Secret Spice Blend
makes 6 tablespoons (or 6 cups)
This super versatile spice blend is my go-to spice when I want to add a bit of interest to a dish without turning it into sometheing particularly spicy.
It’s mild and well rounded so it adds lovely warming flavours without over powering the hero ingredients in your dish.
If you’re wondering why the spoon measurements don’t correlate exactly with the weights it’s because of the different densities of different spices.
2 tablespoons ground coriander (280g / 9.5oz)
1 tablespoon ground cumin (140g / 5oz)
1 tablespoon fennel seeds (120g / 4oz)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (40g / 1.5oz)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (60g / 2oz)
1. Combine coriander, cumin, fennel, paprika and pepper in a small bowl (or large plastic bag if making a big batch). Stir or shake until well mixed.
2. Store in an airtight container or bag.
It really depends on how fresh your spices were to begin with. Should stay fresh for 6-12 months but longer than that you’ll start to lose flavour.
hot – add in a tablespoon of dried chilli flakes or chilli powder (about 100g if making a big batch) or to your taste.
super smoky – the paprika is just adding a background level of spice in this blend. If you’d prefer you could dial this up by tripling the amount of paprika and leaving everything else the same.
simple – if you prefer a more simple spice blend. Try skipping everything except the cumin and coriander.
whole spices – feel free to grind your own spices in a coffee or spice grinder before measuring them out.
Problem Solving Guide
bland – sounds like old spices. Buy fresh spices from a specialist spice merchant and try again (if you’re in Ausralia herbies.com.au is my favourite spice supplier)
can’t find fennel seeds? – just leave them out.
Needs an air tight container. I like glass jars but little sealable plastic bags would also work well.
coriander, cumin, fennel, paprika, pepper (remember it’s a secret)
spiced roast veg – drizzle chopped veg with oil and sprinkle with spice before roasting until tender. Especially good with sweet potato, pumpkin, eggplant, zucchini and capsicum (peppers).
quick spiced veg soup – combine 2 cans tomatoes with 1 can white beans (and their juice), a chopped zucchini, a red capsicum (chopped) and 1 tablespoon spice blend. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Serves 2.
pumpkin soup – add 1-2 tablespoons to pumpkin soup.
spiced lentils – boil 500g (1lb) lentils with a chopped onion until tender (20-40 minutes depending on the lentils). Drain and toss in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 4 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons sherry or other wine vinegar. Taste and season generously.
spiced kebabs – combine 2 tablespoons spice blend with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Rub mixture over 500g (1lb) diced chicken, beef, pork or lamb). Thred onto skweres and grill or BBQ until cooked to your liking. Serve with natural yoghurt or hummus and a salad. Serves 2-3.
roast meat – sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons over meat before roasting. Great with chicken or a leg of lamb.