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What secret/special ingredient do you add to certain food/dishes?



  • I often add a good pinch of garam masala (Indian mixed spice) to soups and casseroles - fills out the flavour.

    A spoonful of honey is also good in soup.

    For homemade tomato soups I add a slosh of double cream. You don't need very much but it improves the soup no end.

    A handful of bulgur wheat added to veg casseroles improves the nutritional value and soaks up the liquid so it's not too runny.

    Sprinkle pasta dishes with hemp seeds for extra nutrition.

    Add a spoonful of flaked cereal (quinoa, millet etc) to a smoothie.
  • olipot
    olipot Posts: 275 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I always add 1 star anise to carrots gives them a lovely delicate aniseed flavour and I love kikkomans soya sauce in the dumpy bottle I add it to loads of savoury dishes its just the best soya sauce i've ever tried:j
  • DianneB
    DianneB Posts: 884 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    I add half an egg shell of cold water to sponge cakes, makes them lighter. Use half mayo half natural yoghurt when making coleslaw.
    Slightly bitter
  • Gorwel
    Gorwel Posts: 21 Forumite
    My home-baking always gets compliments. My mince pies at Xmas I'm sure don't taste better than other folks' do - but dusting them thickly with icing sugar before serving seems to be the reason. Same with my apple pies which I brush with milk and sprinkle liberally with brown sugar* and my very average sponge cakes which I fill with a thick layer of vanilla-flavoured buttercream and - yes - sprinkle with more sugar.

    * I'm so mean I take the sachets from cafes where I've had coffee to use on pies!!

    Crumble mix - add any or all of the following - a small handful.
    Crushed (stale) biscuits, crushed cornflakes/branflakes etc
    Sesame/pumpkin seeds, linseed etc
    Chopped nuts
    Porridge oats,
  • My hubby adds a half teaspoon of marmite to stews, meatballs, casseroles and onion gravey. It makes such a lovely rich taste. I'd never eat it on bread though!
    DFW Nerd no: 149 ;)

  • There are some brilliant ideas on here.I would'nt of thought of doing a lot of them.
  • My mother used to make a vegetarian 'Toad in the Hole'. She added a teaspoonful of marmite to the batter and used a home made stuffing mix for the 'toads'. The marmite gave a lovely flavour to the batter and I am sure it would be equally as good with real ... - oops, I mean sausages...!
  • a dollop of tomato ketchup in beef gravy, makes it irresistable to the kids - grownups like it too!
  • Bottle of 'wine for mulling' to make a beef stew, lovely flavour!

    half fat creme fraiche to mashed potatoes: plus garlic butter or good grating of nutmeg, or mustard, or horseradish. Or the leftovers of one of those ready bought dips, eg, sour cream and chive.

    Creme fraiche to sauces.

    Dash of balsamic and sugar to fried onions (caramelises them).

    Homemade veg soup is not the same without a stick of celery (and of course a clove of garlic) and a small chilli (take out before liquidising if you don't like it too hot) - the chilli adds a depth of heat, very warming.

    Oh, and did I mention garlic, with everything (savoury).
  • skintchick
    skintchick Posts: 15,114 Forumite
    Debt-free and Proud!
    Most of the above for me, and here are some more I do:

    Add a bit of milk (semi or full-fat) to soups at the end instead of cream - tastes and looks the same but cheaper and in my case easier as I never use cream and don;t tend to have it handy.

    Bouillon. I use Knorr Touch of Taste. It's expensive, but it's like concentrated gravy and I add a few drops or so to everything - soups, curries, chilli, casseroles, risottos - to deepen the flavour without thickening it like granules do (and it tastes so much better). I get mine in Tesco in bottles.

    Black pepper in tomato sauces - add loads to make it peppery (well, yeah!) and to give a good flavour. Justa tin of toms, some onion and loads of freshly ground black pepper makes a really cheap pasta sauce that tastes divine and really authentic. I often add a bit of bouillon too. And always sugar in tomato sauces as people have said.

    And garlic tends to find its way into everything too as it's a great flavour deepener and adds a something to the flavour - I really notice if I don;t use it.
    :cool: DFW Nerd Club member 023...DFD 9.2.2007 :cool:
    :heartpuls married 21 6 08 :A Angel babies' birth dates 3.10.08 * 4.3.11 * 11.11.11 * 17.3.12 * 2.7.12 :heart2: My live baby's birth date 22 7 09 :heart2: I'm due another baby at the end of July 2014! :j
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