Photos : Spices

Tom (an Australian who has a travel site) mentioned about showing photos of the spices I used. (Tom, I can’t seem to find your URL, hope you are reading this?)

Here are part of them.

cinnamon stick

The cinnamon stick. Very cheap here but exotic elsewhere. Cinnamon buns, cinnamon coffee, cinnamon powder and stuffs like these make cinnamon a classy spice, isn’t it? Normally, I use it very sparingly because the smell is very overwhelming. Just a tiny stick the size of your little pinky will do. This size in this photo is over-blown.


Clove. It is like tiny stems from fruits. Another strong smelling spice. Clove oil is touted to be very good for toothache. Never seen nor use it before so I can’t say if it is true.

star anise

Star anise. I also cannot endure the smell of this. So, I use only a single floret each time. With these three spices, they combine to become part of the Chinese 5-spice powder. Try using one of each and stew your meats with dark soya sauce and light soya sauce. They make great tasting soya sauce stew. (Check out my tau yew bak’s post. Non-halal, sorry)


This is cardamon or what I would call ‘orange seed’ because it does look like orange seed and smell of citrus too. I watched Discovery Channel last night and am surprised to see that cardamons are actually fruits, and not some seeds.

mixed spices

Hahaha, Tom, I got lazy so I didn’t sort out these mixed spices. So, I hope I can rattle them off correctly.

The little black, balls are NOT poppy seeds but mustard seeds (tks to anon for pointing that out). Pooppy seeds are supposed to make us high and addicted. I watched Myth Buster and this is what they said: (I will go hunt for some poppy seeds in my fridge’cos i use them for bread, same black thing but smaller?)

Opiate drugs, such as heroin, morphine and codeine, are made from the seeds of opium poppies. The poppy seeds used in baked goods often come from the same or a similar type of poppy.

While the amount you’d typically consume would be too small for you to feel the effects, it can produce a positive result in a urine drug test. Several people have lost their jobs solely because they ate a poppy-seed muffin or bagel for breakfast before taking a drug test.

Source The Myth Buster

Poppy seeds are lovely in bread and muffins.

Mustard seed is a must in fish curries.
(sorry for the confusion)

The little brown seeds – Aha! This is fenugreek. Very much sought after by lactating moms because it is supposed to increase breastmilk production. (maybe I will dedicate a single post on fenugreek when I buy them invidivually instead of sorting the out as above plate of mixed spices)

There are two types of rice-like type of grains. They are fennel and aniseed. Fennel is smallish and aniseed is fatter. Aniseed with a bit of sugar makes great mouth freshener.

The roundish white seeds is ulunthu. That’s what my spice packaging said. Sorry, I don’t know much about this because I have never use it. Hope my Indian readers can enlighten me? I think the name is in Tamil?

I enjoyed taking macro shots of these spices. They usually look so tiny but now, they are so huge on my photos. I will try to get hold of more spices and complete the spice series.

Do you know that Penang has a Tropical Spice Garden? Lovely place for an educational walk.

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