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I am a real spice fanatic. I think they can change an average dish into something truly remarkable. I used to keep all my spices on my windowsill but learnt that this was ruining their flavour. I still decant all my spices into labelled jars but now they are kept safely tucked away! I use old jam jars because they are a good size but you can use any small jars you like or just keep them in the original packaging. Here are my spice essentials. You will see that some of them overlap. I would also recommend investing in a marble mortar & pestle to grind your spices in.

I tend to buy my spices from Spice Mountain in Borough Market or the Spice Shop in Notting Hill. Both have a vast array of spices on offer and if you can't get to the actual shops, both have online stores.


Nigella seeds

Mild, medium & hot curry powders

Garam Massala

Fennel Seeds

Coriander Seeds

Cumin Seeds

Tumeric powder

Yellow & black mustard seeds

Coriander Powder

Middle Eastern:

Za'atar (I get mine from Israel & I would suggest you go to a middle eastern supermarket for this)



Coriander Powder

Cumin seeds

Coriander Seeds

Fennel Seeds

Shwarma Spice (I use the Pereg brand)

Cinnamon Stick

Cardamom Seeds- green & black


Chinese 5 spice powder

Star anise

Cinnamon Stick

Kaffir Lime Leaves

Ground ginger


Fresh nutmeg

Sweet paprika

Smokey paprika

Cayenne pepper

Maldon salt/flaked sea salt

Table salt

Black peppercorns

White pepper


Italian seasoning

Mixed spice

Not essential but nice to have anyway:

Poppy seeds



Dried Rose Petals

Harissa Paste


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