Spice Blends

I’ve said many times that herbs, spices, roots and flowers boost your food intakes with micro-nutrients and other gems. But not only do they add nutrients to your daily diet, they add bundles of flavour. I’ve lived in many countries, so sometimes it’s difficult to find the spices and herbs and so on you like best. Luckily, they weight nothing so can be brought with you, I couldn’t cook without these little gems! And travelling has introduced me to so many more.

All you need the make spice mixes is a coffee grinder, or the old-fashioned pestle & mortar is you don’t mind the effort involved. You can ground spices like seeds, barks and buds into a powder ready for use. Your options include spice mixes that already exist like the North African Ras-El-HanoutChinese Five Spice or even the commonly North Indian Garam Masala.

Here are my favourites spice mixes, remember, all of these needed to be grounded or pounded before use:

A spice mix characteristic of Morocco, excellent for stews or other slow-cooked dishes:

2 tbsp,  rose petals
1 tbsp,  black pepper
2 tbsp, coriander seeds
1 tbsp,  sweet paprika
1 tbsp,  fenugreek, dried
1 tbsp,  cloves
2 tbsp,  cardamom

Chinese Five Spice
A Chinese favourite often used to flavour pressed firm tofu.

2 tbsp, Chinese cinnamon
2 tbsp, star anise
1 tbsp, cloves
2 tbsp, Szechuan pepper
2 tbsp, fennel seeds

Garam Masala 
A common Indian spice mix, can be used for both sweet Chai Tea (see my Matcha-Chai Spiced Tea recipe) and for savoury dishes too. It should be added right before serving, as unlike most spice mixes, the flavour diminishes if this mix is cooked:

1 tbsp, black peppercorns
1 tbsp, mace
1 tbsp, cinnamon
1 tbsp, cloves
2 tbsp, cumin
2 tbsp, nutmeg
2 tbsp, green cardamom

Yemeni Hawayij (salty)
A flavoursome Middle-Eastern choice:

2 tbsp, cumin seeds
2 tbsp, caraway seeds
1 tbsp, black pepper
1 tbsp, turmeric
2 tbsp, nutmeg
1 tbsp, saffron
1 tbsp, coriander seeds

Yemeni Hawayij (sweet)
The sweet version typically used for coffees is even more delicious (see my Arabic Coffee & Dates) for a similar version:

2 tbsp, aniseed
2 tbsp, fennel seeds
2 tbsp, ginger
2 tbsp, cardamom

Spicy Latino
This one’s mine, especially for my chilli-obsessed Swedish-Chilean partner:

1 tbsp, tamarind paste (add at the end and pound)
2 tbsp, red chilli flakes
2 tbsp, chipotle, finely chopped (before pounding)
1 tbsp, black peppercorns
1 tbsp, kaffir lime leaves, dried

Tweak ratios of these ingredients as you wish, some flavours, like clove or black pepper, can be overpowering. Throw in sea salt (or Himalayan Rose salt, my favourite) if you wish, so your favourite spice mixes are ready for use.

Please Note
Store the mixes in a cool, dry place in the kitchen in a tightly sealed jar or container.

By Dr. Gabriella F. Buttarazzi (Uma Shakti Devi)

Teacher Teacher Trainer Educational Researcher Writer Wildling Mother Mushroom Avocate

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