Cooky Cat's Last and Definitive Word on Spicing
Like Julia Childs has pronounced vis-a-vis Nutmeg, Cooky Cat universalizes the topic to say that you don't want to introduce any spice or flavoring into a dish so much so that on first taste you'd say "Nutmeg!". Or, "Cumin!". Or, "Cinnamon!". Or, what have you.
If you're following a particular recipe, follow it closely the first time. Afterwords you can adjust as you like. This point, particularly in the arena of heat. Just to observe that with the essential flavors of the ingredients themselves, added flavorings, and spices ... there's an alchemy in the combination. Long tested recipes have got the magic of the proportions down. Follow them.
And, for the love of God ... take a tip from the Itralians: The thing itself has its own flavor. You don't have to go all over-spicing everything. String Beans sautéed in Butter with some Garlic ... it don't get no better.
This Cat has some preferences; Cumin ... he likes. But, just because you like it, doesn't mean to overdo it. Capish?