Grab an Ingredient You’ve Never Cooked with Before


Experiment with a new ingredient this holiday season!

We all have our ‘safe’ dishes, the ones that we cook and we know how to cook well, but who’s to say eating the same thing over and over doesn’t get boring? I say: Try something new, experiment with a new ingredient and open up your taste buds to a whole new world of new meals.

Picking new ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean buying a meat or vegetable that you have never heard of from your local supermarket. It can mean simply using different herbs and spices to add to some of your favourite dishes to give them a new, fresher and more exciting flavour. Here are some different herbs and spices you might not have thought to experiment with before:


A beautifully aromatic spice that come in pod form but come also come in ground powder form and can be added to various curries to introduce and sweet yet spicy flavouring. They are great when used in turkey curries or lamb bhuna masala. Find cardamom recipes on Recipebridge.


Generally used in Chinese dishes, this is one of those ingredients that you will have had before without even knowing it. A great ingredient to add to honey roast ribs to give them a little extra kick, or a wonderful addition to noodle dishes as well. Find anise recipes here.

Dried hibiscus or Nasturtium flowers

Hibiscus is sweet and is usually found in dessert recipes, and occasionally in cocktails as well. Nasturtium seeds have also been known to taste great when pickled! They have a particularly distinctive peppery yet sweet flavour which can be made into pesto. Find hibiscus recipes here.


Taro is one of those bizarre ingredients that is spicy and yet goes really well in sweet dishes. It is the root of an Asian plant and can be put into recipes such as Taro Leaf and Coconut Soup, or if you want the pure taro taste, they can even be made into chips and sprinkled with garlic salt. Find taro recipes on Recipebridge.


If you have ever hunted for alternatives to sugar, jaggery might well have turned up in your search. Known by many as the ‘medicinal sugar’, jaggery is basically an unrefined, whole sugar. It is rich in both iron and magnesium, so not only is it something new to experiment with, it is also better for you than your normal sugar.

If this has got you interested in experimenting with your own obscure ingredients, please let us know. If you have recently tried ingredients to get that different flavour and the dish was either an epic fail or a complete success, let us know about it on our Facebook page or please feel free to Tweet us!

Posted by RecipeBridge Staff Writer December 1st 2011
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