spicy spices

Top 10 Spicy Spices to Add a Kick to Your Recipes

Spicy food has been a trend these days. If you consider yourself a heat-lover, get to know better the top ten spicy spices below.

Spicy spices are pantry staples that can lend their aroma, flavor, and heat to any of your cooking. Not only do they add flavor to your recipes, but they also do your health good because of the healthy compounds all those spices have. Here are ten of the spiciest, most tasty spices available you can include in your diet.

spicy spices black pepper

Black Pepper

Let’s start with the world’s one of the most commonly used spices, black pepper. Native to India’s Malabar Coast, the spice derives from green, unripe berries of Piper nigrum or pepper plant. The fruits are then dried with their outer skin, resulting in a wrinkly, browned, blackened appearance.

Black pepper is sold in peppercorns and ground powder. The latter is much easier to store but has a much shorter shelf life compared to the former, which can stay intact for several years. Its taste has noticeable hotness due to the piperine compound content; hence, it’s considered one of the spiciest spices.

spicy spices white pepper

White Pepper

Coming from the same pepper plant as the black variety, white pepper is one of the hot spices widely used in Asian recipes. It is produced from ripened berries that are fermented to remove the outer skin and only lead to the white seed.

Similar to its black counterpart, white peppercorns have a much longer shelf life than ground powder. When it comes to taste, it has a much gentler and earthy flavor. But some argue that white pepper is spicier than black, with less complex flavor notes.

spicy spices cinnamon

Cinnamon

If you love chicken tikka masala, you must be familiar with garam masala. And cinnamon is one of the ingredients of this hot and spicy seasoning. In ancient times, cinnamon was considered a highly valued gift for the ruler. It’s now a constant favorite in many modern kitchens with various applications.

Cinnamon can be incorporated into sweet and savory cuisine, making it a versatile spice. Moreover, it has an aromatic essential oil content that is essentially made up of cinnamaldehyde. It’s the compound that makes cinnamon a hint of spicy. You can find this spice in your local grocery store, and it is popularly sold in powdered and stick forms.

spicy spices ginger

Ginger

Ginger is a well-known spice that comes from the same family as turmeric. It has a gingerol compound similar to piperin and capsaicin in pepper and chili. Gingerol is an active compound in ginger that provides any dishes a mild fiery flavor and also makes the human body feel warmer.

Although ginger is primarily used in Indian recipes, it’s also an essential ingredient in Asian and Caribbean cuisine. Ginger is available in various forms, including fresh, powdered, pickled, and even candied.

spicy spices cayenne pepper

Cayenne Pepper

Speaking of spicy spices, cayenne pepper should never be missed out. It’s produced from the Capsicum annuum plant that originates in the Cayenne region of French Guiana. Once the fruits are picked, they are dried and ground into fine powder. Sometimes they are combined with other spices to produce certain seasonings like cajun.

Cayenne pepper, which has 30,000-50,000 SHU, will give your food bold and powerful tastes. Add a pinch to give your seafood, hummus, or soup recipes subtle heat. Additionally, it goes well with sweet beverages like hot chocolate and lemonade.

spicy spices mustard seed

Mustard Seed

Mustard seeds come from Brassica or mustard plants native to North Africa and some parts of Asia and Europe. The seeds are tiny and available in three varieties, brown, black, and white. Black mustard seeds are the spiciest and the least common ones. The brown seeds are more pungent than white seeds and less spicy than the black ones.

Mustard seeds work well to enhance the flavor of various spicy seasoning recipe ideas, such as hot-flavored marinades, sauces, bean dishes, and curries. It’s widely available in any grocery store and can remain intact for 3-4 years on your kitchen shelf.

spicy spices nutmeg

Nutmeg

If you love food with a hint of heat that won’t make your stomach churn, nutmeg is no doubt a keeper. Originating in Indonesia’s Banda Islands, this spice can now be found in many households worldwide.

You can sprinkle the delicate ground nutmeg over your warm bowl of oatmeal to have nutty, subtle heat and sweet flavors. The unmatched flavor of this round nut-like spice can also be used to add flavor to homemade Indian seasonings, such as chai ka masala and garam masala. Nutmeg can be found in whole and ground forms, with the former being the one with the most extended shelf life.

spicy spices paprika

Paprika

Paprika is a staple hot spices powder in Spanish, Mexican, and Hungarian households. It comes with exquisite flavors that can elevate various dishes. While there are three different variants: smoked, sweet, and hot paprika, the latter is the most popular one due to the heat it offers.

Any meal you make can be a hit with only enough amount of paprika powder. Most advised to quickly toss it in hot oil in order to elevate its flavor. Although this spice is commonly used in savory meals, you can also add it to your favorite beverages and sweet treats.

spicy spices cumin

Cumin

If you’ve whipped up some Middle Eastern or South Asian recipes, you’ve probably used cumin a lot. Many often mistake it for caraway seeds, while actually, this spice belongs to the parsley family. This spice has been widely used since ancient times and now is becoming popular across cultures.

Cumin offers earthy, hearty, and warm flavors with subtle sweet and lemony aroma. Although it’s often used in spicy dishes, cumin isn’t that spicy but is enough to give any food a hint of heat. Even slightly hotter than paprika powder.

spicy spices szechuan peppercorn

Szechuan Peppercorn

Native to mainland China, Szechuan peppercorn is produced from the prickly ash shrubs’ husks of seeds. It’s one of the five main ingredients of the best spicy seasoning in Szechuan dishes. Most use it as a whole to obtain authentic hotness.

While the aroma is similar to lavender’s, the taste is nothing alike. Once it hits the tongue, you will taste bitterness followed by numbing heat and then citrusy flavor. The intense numbing sensation this spice generates around the mouth is its primary source of popularity in the spice world.

Spice Up Your Kitchen!

Those are all the ten divine varieties of spicy spices to make your cooking much more enjoyable. After this post, we are a hundred percent sure you have decided on some new favorites to put in your kitchen cabinet. After all, they are the essential key that enables you to open wide doors to the culinary world. Don’t know where to get them? Head to Spices and Co. right away!

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