What’s A Good Fenugreek Substitute?

Fenugreek Substitute

Fenugreek is used in many curry powder blends, as well as in other Indian dishes like chutneys. It is also used in dry rubs for meat as well as in certain tea blends. If you like cook Indian dishes, this is an indispensable spice and you should definitely keep it on hand.

Fenugreek is not the most readily available spice, so you may need a substitute if you do not live near an Indian grocery store. There are various effective and easy-to-find substitutes. You may have a number of these fenugreek alternatives in your kitchen right now.

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Chicory: From Salads To Coffee


The chicory herb is yet another plant that has been in use since ancient times. It was used in ancient Egypt and has been mentioned in texts dating back to 4,000 BC. In that era, this relative of the endive was grown for its seeds. The ancient Egyptians used the seeds as a digestive aid. It was even mentioned by Horace, who included it as a part of his diet. The herb was used by the Romans who ate it in salads.

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Chives Vs. Green Onions: SPICEography Showdown

Chives Vs Green Onions

Green onions and chives are both members of the large and diverse onion family. This family has other members like leeks, shallots and scallions; all these are alliums. Green onions are Allium fistulosum, chives are Allium schoenoprasum while leeks are Allium porrum and shallots are Allium stipitatum. Each of these herbs brings something different to the table. Chives and green onions are two of the most widely available and commonly used. Given that they are related, you may wonder how similar they are. Can you use green onions and chives as substitutes for each other? Do they have different flavors? Below, we will answer these questions by comparing these two herbs. Here is a look at how chives and green onions really compare to each other.

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What’s A Good Dill Substitute?

Dill Substitute

The use of dill dates all the way back to biblical times and there are recipes that use it alongside cucumber that date back to the mid 17th century. This herb’s flavor is reminiscent of caraway or anise and it has a frilly look that makes it great for use as a garnish. It is popular enough that many cooks keep some dried dill on hand. You can also find fresh dill at most grocery stores.

While dill does have a unique flavor profile, its flavor can be replicated with other herbs if you use them correctly. These herbs are all easy to find; in fact, you may have some of them in your spice cabinet right now.

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Annatto Seeds: The Colorful Spice

Annatto Seeds

Origin of annatto seeds

The name used for annatto in Latin America is achiote; its seeds have been widely used throughout Central and Latin America since the time of the Aztecs and Mayans. It gets its Latin name (bixa orellana) from Francisco de Orellano, the 16th-century discoverer of the Amazon. Both the Aztecs and Mayans viewed annatto as sacred; they used it as body paint and as a substitute for blood in their rituals. They also used annatto as ink for writing and as a medicine for treating various conditions.

The bright reddish orange color that annatto provides to food made it an effective food dye in addition to its other uses. The Aztecs added it to their xocolatl (chocolate) to give it a deeper color as well as to various other foods.

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Mustard Powder: Ancient And Versatile

Mustard Powder

Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all used mustard to flavor meat and fish. They would mix crushed mustard grains in with their food to enhance its flavor. The early Romans also used mustard pastes that were similar to the prepared mustards that we use today. These pastes consisted of ground mustard mixed with wine. Mustard was also considered a medicine as well as a condiment. Sixth century scientist Pythagoras recommended mustard for treating scorpion stings. Charlemagne would encourage the spice’s cultivation throughout his realm. It would eventually spread to England and Spain as well as to India via Vasco de Gama’s ships.

Jeremiah Colman of Colman’s Mustard fame would perfect a technique for grinding mustard seeds in 1866. This technique allowed for the seeds to be ground without bringing out their volatile oil thus preserving their flavor.

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What’s A Good Bay Leaf Substitute?

Bay Leaf Substitute

Bay leaves are among the earliest spices and have been in use since ancient times. It is one of the most widely traded as well. They are a little different from the rest of the herbs in your spice cabinet. For starters, there is the way that you use them. Unlike other herbs, most recipes that require bay leaves call for you to place a bay leaf into the pot whole and take it out before serving.

Bay leaves are from the Mediterranean region but are popular all over the world. They are usually used in dishes that require long cooking such as soups, pasta sauces and stews.

Despite the fact that the flavor of bay leaves is distinctive, several herbs can do a good job of replacing it if you have none on hand.

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Black Cardamom Vs. Green: SPICEography Showdown

Black Cardamom Vs Green

Cardamom comes in three colors, with each color having its own unique characteristics. The two most common colors are the black and green varieties with the green being the one that most of us know from the spice aisle in the grocery store. The third cardamom variety is the white variety, which is just bleached green cardamom.

Green cardamom is grown extensively in southwest India as well as in Guatemala, Costa Rica and Tanzania. Black cardamom comes mainly from the Himalayas with Nepal, India and China being the main producers.

When faced with a recipe that calls for cardamom, you may wonder which of the two you should choose. You may also have questions such as: is one better than the other? Can you use one type of cardamom as a replacement for the other? Which one will provide the most flavor? In this edition of SPICEography Showdown, we will answer those questions and more.

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