Essential Spices and Herbs You Should Have in Your Kitchen

Today at Dee’s Mealz, you’re going to learn about the must-have spices you should have in your kitchen.

As a cook, a housewife, a food lover, a guy, or even a single lady we all have our ways of keeping our kitchen, and managing our food stuff and ingredients.

I must say, I’m someone who hates buying food stuff little by little, except I’m out of cash.

I love going to the market once in a while to buy in bulk to stock up the kitchen. Before I became so busy with my studies, back then every month end, mum always gave me money to go buy all the foodstuff to last us for a while.

Aside from perishable stuff that can’t be kept for long, it’s good to have what you will need from time to time in your kitchen.

The good thing about all the spices and herbs listed in this post is that they are all natural and healthy.

Even though there are a lot of spices and herbs around, I will be giving you my top picks.

I use them A LOT.

If you haven’t tried them before, then this is the right time to.

So, let’s begin.

1. Ginger/Ginger Powder

Ginger is one of the popular spices we have. it can be used for a lot of things in the cooking aspect and aside from cooking, it can also be used as a herb for cough, weight loss, and other herbal medicine. But my main purpose is to tell you how to use it for your meals either fresh or dried.

Let’s say you leave far away from the market, or go once in a while to do your bulk shopping and you decide to buy the fresh ones. You can just scrape the skins off, wash and blend them. Turn the blended ginger paste into a plastic rubber, cover it and set it in the fridge. Note: Not a freezer.

You can scoop a little from time to time for your cooking (Jollof Rice, Pepper Soup, to marinate your meat, etc.). but if you happen to buy the already grounded one, all the same, it’s just to add a little of it whenever you are cooking.

Aside from the refreshing aroma and spiciness, it adds to the taste of food, ginger can also be used to prepare our Nigerian drinks like Kunun Zaki, Zobo, etc.

I prefer using fresh ones for my cooking or drink preparation because of the strong and pleasant aroma they give when used.

2. Garlic/ Garlic Power

The 2nd must-have herb on the list is Garlic. I must say I love the way it improves the aroma of food. it can be used to prepare all kinds of pepper soup, to cook any type of Jollof rice, to prepare your tomato stew, etc.

The good thing about fresh garlic is that it can be kept for a while without it getting spoilt but that doesn’t mean you should keep it for too long as it can dry up or get rotten. You can also peel and blend it to keep in the fridge or decide to buy the grounded powder.

Aside from cooking garlic can also be used as an ingredient in making cough medicine by mixing it with ginger.

3. Grounded Nutmeg

The next on the list that we have is the nutmeg. Even though this is a very good and important spice, it is limited to some aspects of cooking i.e. you can’t add it to every food you are cooking, and aside from cooking, nutmeg is also used in beverages, baking and pastries like Chin Chin, Cakes, etc.

You get the best of it when you sprinkle the freshly grated powder as it has a very strong and pleasing flavor which can easily be detected in recipes when used.

4. Curry Powder

Curry is another spice used in cooking that adds specific and great flavor to food. It is a spice that should be in the kitchen even though the usage is limited to just cooking.

You can add it to your Jollof rice, fried rice, pepper soup when marinating your meat before cooking, and lots more.

It is very common in most kitchens in the world.

5. Thyme

Thyme is used in cooking for its flavor and how it affects the food (in a good way though).

It goes best for recipes like meat, Rice (Jollof and fried) chicken, spaghetti, stew, and other recipes.

6. Grounded Calabash Nutmeg

The next on the list is calabash nutmeg, the Igbos call it Ehuru, the Ijawas calls it Arikoko, and the Hausas call it Dayan Miya.

This spice is one of the popular spices used for preparing pepper soup and it’s also an ingredient in peanut butter preparation.

It gives out a strong and specific flavor just like the normal nutmeg when added to food. it’s best to roast it a bit before breaking it out of the shell and pounding or blending it for use. This is because it improves its strong aroma or smells rather.

7. Grounded Uziza seeds

Uziza seeds or powder can be used as an herb and also a spice. I love this spice because it can be added to almost all the cooking as it is not selective and is one of the common spices added when making different types of pepper soup. Its usage doesn’t just stop there, it can also be added to soup recipes, stew, rice, peppered chicken, and lots more.

8. Grounded Crayfish

Crayfish is mostly used as a seasoning in, cooking. It adds a strong and specific flavor whenever it is used for cooking. It can be used to cook soups recipes, native jollof, Abacha, and even concoction rice.

9. Turmeric

Turmeric is a common spice and a major ingredient in curry powder which means that it can be used in place of curry powder.

It is added to meat, rice, and even some drinks during preparation.

10. Grounded Chili Pepper

There are a lot of people who love to add lots of pepper to their food when cooking. It’s often added to cooking when the quantity of the fresh pepper is not enough or when pepper isn’t available for usage.

Some prefer to just use grounded chili for cooking instead of fresh pepper.

While others add it to an already cooked food in case the pepper in the food isn’t hot enough for them so one around helps increase the spiciness.

Yes, you have heard it, it is spicy. Don’t mind me which pepper isn’t.

Aside from cooking, it can also be used to grill meat, fish, chicken, etc.


If you are someone who does not like adding too many spices to your meals, you don’t need to have all of these herbs and spices. Just get the ones that will be useful to you.

I’m not saying all this spices are compulsory to have but rather that as a cook, you try to improve your cooking each day.

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