular spice? Drop a comment for us in the comment box and we will gladly update the list. Don’t forget to share this article with friends.