There is no right way or wrong way to go about stocking a spice drawer! Each country has spices and herbs that are unique and so there are things in my drawer you might not need or use, and some things that you will also have. The trick is to start small and only buy what you will use. I dry a lot of my own herbs, especially tarragon which grows in abundance in my garden. I have 78 different herbs and spices but it has taken me a long time to collect them.
My Spice Drawer
On my kitchen counter I keep a salt pig with medium flaked salt. This is for Dave who prefers to use this with his cooking. I prefer to use the flaked salt as a finishing salt, and the coarse salt in the grinder when I cook. I also have some wine salt, fine salt, and a pepper grinder close to hand.
Salt and pepper
I have a shelf above the stove and that holds the chilli flakes, herbs de Provence and the flowers of Scotland blend. The containers for the chillies and herbs come from France and are specifically designed for the herbs and act as a grinder.
A few extras
I have a collection of spices for curry and they start with chipotle chillies, cassia bark, red chillies and 4 different curry blends of differing strengths as well as fenugreek seeds.
To make a curry you will also need green cardamom, cloves, star anise and cinnamon quills.
Spices For Curry
and for other dishes you need juniper berries, white cardamom, nutmeg and mace
Spices and Nutmeg Grater
I have a good selection of herbs! In my drawer you will find rosemary, mint, marjoram and thyme which I consider essential!
As well as dill, sage, tarragon and parsley
A Few More Herbs
AS well as oregano, basil, mixed herbs and lemon myrtle.
And Even More Herbs
Next to show you are the selection of peppers: white pepper, Sichuan pepper, black pepper, pink peppercorns and my newest addition of telicherry peppercorns.
and salts: truffle salt, smoked salt, black salt, Singapore salt and chilli salt flakes
You will also find allspice, ground nutmeg, ground cumin, ground coriander, mixed spice and pickling spice in my drawer.
Next we have a collection of seeds: celery, poppy, mustard, dill, fennel, coriander, cumin and nigella
And a collection of onion flakes, garlic flakes, oak smoked red pepper, Cajun spice, sumac and ground ginger
more in the collection
These are flavour and colour adding spices – cayenne pepper, turmeric, smoked paprika, curry powder, hot paprika, paprika
Flavour and colour
For baking I have vanilla powder, ground cinnamon, lavender petals and a vanilla bean
Last but not least I have lime leaves, dulse, bay leaves, curry leaves, wasabi and saffron
Leaves and more
Everything in bold is what I would start out with if you are stocking a spice drawer for the first time. The rest of your drawer can grow organically as you make more and more dishes at home.
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