Medicinal Spice Blends | Inspiration from around the world

 
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Za’atar

Syrian local spice blend. Perfect for seasoning hummus, labneh, cheeses, meats and fish.

2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp dreid oregano
2 tbsp sumac

Dry roast the cumin in a frying pan, over a low heat until fragrant, then grind with the salt.
Dry roast the sesame seeds until golden and stir into the mixture with the oregano and sumac.

 

Zhug

A spicy chilli paste from Israel. Use alongside falafels, grilled meats and egg dishes.

1 tsp cardamon seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 green chillies, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large bunch of coriander, chopped
1 large bunch of flat leaf parsley-chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Toast the dry spices in the frying pan over a medium heat, then grind.
Pound to a paste with the chillies and garlic. Combine the herbs and 1 tbsp oil.
Season and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and loosen with more olive oil.

 

Five spice powder

Easy to make Southern China spice blend that can be used for meat rubs, or for star-fries and stews.

2 star anise
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cloves
5cm cinnamon quill
1 tbsp whole Sichuan pepper

Simply grind all the spices to a fine powder, sieving out any fibres if necessary. 

 

Turkish baharat

Use in meats, kofte, pilafs, or with roast vegetables. 

2 tbsp black peppercorns
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tbsp cardamon seeds
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tbsp dried mint

Finely grind the whole spices and combine with the remaining ingredients. 

 

Panch phoran

East Indian and Bangladesh specialty spice blend. Great for flavouring lentil dalhs, and vegetable based dishes.

2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds

Simply mix together the whole spices. To use, fry a teaspoon in oil or ghee at the start of cooking or temper a dish just before serving. 

 

Adobo marinade

A beautiful Filipino marinade. Great for marinading chicken or pork overnight.

100ml coconut vinegar
50ml tamari 
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to the boil. As soon as it boils, remove from the heat and allow to cool down to room temperature before using.