Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It's All Portuguese to Me! Part 1 - Seasonings/Herbs

 Brazilian Cooking Terms and Ingredients Made Easy

Part 1 - Seasonings/Herbs

So either in you live in Brazil, and are having trouble figuring out what flour is called here, or you are outside of Brazil trying to make a Brazilian recipe, and can't figure out what the heck "farinha de trigo" is! This section is here to help those in situations like these. Check back often because I will update this particular entry everytime I think of something else. It is important to know what ingredients translate into, and what cooking terms mean. Once you master this part of it, you'll be able to breeze through any Brazilian recipe.


  • Cominho - Cumin
  • Sal - Salt
  • Pimento de Reino - Black Pepper
  • Oregano - Oregano
  • Cravo - Clove
  • Pimenta - Pepper (also hot sauce)
  • Alecrim - Rosemary
  • Pimenta de Jamaica - Allspice
  • Erva-doce - Anise or Fennel (sometimes both)
  • Manjericão - Basil
  • Louro - Bay Leaf
  • Coentro - Coriander
  • Caril or Curry - Curry
  • Endro - Dill
  • Salsa - Parsely
  • Salva - Sage
  • Tomilho - Thyme
  • Noz Moscada -  Nutmeg
  • Canela - Cinnamon
  • Colorau - Paprika


  1. Your article about Brazilian food is really awesome and this meal looks delicious. I love Brazilian Portuguese food very much and i have tried many brazilian portuguese recipes which i got from YouTube , recipe books and many other website at home .

    1. Thanks Brand, I'm glad you enjoyed the article. If you ever would like to see a specific recipe on this blog, throw me and email and let me know! Thanks.

  2. Hi!
    I own a spice shop in NH, and have a gentleman who is trying to find or blend Portuguese Allspice. I have researched online, but can't find a list of ingredients or their proportions. Is this a true regional blend, or a marketed blend?
    Any help you could provide would be appreciated.
    Thanks for providing a great resource for those interested in Portuguese cuisine!
    David Lucier
    Claremont Spice & Dry Goods
    Claremont, NH

    1. Well if you are talking about Portuguese Allspice as in from Portugal, I can't help you... BUT here Allspice is generally sold as a mixture of nutmeg, mace, cinnamon and especially clove. I would say equal parts with the clove being the strongest portion. Try that out and see if it's what he's looking for. Hope that helps!

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  4. Hi I had the most amazing soup at a local Brazilian restaurant. It was a locally owned Brazilian place not the touristy ones. I am interested in recreating it at home but can't seem to get all the ingredients rights.

    It had carrots, yellow squash, cabbage, beef all in a light chicken like stock. Do u know what this was. The server called it meat soup.

  5. Hi Krystina, I enjoyed finding your fun Brazilian foodie blog blog and recommended it to my Brazilian American family!
    Besides your recipes, it also has useful articles about Portuguese language, such as your translated cooking terminology above.
    I have a little comment concerning the translation of "colorau" since you're writing about Brazilian food and not Portuguese. Your translation of "colorau" as paprika is correct for Portugual, but in Brasil "colorau" is always used in reference to a red powder made from the annatto seeds, also called urucum in Brasil or achiotte in Central America. Often it's mixed with corn flour and some other bland natural ingredients marketed under different brands of "colorau". It is used basically to add color to the food but without any hot or spicy taste like paprika. I always double check to make sure that the brand I buy is all natural.
    Colorau ou colorífico (também conhecido em Portugal por pimentão doce), em cultura lusófona, é nome genérico dado a condimentos de cor avermelhada, preparado à base de uma ou mais espécies vegetais, e usado nos alimentos com a finalidade de realçar as suas cores, alterar-lhes a textura e modificar-lhes o sabor.

    No Brasil é nome dado ao condimento preparado principalmente à base de sementes de urucu dessecadas e trituradas ao pó fino1 , usualmente misturadas ao pó fino doutras sementes também dessecadas e trituradas, (em maioria, o milho).

    Em Portugal chama-se também "colorau" à paprica, um condimento ou especiaria feita a partir apenas de pimentão dessecado e moído.

    Serve como corante de carnes assadas, sopas, pães e arroz. Na indústria alimentícia é usado para carnes congeladas ou defumadas, arroz, manteiga e queijos. Nas Filipinas é muito usado para colorir manteiga, queijos e outros pratos, assim como na região Norte-Nordeste do Brasil." Um grande abraco, Gigi

  6. I found your article to be very usefull. I am trying to learn brazilian portugese as I am moving to Brazil to work as a chef and I would just like to say thank you for your help with the translation of ingredients.