5 Shortcuts to Spice Up Your Dinner

Busy weeknights don't have to mean boring dinners. Keep these international pantry essentials on hand and you'll be able to quickly and easily transform simple ingredients into a meal to savor.

• 1 Black Bean Garlic Sauce - This savory Chinese sauce is made from salted, fermented black beans. Add it to stir-fried vegetables and meats, noodles, and marinades for an umami kick. A little goes a long way.

• 2 Thai Curry Pastes - Red, yellow, green, and Panang curry pastes can be used to make Thai dishes, of course, but be sure to check out these 5 Unexpected Ways to Use Curry Paste for more dinner ideas.

• 3 Ethiopian Spiced Clarified Butter (Niter Kibbeh) - Similar to ghee, this aromatic and versatile butter can be used to cook and season everything from roasted chicken to sautéed greens, lentils, potatoes, and more.

• 4 Harissa - Harissa is made from hot peppers and spices like coriander and caraway. Use this North African condiment to spice up roasted vegetables, chickpeas, marinades, soups, and grain salads.

• 5 Indian Curry Pastes - From korma to vindaloo, Indian curry pastes can be used with meat and vegetables, rice pilafs, and casseroles. Leftovers can take on new life with the addition of curry paste.

What sauces, condiments, or other pantry items would you add to the list?

Related: 5 Make-Ahead Pantry and Freezer Staples

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