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Which Herb/Spice Do You Use the Most?

It occurred to me last night as I was preparing an Indian potato dish that I go through cumin like it's 1999. We cook a lot of Mexican/Tex-Mex/New Mex and Indian and really do burn through the stuff.

Which herb or spice (outside of the obvious salt, black pepper and garlic) features most prominently in your home cooking?

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  1. Cumin is right up there for me too. I do the same thing -- Indian, Tex-Mex, etc.

    Cayenne pepper and/or red pepper flakes I may use more though.

    1. I have a huge container of cumin in my kitchen and use it along with salt & pepper in a lot of dishes. Also in the front of the cabinet: basil, oregano, thyme, ancho chile powder, chipotle powder, creole seasoning and adobo...

      1. I am on a smoked paprika kick and can't seem to keep it in the house.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Kater

          Ditto on the smoked paprika. My favorite snack lately is kettle corn with garlic power and smoked paprika.

          1. re: Mestralle

            Mmmm. Your kettle corn sounds great. I have been loving smoked paprika too. Am making an orange salad with olives this weekend and will put smoked paprika in the dressing. And have a hungarian mushroom soup recipe with lots of paprika in it. I use half smoked and half unsmoked for that.

            I've been trying to think of a good way to add smoked paprika to tortilla chips too. I've bought some pricey flavored rice chips and was thinking I could take regular tortilla chips and do my own much cheaper.

        2. i too tend to use up alot of cumin - usually i pair it with nutmeg. i have other pairings that i tend to always use (at least once everytwo weeks):
          basil and tomatoes; ginger, onions and turmeric; lemon grass and galanggal; mint and bean sprouts; grain mustard and horseradish (my favorite marinade for roast loin of pork).

          1 Reply
          1. re: epabella

            TOTALLY forgot about nutmeg. I amend my answer to be nutmeg. I use it probably every other day.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Naw.

              I figure it's a cinch that salt, pepper and garlic are the three most heavily used herbs/spices.

              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                Well, if not garlic, then I think it'd be a toss up between allspice and ginger.