July 14, 2024

Lonna Buer

Unbounded Courage

The 13 African Spices That Make Up The African Cuisine

The 13 African Spices That Make Up The African Cuisine


When I think of African cuisine, I instantly think of spices. For me, the spice is one of the most important ingredients in making a dish taste amazing. The blend of spices and herbs used in this type of cooking can make any meal taste fresh and exciting. If you are looking for new ways to spice up your meals without traveling to Africa (although you should!), look no further than these 13 African herbs and spices:

The 13 African Spices That Make Up The African Cuisine

Curry powder

Curry powder is a blend of 15 to 20 different spices. It’s an Indian spice that’s used in their cuisine and has been around since the 14th century. Curry powder can be made with many different combinations of spices, but it always contains turmeric (which gives it its yellow color), cumin seeds and coriander seeds.


You may think of nutmeg as a spice, but it’s actually used to flavor food. It comes from the nutmeg tree (Myristica fragrans), which is native to Indonesia and grows in tropical climates around the world. Nutmeg is used both sweetly and savory: it can be added to desserts or savory dishes like stews and curries.

Nutmeg is one of the 13 African spices that make up the African cuisine.


  • Cinnamon is a spice made from the bark of the cinnamon tree.
  • It’s one of the most popular spices in the world.
  • It’s used in many cuisines around the world, both sweet and savory dishes.


Rosemary is a perennial herb, native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family, and is known for its piney aroma and flavour. Rosemary grows best in dry soil with full sun exposure.

Rosemary has been used as a culinary herb since ancient times; it was once thought to promote longevity because of how long it lived (it takes at least four years before you can harvest any leaves). Today, rosemary is still popular in cooking–it lends an incredible savouriness to dishes like lamb or chicken–and as a garnish on everything from pizza to roasted potatoes!

Tomato paste

Tomato paste is a staple in African cuisine and is used to make soups, stews and starchy dishes like Jollof rice. It’s also key to making curries. You can use tomato paste as a base for your own curry sauces by adding spices such as turmeric, coriander seed powder or cumin seeds powder according to your taste.


Paprika is a spice made from ground dried peppers. The best paprikas are produced in Hungary and they come in two forms: sweet or hot. The former are made from bell peppers, while the latter are made from chilies. Paprika is used in many cuisines, including Hungarian and Indian. In addition to its use as a spice for flavoring food, it can also be used medicinally to treat colds or respiratory problems


Allspice is a spice made from the dried berries of the allspice tree. The name comes from its combination of flavors, which includes cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. It has a warm, fragrant flavor that’s often used in baked goods, desserts and pickles as well as marinades for meat and poultry dishes.


Oregano is a member of the mint family and is native to the Mediterranean region. It’s a perennial herb that grows best in sandy loam soils with good drainage and plenty of sun, but it can also be grown indoors under lights.

Oregano has a strong, pungent, slightly bitter and sweet taste. The leaves are usually dried before being used in cooking or medicine.

Thyme and basil

Thyme is a perennial herb with a woody stem that grows to about 2 feet tall. It has small, fragrant leaves and small white or pink flowers. Thyme is native to the Mediterranean region but now grows wild in many areas of North America as well.

Thyme comes in several varieties: thymus vulgaris (common thyme), thymus capitatus (golden thyme) and thymus herba-barona (French lavender). You can also find other varieties such as lemon thyme or variegated French thyme which have different flavors than those mentioned above!

Basil is an annual plant related to mint; it’s also known as sweet basil due its sweet aroma when crushed between your fingers! Basil provides many nutrients including vitamin K which helps blood clot properly so you don’t bleed out if cut badly enough on accident while chopping up some veggies for dinner tonight ­čÖé

Ginger and garlic paste

Ginger and garlic paste is a great way to add a spicy kick to your cooking. This sauce can be used in a variety of recipes, including soups and stews. You can buy ready-made ginger and garlic paste in most African markets or make your own at home by mashing up equal parts of fresh ginger, garlic cloves and water together until smooth.

Explore the African cuisine without having to travel there.

The next time you’re in the mood for some African cuisine, don’t hop on a plane. Instead, try these spices in your own kitchen!

  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon


If you are interested in exploring the African cuisine, but don’t want to travel there, then this article is for you. We have listed the 13 most important spices used in the African cuisine along with their benefits and uses. We hope that this information helps you on your journey towards becoming an expert chef!