5-Minute Crafts
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Different Kinds of Spices, and What They’re Used For

For centuries, spices have been used to add flavor to food, and today, we add spices to a huge number of meals.

5-Minute Crafts is going to tell you where and when to use certain spices.

The difference between herbs and spices

A lot of people see no difference between the terms “spices” and “herbs,” even though they are, indeed, quite different. Spices are used to add flavor to food. Herbs are the leaves, flowers, and stems used in cooking.

Most of the time, spices are dried, and herbs can be used both fresh and dried.


Turmeric is a spice related to ginger. It’s orange-yellow in color and has a bitter, earthy flavor. It’s used as a powder in cooking. It’s widely used in Asian cuisine, especially Indian.

Where to use it: curries, rice, stews, and soups.


Allspice got its name thanks to the rich taste that results when combining cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. It’s the unripe berry of the tree called myrtle pepper.

This pepper is used in desserts and meals of the North American, European, and Arab cuisines.

Where to use it: curries, stews, soups, and desserts.

Black pepper

Black pepper is one of the most famous and widely-used spices in the world. It’s made by drying the berries of pepper. It can be used as a whole berry or powdered.

Where to use it: in lots of meals as the main spice.

Chili pepper

Chili is red pepper that has a very spicy flavor. It can be used both fresh and powdered in meals. It’s often used in Indian and Mexican cuisines.

Where to use it: curry, marinades, sauces, and many Latin American meals.


Vanilla is a spice from vanilla orchids. It has a sweet and creamy flavor valued around the entire world. It’s hard to ripen, so it’s a very expensive spice.

Where to use it: ice cream, desserts, pastries, and drinks.


Cinnamon is a spice people have been using for centuries. The spice is the bark of a tree and has a brown color. The taste is sweet with fruity notes. It’s used in sticks and in powder form.

Where to use it: desserts, pastries, hot and cold drinks, and for preserving.


Clove is a dried bud of the clove tree. The spice has a rich bittersweet flavor and a sweet taste.

Whole buds are often used in curries and drinks, and young cloves are used in sweet desserts. Cloves can be combined with cinnamon, black pepper and allspice, anise, and cumin.

Where to use it: curry, marinades, sauces, and sweet desserts.


Ginger is a plant often used in cooking. Thanks to its bold peppery flavor and lemon notes, it’s perfectly combined with a lot of different meals and is a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine.

Fresh and dried ginger roots are used along with ginger powder.

Where to use it: pastries, sweets, curries, stews, side dishes, soups, and other meals.


Paprika is a chili pepper that’s completely ground. This spice is often used in Spanish, Hungarian, and South American cuisines. It doesn’t make meals spicier, but rather, sweet and a bit smoky.

Where to use it: soups, stews, rice, and other side dishes.


Even though garlic is basically a vegetable, chefs often used it as a spice. Garlic has a bittersweet, spicy taste and a bold flavor. It can be used fresh or dried.

Where to use it: soups, stews, pastries, meat, salads, and side dishes.


Mustard is one of the oldest spices people have used to make different meals tastier. Mustard seeds are often used ground or whole. Mustard seeds are widely used in Indian, Mediterranean, Asian, and African meals.

Where to use it: meat, vegetables, cheese, sauces, soups, marinades, and as an addition to sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs.


Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. To make 454 grams of saffron, you need 75,000 flowers.

Saffron has a flowery, sweet taste and a honey flavor that can be really bold, which is why it’s used in very small quantities.

Where to use it: drinks, meat, side dishes, and paella.


Nutmeg is ground seeds of Myristica fragrans that have an earthy and sweet taste, similar to nuts.

Where to use it: pastries, sweets, meat, and marinades.


Cardamon is a universal spice used in lots of meals, drinks, and sweets. It has bold citrus, pepper, and sweet flavors that can be a great addition to sweet and salty meals.

There are 2 kinds of cardamon. Green cardamon that has a light and sweet flavor is used more often. It’s used to add to desserts and sweet drinks. Black cardamon, with its smoky flavor, is often used in rice and curry. It can be used powdered and as whole seeds.

Where to use it: pastries, sweets, curries, drinks, and side dishes.


Coriander seeds can be used as whole seeds or ground. They have a citrus-nutty taste that is often valued in Chinese, Indian, and South-Asian cuisines.
✅ To increase the taste and smell of coriander, you can fry the seeds on a dry frying pan with other spices. It will release the essential oils.

Where to use it: curries and chicken dishes.


This spice has a nutty taste with earthy notes. Cumin seeds can be used in cooking as whole seeds or powdered with other spices. It’s popular in Asian, African, Mexican, and Indian cuisines.

Where to use it: stews, soups, sauces, pastries, and marinades.


Anise seeds have a sweet, peppery taste and a flavor similar to fennel. This spice is used for sweets and drinks as whole seeds or powder.

Where to use it: pastries, sweets, and drinks.

Star anise

Star anise is a lot of like anise, but it’s from a different plant. In Asian cuisine, it’s used to flavor a series of meals.

It has a sweet, licorice flavor. It can be used as whole seeds or powdered.

Where to use it: meat, curries, soups, and drinks.

5-Minute Crafts/Food/Different Kinds of Spices, and What They’re Used For
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