Finding a new ingredient (or rediscovering an old favourite) can feel so special and reminds us that the kitchen can be a great place for adventure. Learn about these interesting ingredients, where to find them and how to use them in your weekly menu! Paprika and cardamom are just the beginning of the healthy, but delicious, ingredients available.


Paprika

PAPRIKA is ground spice made from the dried peppers in the Capsicum annuum family (including hot chilies, cayenne pepper and capsicum). It is generally vibrant red-orange in colour and comes in sweet, smoked and hot varieties. Regular/generic paprika has a very mild sweet pepper flavor without much heat. Smoked paprika (often called pimenton) is made from peppers that are smoked and dried over oak fires and add a deep, smoky flavour. Finally, hot (or Hungarian) paprika adds a peppery, spicy kick.

Where to find it? The different types of paprika can generally be found in the spice aisle of your local supermarket, spice shop or international specialty grocer.

How to use it? Regular paprika is often used as a garnish to add a pop of colour to dishes such as devilled eggs or hummus or used as a flavouring for meat rubs. Smoked paprika is great in soups/stews or paella. Hot paprika can be used in place of cayenne or red pepper flakes to add a chili hit to any dish.How to store it? Paprika should be stored in a cool, dark place in an airtight container. To extend shelf life of paprika, try to keep it away from sunlight by storing it in an opaque container e.g. a metal tin.

How to store it? Paprika should be stored in a cool, dark place in an airtight container. To extend shelf life of paprika, try to keep it away from sunlight by storing it in an opaque container e.g. a metal tin.


Cardamom

CARDAMOM is a spice made from the seed pods of plants in the ginger family. Cardamom pods are spindle-shaped and hold a number of seeds. The pod can be used whole or ground. Cardamom has a unique and complex flavor, with citrusy, minty, earthy and spicy notes. Due to this, it’s used widely in all sorts of dishes –both sweet and savoury.

Where to find it? Cardamom pods and powder can be found in the spice aisle of your local supermarket, spice shop or international specialty grocer.

How to use it? Whole pods can be used to flavour curry dishes, stews and rice. To achieve the most flavour it is best to buy whole cardamom pods and grind them with a mortar and pestle as needed. Add it into vegie dishes or marinades for fish or meat. Cardamom is also found in garam masala spice mixture (see ‘Garlic Beef Curry’ Recipe in your HWFL Guide for an idea of how to use garam masala). For a sweet spin, sprinkle it in when making your chai latte or bake it into pastries for an occasional treat.

How to store it? Whole and ground cardamom is best stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry place. However, ground cardamom loses its potency more quickly, so it is best to use it as soon as possible.


Looking for more healthy ingredients to add to your repertoire? Click here.