So, below is my list of some very basic flavors that you can pair together to make your food at home a little more ethnic, with ingredients that you can find just about anywhere. It's a rough guide, and definitely not the only flavors associated with each cuisine, but it's a good starting point to make easy, delicious food at home.
Pick a few flavors from the category you want to help season your sauces, vegetables, meats, or anything, really. If you're confused on where to start, here are some tips....
Skim through the lists and see what you've already got in your pantry to work with. This will help you in cooking and for the next time you go to the store - so you've got an idea of some other things you might want to keep in your pantry.
Mix a some flavors from the category you want to season your food. For example, try some chili, paprika, lime, and cilantro on veggie tacos. Use some soy sauce, mint, basil, and grated ginger to make a noodle sauce or in an Asian soup. You can definitely mix more than a few, but 2-3 is a good starting point.
These flavors can be used in a million different ways - marinate, make a vinaigrette or a sauce, try them in a soup, or season meats and roasted vegetables.