Ed & Sam, founders of Burma Spice, have always found comfort in cooking with their own fresh ingredients. They started an extensive hunt for exceptional and exotic spices to use in their own kitchens.
What started as a personal quest for the best spices, has turned into a selection of over 200 gourmet herbs and spices that are curated with love and dedication for your delight.
If you are feeling adventurous and want to try new flavors and textures in your creations, we have created a selection of the TOP 10 of Burma Spice’s most exotic spices that you can find in our long list of spices for sale. So now without further ado let’s start our culinary journey.
Kalonji or Nigella Seeds are black seeds native to South Asia. They are also known as black caraway, and due to their flavor, they are thought of as the ‘black cumin’. Kalonji seed can be a perfect substitute for cumin.
Like many of the seeds in our spice store, kalonji seeds offer a host of fantastic health benefits in addition to their obviously great taste. They are loaded with protein, vitamins & minerals, fibers, and healthy fats. No matter how you plan to implement them into your daily cooking regimen, there are tons of possibilities that won’t disappoint. Kitfo, one of our favorite recipes, is one of the examples of how to showcase these exotic seeds.
NO, this is not poison sumac and it definetly wont give you a rash. Sumac Spice comes from the berries of a wild bush native to the Mediterranean, especially in Sicily and southern Italy, as well as parts of the Middle East. The berries come in a lovely reddish (nearly purple) color -which is where it gets its name: sumac means red or turning red in Arabic-. They have a tangy, lemony flavor and they can be used in many different dishes. In fact, if you love dipping chips into hummus, consider sprinkling some sumac seasoning of it on top. You’ll be glad you did! Buying sumac seeds can be tricky, but be certain that at Burma Spice you will always find the best quality of Ground Sumac. And you can even buy it in bulk!
Galangal is an aromatic rhizome (a subterranean plant stem, much like Turmeric and Ginger) that belongs to the Zingiberaceae family. Galangal root or galanga is most commonly used in Thai and Indonesian dishes due to its sharp, peppery taste and a strong citrus aroma; it gives an earthy and citrus note to soups, curry pastes, and even cocktails!
Some people may say that Galangal can be a substitute for ginger, and they might look similar, but when it comes to taste and aroma, Galangal and Ginger are miles apart from each other. Want to learn more about Galangal? Don’t miss our spotlight feature on this interesting exotic spice.
Annatto seeds are also known by the name of the tree they come from, the Achiote. It is mainly known for being a natural coloring agent, but its complex flavor delivers more beyond the characteristic anatto color: earthy, musky, and slightly peppery flavor that is a touch sweet, and a touch nutty.
The most recognizable traditional use of annatto is in the preparation of cochinita pibil, a barbeque pork recipe from the Yucatán, or the traditional achiote chicken. You can use annatto paste or annatto powder to giver flavor AND color to your dishes.
Also known as a melegueta pepper (or Alligator Pepper), this spice is famous for its strong pepper flavor. It is a popular ingredient in traditional North and West African dishes and, as a curious fact, Grains of Paradise are listed as one of the ingredients in the prestigious Bombay Sapphire Gin. This top spice can be considered as a perfect susbtitute for black pepper, and although it is a little bit more difficult to find, it definitely gives a far more interesting flavor to dishes.
Grains of Paradise might be one of the most misterious spices in all of Burma Spice catlogue, for these grains have a special place in Caribbean and Latin American “voodoo” practices.
Stay tuned for part 2 with more exotic and exciting spices that you may not have even heard of before. But, for now, we dare you to try these exotic spices in your next culinary experiments.