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The Best Cooking Powders for Different Types of Cuisine

The Best Cooking Powders for Different Types of Cuisine

Cooking powders can add a lot of flavor and depth to your dishes. No wonder they are a staple ingredient in different cuisines across the globe. From Indian curries to Chinese five-spice powders, a wide variety of cooking powders can add some pizzaz to your dish. Today, let’s explore some of the best cooking powders for different cuisines.

Garam Masala

Garam masala is a quintessential spice blend in Indian cuisine. The name “garam” means “hot,” but the blend is not necessarily spicy hot. Instead, it is a blend of aromatic spices that add warmth and depth to dishes. The most common ingredients in garam masala include cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin, and coriander. Other spices, such as nutmeg, bay leaves, and peppercorns, may be added depending on the region or the dish. This spice blend is perfect for adding complexity to stews, curries, rice dishes, and roasted vegetables.

Five-Spice Powder

Exploring Chinese cuisines? Keep a bottle of five-spice powder in your pantry. The five-spice powder is a common spice blend in Chinese cuisine. And it typically includes star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper or white pepper, and fennel seeds.

This Chinese spice blend adds a complex and fragrant flavor to dishes. That’s why it is often used in marinades, stir-fries & roasted meats (it is the hero ingredient in Chinese barbecued pork!). You can also use the five-spice powder to season vegetables and noodles.

Curry Powder

Curry powder is a blend of spices commonly used in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine. The blend typically includes turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, and chili powder. It can add a bold and spicy flavor to curries, soups, and stews. So feel free to use curry powder in your Indian or Southeast Asian rice dishes, roasted vegetables, and snacks like roasted nuts.


Take your cooking skills to the next level by learning to use za’atar. It is a Middle Eastern spice blend that typically includes thyme, oregano, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt. Known for its savory and slightly tangy flavor, za’atar is perfect for seasoning grilled meats, roasted vegetables, and dips like hummus. You can also sprinkle this powder on flatbreads, pizza, and eggs for an extra boost of flavor.

Ras El Hanout

Ras El Hanout is a spice blend that originated from North Africa and is common in Moroccan kitchens. The name translates to “top of the shop,” indicating that the blend includes the best spices available. The blend usually includes cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, coriander, ginger, and turmeric, but it can also include other spices like nutmeg, allspice, and rose petals.

Count on this popular North African or Moroccan cooking powder to add a complex and fragrant flavor to your tagines, couscous dishes, and roasted meats.


Planning to prepare Middle Eastern dishes for your next dinner party at home? Turn to Baharat to add flavors and heat to your kitchen creations. This complex spice blend is usually made by mixing cinnamon, cloves, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, and paprika. And it is often used to season meat, vegetables, and rice dishes in the Middle East.


Harissa is a North African spice blend that typically includes chili peppers, cumin, coriander, caraway seeds, and garlic. Never underestimate Harissa, as it can easily add a spicy and smoky flavor to your dishes. Feel free to use it to make spicy sauces and marinades for your meats, fish, and vegetables. Other ways to maximize the power of this cooking powder? Explore using it as a condiment or spread for sandwiches, wraps, and grilled meats.


A staple in Ethiopia and Eritrea, Berbere is a spice blend that often includes chili peppers, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cardamom. You can rely on it to add a spicy and aromatic flavor to your stews, roasted meats, and vegetables. Want to cook the popular Ethiopian dish called “Doro Wat”? Make sure to have berbere in your pantry.


There’s a reason sumac is a cooking powder commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It features a tangy and slightly sour flavor similar to lemon. It’s an excellent seasoning for grilled meats, kebabs, roasted vegetables, and salads. You can also use it as a finishing spice to add a tangy and citrusy flavor to any dish.
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