20/07/2024 6:48 AM

Jerri Zamzow

Savor New Horizons

5 African Spices To Master Before You Die


From Ethiopian stews to South African braais, the cuisine of Africa is a rich and vibrant mix of flavors. It’s also full of spices that you probably haven’t tried before. If you’re ready to cook African cuisine at home, these five African spices should be in your kitchen:

5 African Spices To Master Before You Die

Curry Leaf

Curry leaf is a key ingredient in many Indian dishes. But it’s also used in other cuisines, including Sri Lankan, Thai and African.

Curry leaves are the dried leaves of the curry tree (Murraya koenigii), which grows throughout India and Southeast Asia. The small green leaves have a pungent aroma and taste similar to cinnamon or clove–they’re often called “curry” for short! You can buy them fresh or dried; either way they’ll last for months if stored properly.


Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is a staple in Indian cooking. It’s made by heating butter until the milk solids separate from the fat and then skimming off those solids. Ghee has a high smoke point (meaning it can be heated to higher temperatures without burning), so it’s useful for frying or sautéing foods such as onions and spices before adding other ingredients to create curries or other dishes.

Ghee is also rich in fat, protein and vitamins A & D–it contains about 40{a6d4e250f4dbd7c38290d51a301669b0b15c2bd58d8474132f85a8137f152abc} more calories than regular butter but fewer carbs.

Berbere Spice Mix

Berbere Spice Mix

Berbere is a spice mix from Ethiopia, and it’s made up of a combination of cumin, fenugreek, cardamom, cloves and ginger. You’ll often find this spice blend in dishes that are served with grilled meats or vegetables.

Paprika Powder

Paprika powder is made from ground dried peppers. It’s a rich red color, and it can be used to add color to foods. The most popular variety of paprika comes from Spain, but other varieties are also produced in Hungary and Portugal. Paprika is commonly used in Spanish, Portuguese, and Hungarian cuisines

Ras el hanout Spice Mix

Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice mix that’s been used for centuries. It’s often described as having a smoky, earthy flavor, but there are many variations on the blend depending on where in Africa you’re buying it from.

It can be used with almost any protein (meat or fish), vegetables and grains–and don’t forget dessert! Ras el hanout is commonly sprinkled over couscous or rice pilafs to add some extra flavor–or try adding it to your next batch of cookies! You can find ras el hanout at most grocery stores or online; I recommend getting some online because then you’ll have more options when deciding which brand suits your taste buds best.

When you’re ready to cook African cuisine, these spices should be in your kitchen.

  • Curry leaf: This fragrant and versatile spice is used in many Indian dishes, but it also works well with African flavors.
  • Ghee: A type of clarified butter that’s popular in South Asia, ghee adds a rich taste to anything you cook–and it’s good for you too!
  • Berbere spice mix: This one will give your food an extra kick! It’s made from chili peppers, ginger root, garlic cloves and other spices like cumin seeds and cardamom pods (among others). You can buy berbere spice mix in any grocery store that sells African foods or online at Amazon. * Paprika powder: This powder adds color as well as flavor when you’re making stews or other dishes that need some color added to them. * Ras el hanout spice mix: A mixture of different dried herbs used throughout North Africa


Cooking African food is a great way to bring some spice into your life. Whether you’re looking for something new or just want to try something different, these five spices are the best place to start!