Stocking A Spice Drawer

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.

Stocking A Spice Drawer
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
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
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.

Curry spices
Curry spices

To make a curry you will also need green cardamom, cloves, star anise and cinnamon quills.

Spices For Curry
Spices For Curry

and for other dishes you need juniper berries, white cardamom, nutmeg and mace

Spices and Nutmeg Grater
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!

Essential Herbs
Essential Herbs

As well as dill, sage, tarragon and parsley

A Few More Herbs
A Few More Herbs

AS well as oregano, basil, mixed herbs and lemon myrtle.

And Even More Herbs
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.

Peppers
Peppers

and salts: truffle salt, smoked salt, black salt, Singapore salt and chilli salt flakes

Salts
Salts

You will also find allspice, ground nutmeg, ground cumin, ground coriander, mixed spice and pickling spice in my drawer.

More spices
More spices

Next we have a collection of seeds: celery, poppy, mustard, dill, fennel, coriander, cumin and nigella

Seeds
Seeds

And a collection of onion flakes, garlic flakes, oak smoked red pepper, Cajun spice, sumac and ground ginger

more in the collection
more in the collection

These are flavour and colour adding spices – cayenne pepper, turmeric, smoked paprika, curry powder, hot paprika, paprika

Flavour and colour
Flavour and colour

For baking I have vanilla powder, ground cinnamon, lavender petals and a vanilla bean

Baking
Baking

Last but not least I have lime leaves, dulse, bay leaves, curry leaves, wasabi and saffron

Leaves and more
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.

What I blogged:

Lavender and Lime Signature

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41 thoughts on “Stocking A Spice Drawer

  1. Such a clever setup!! I lined them until now, but my set of spices has been growing lately (though it isn’t as impressive as yours!) and so I’ll have to think about optimizing my tiny space as you did 🙂

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    1. I love optimizing space and hope you do yours with success 🙂

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  2. Hey Ya Tandy. Great post, I have an entire shelf of herbs & spices, I should package them up & give them to someone that will love them or get onto using them. They expire right? Although, herbs & spices in the pantry do make a kitchen feel loved. 🙂 I do like some of the little jars in your spread.

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    1. The do lose their intensity so always a good thing to use them up 🙂

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  3. love this post–& your collection. without spices and herbs–i would not be able to cook

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    1. Me either Usha 🙂

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  4. A very handy post for anyone leaving home as it not only lists typical spices but what they are used for. A great ‘cut out and keep’ for uni students and budding cooks.

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    1. Thanks Fiona – I hope it gets used a lot 🙂

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  5. Tandy what an amazing array of spices and herbs you stock in your kitchen. I too love having deferent salts, spices and herbs. I see you also have dulse, my mother and grandmother were forever eating this (collected fresh) when I was a young girl and I never quite liked the strong smell it had. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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    1. Thankfully the dulse does not have a strong smell and I am slowly using it more and more on my vegetables – a few dashes at a time 🙂

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  6. A great & fun cool post! It all looks very organized, Tandy!

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    1. Thank you Sophie 🙂

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  7. I too have an ever growing collection of herbs and spices. I have also just given away the spices I don’t really use and bought fresh of my favourites.
    Have a lovely afternoon.
    🙂 Mandy xo

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    1. I love sharing my spices 🙂

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  8. So many spices, even I am astounded (and I am Indian :P)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru sharing the blog ♥ CCU Undercover: Sushi Train, Dee WhyMy Profile

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    1. It has taken me years to amass them all Uru 🙂

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  9. OMG! 78 herbs ad spices…very impressive Tandy. Thanks for let us peek on them…
    Hope you are having a great wee 😀
    Juliana sharing the blog ♥ Banana Bread with Chocolate and BourbonMy Profile

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    1. I know, it is quite a collection 🙂

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  10. thanks for the great post tandy. you’ve definitely given me some ideas on how to organise my disaster zone of a spice shelf. thanks!

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    1. It is my pleasure Thalia, and thank you for the visit 🙂

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  11. Love spices!! You have organised them really well!!!
    Anne sharing the blog ♥ Inverted Seseme Rice BallsMy Profile

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    1. Thank you so much Anne, and thank you for the visit 🙂

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  12. I so need to do this, very soon!!

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    1. Have fun!

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  13. I love how organized you are, it gives me inspiration to organize mine a little better. I got a 3 layer little spice cabinet last year but still haven’t gotten around to putting the names on things so everytime I look for one I have to look for about a minute. 😉
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl sharing the blog ♥ Take Me Out To The Ball Game… With Popbasic!My Profile

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    1. I am so glad this has given you inspiration Pamela 🙂

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  14. Wow… and there I was thinking we had a lot of spices, lol! This is really inspiring – just love reading about what’s all in your kitchen 🙂

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    1. It has taken me years to amass this collection 🙂

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  15. Wow! That is an impressive collection. I feel like I have a lot but it pales to yours. How long do they keep?
    Tammy McLeod sharing the blog ♥ Comment on Why I Cheer for Mexico by Sophie33My Profile

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    1. Spices and herbs do not keep that long. It depends on the temperature in your kitchen mostly and how airtight the container is. Basically, once they stop smelling like what they are meant to smell like, toss them 🙂

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  16. Hi Tandy!

    What an abundance of herbs you have! Quite the selection!

    Tarragon is big for me as well, I try to dry some for wintertime. It’s a family tradition to season our chicken pot pie with tarragon. I try to dry other herbs like basil and rosemary too for later year.

    Rosemary is my favorite herb of all time! And it’s so expensive here, over 5 dollars a bottle!

    Vanilla bean anything too is just wonderful. Your system for organization is much better than mine though!!
    Laura @ Raise Your Garden sharing the blog ♥ Do You Eat Salad Everyday?My Profile

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    1. Wow, that is really expensive for rosemary, which grows in abundance quite easily. I have indigenous rosemary in my garden which grows all year round 🙂

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  17. I am so reliant on spices! We recently went away for the weekend and I cooked dinner but didn’t have any spices. I was lost! Great post Tandy! 😀
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella sharing the blog ♥ Lemon, Ginger & White Chocolate BiscottiMy Profile

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    1. I cannot imagine cooking without spices and I always take some with me when we travel 🙂

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  18. That was so fun going through your spice drawers. Good time to do a little clean out too as spices do not have very long shelf lives. Today, my new next door neighbor brought me over some Hungarian Paprika from her home town freshly ground and so beautifully vibrant in colour. I can’t wait to make something with it.

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    1. That paprika is amazing! Have fun using it BAM 🙂

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  19. Not bad, Tandy. You are a spice pro!

    ela h.

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    1. Ah, thanks Ela 🙂

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  20. Not bad, Tandy! You are a spice pro!
    ela@GrayApron sharing the blog ♥ Fresh fava bean guacamole bruschettaMy Profile

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  21. How lovely to have tarragon growing in abundance in your garden – I have never had much luck with it – will have to give it another try. Our spice drawers look very similar!
    Rachel (Rachel’s Kitchen NZ) sharing the blog ♥ Baked Pork Chops with Cabbage & AppleMy Profile

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    1. I must have found the perfect spot for it as I have planted a few without success before the one I have now 🙂

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