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Essential Spices for Vegan Cookery
Read Time: 8 minutes

What essential spices are a must for vegan dishes?

In recent years, the rise of veganism has increased dramatically as more and more people embrace plant-based diets for various reasons. Whether it’s for health reasons, for environmental concerns or animal welfare, according to recent statistics, the global vegan population has been steadily growing, with significant shifts in dietary choices and consumption patterns evident across various demographics.

Here’s a glimpse into some compelling statistics that shed light on the growing influence of vegan lifestyles:

Sales in the vegan market showcase remarkable growth, with countries like India leading at 13%, followed by China (6%), the US (4%), Germany (3%), and Brazil (3%) – Stats obtained viaVegan Statistics 2024 | Surprising Facts & Data – Great Green Wall.

The UK has witnessed a staggering 400% increase in the number of vegans between 2006 and 2018, surpassing 600,000 individuals.

Moreover, the surge of social media and digital platforms has simplified the accessibility of information pertaining to veganism, facilitating connections among individuals sharing similar dietary preferences.

Essential Spices from Camstar Ingredients, Suffolk

As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of Herb and essential Spices and  Spice blends, rubs and marinades, Camstar Ingredients supply high quality blends to the Food Service Industry.

With a focus on Bulk Food Providers, Box Meal Brands and Food Service companies, we have a wealth of experience in bulk production and distribution to the UK’s leading food companies.

But we’re so passionate about our craft, that we also like to keep our readers in touch with the wider world of spice for the consumer market.

So we thought it would be a great idea to delve deeper into the world of vegan cooking and explore the wide array of spices and seasonings that can elevate plant-based dishes to new heights. Ingredients that are available in consumer homes and everybody’s kitchens.

From smoked paprika and nutritional yeast to garlic powder and cumin, these essential ingredients not only add flavour and depth to vegan meals but also play a crucial role in making plant-based cooking both exciting and delicious.

The realm of vegan cookery on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram has experienced a notable surge, particularly in the realm of herbs and spices.

These platforms have become hotspots for culinary enthusiasts to explore the diverse and creative use of herbs and spices in vegan cooking.

TikTok, known for its short and engaging video format, has seen a proliferation of content creators sharing innovative recipes and cooking hacks that highlight the transformative power of herbs and spices in plant-based cuisine.


Enhancing the flavour of plant-based meals with essential spices and blends is a never-ending pursuit, transforming plain tasting grains, beans, and vegetables into savoury delights often involves an arsenal of seasonings and spices.

At Camstar Ingredients, we’ve been blending herbs, spices, rubs, pastes and marinades for the commercial food service sectors for many years, so we thought this would be a great idea to focus on some key, essential spices both stand alone and blends, that will take vegan cooking to new heights.

Our Top Essential Spices List

Chermoula: This is a traditional North African marinade or sauce used in cooking, particularly popular in Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian cuisines. It’s known for its vibrant flavours and is commonly used in vegetarian and vegan dishes. It contains parsley, garlic, ground cumin, paprika and coriander to name just a few ingredients.

Turmeric: A vibrant yellow spice derived from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, which is native to South Asia. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and cooking, particularly in Indian, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern cuisines.
Turmeric is renowned for its earthy flavour with subtle peppery notes and a slightly bitter undertone. Beyond its culinary uses, turmeric is also valued for its potential health benefits, primarily due to its active compound called curcumin, which exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In cooking, turmeric is a versatile spice, used to add colour and flavour to a variety of dishes, including curries, soups, stews, rice dishes, and marinades.

Essential Spices from Camstar Ingredients, Suffolk

Smoked paprika: It’s a must-have ingredient in many vegan dishes, offering a depth of flavor and a hint of smokiness that can elevate various plant-based recipes. Derived from smoked and dried red peppers, smoked paprika adds a rich, smoky aroma and a touch of sweetness to dishes. In vegan cooking, it’s often used to mimic the profile of smoked meats, adding complexity to dishes without the need for animal products. Smoked paprika can be sprinkled over roasted vegetables for a savoury kick, stirred into bean stews or chili for depth of flavor, or used to season tofu or tempeh before grilling or baking to impart a smoky taste. It’s also a great addition to vegan sauces, dips, and dressings, enhancing their overall flavor profile. Whether you’re making vegan tacos, soups, or even plant-based BBQ dishes, smoked paprika is a versatile ingredient that can take your vegan creations to the next level.

Camstar Ingredients Herb and Spice blends for Commercial for Companies

Harissa Spice Blend: Harissa is a North African chili paste, but its spice blend counterpart has gained popularity for its complex flavour profile. It often includes a mix of chili peppers, garlic, coriander, caraway, and other spices. It’s used to add heat and depth to dishes like stews, roasted vegetables, and marinades.

Za’atar: with its aromatic blend of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt, is a versatile ingredient that adds a unique flavour profile to vegan dishes. In plant-based cooking, Za’atar is often used to impart a tangy, herbal taste to various dishes, offering a delightful Middle Eastern flair. Vegan chefs frequently incorporate Za’atar into their recipes to elevate the flavor of bread, such as flatbreads or focaccia, by sprinkling it generously over the dough before baking. Additionally, Za’atar can be used to season homemade hummus or other vegan dips, providing a zesty and aromatic twist. It also serves as an excellent seasoning for salads, offering a burst of freshness and complexity to greens, grains, or roasted vegetables. For a protein-rich option, Za’atar can be rubbed onto tofu or tempeh before grilling or baking, infusing these plant-based proteins with its distinctive flavor. Overall, Za’atar’s versatility makes it a beloved spice blend in the vegan kitchen, adding depth and character to a wide array of plant-based dishes.

za'atar spice blend














Garlic powder: Another one of our essential spices that adds a punch to any savoury dish, garlic powder is versatile and soluble, making it ideal for vegetables, sauces, dressings, and soups.

Onion powder: Providing a flavour boost without the pungency of fresh onions, onion powder is a staple in marinades, dressings, stews, and dishes featuring tofu or tempeh.

Black salt: Originating from India, black salt adds a sulfuric flavour essential for recreating egg-based dishes in vegan cooking, such as tofu scrambles and chickpea omelettes.

Miso paste: Miso reigns as a popular ingredient, renowned for its rich umami flavour derived from fermented soybeans. This versatile paste adds depth and complexity to an array of dishes, including sauces, marinades, and iconic favourites like miso soup, mashed potatoes, and vegan ramen. Its savoury profile elevates plant-based cooking. Miso paste serves as a cornerstone in vegan kitchens, enriching dishes with its unique taste and enhancing the overall culinary experience for those embracing a plant-based lifestyle. We love Miso so much, we’ve given it, it’s own blog post

Berbere: This is an Ethiopian spice blend known for its rich, spicy flavour. It typically contains chili peppers, garlic, ginger, fenugreek, and other spices. It’s essential spices adds depth and warmth to dishes like stews, lentil dishes, and roasted vegetables.

Jerk Seasoning: The Jerk spice blend is a vibrant and aromatic mixture originating from Jamaica, renowned for its bold and flavorful profile. This versatile blend typically includes a combination of spices such as allspice, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and fiery Scotch bonnet peppers, among others. Each ingredient contributes to the distinctive taste that characterizes Jerk seasoning, offering a harmonious balance of sweetness, warmth, and heat. The traditional Jerk spice blend is often used as a dry rub or marinade for various proteins, including tofu. It infuses dishes with a complex and robust flavor profile, creating a culinary experience that is both spicy and savory. Whether grilled, roasted, or pan-fried, meats and plant-based alternatives coated in Jerk seasoning develop a tantalizing caramelized crust while retaining moist and tender interiors.

Essential Spices from Camstar Ingredients, Suffolk

Garam Masala: Garam masala is one of the staple essential spices in Indian cuisine, typically consisting of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cumin, coriander, and black pepper. It adds warmth and complexity to curries, soups, rice dishes, and roasted vegetables.

Coriander: With its sweet, lemony essence, coriander seeds are used in marinades, bread, pickles, and various dishes from Indian, Middle Eastern, and North African cuisines.

Cayenne pepper: Known for its heat, cayenne pepper enhances soups, stews, sauces, marinades, and even beverages like smoothies and juices.

Sesame seeds: Rich in nutrients and flavour, sesame seeds add a nutty crunch to rice, noodles, sandwiches, baked goods, and homemade tahini.

Cumin: With its earthy and nutty flavor, cumin is a staple in many cuisines. It pairs well with other spices and adds depth to curries, tacos, and hummus.

Our list may not be exhaustive, but it does shed just a little light on just a few of the amazing blends and essential spices that should always be available in the kitchen.

From the smoky depth of smoked paprika to the tangy punch of Za’atar, these spices are your ticket to the some of the best tasting vegan food you’ll make. Whether you’re preparing a hearty stew or a zesty salad dressing, having these essentials in your kitchen cupboard will take your vegan cooking to the next level.

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