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Make Your Own Spice Blends

Of course you may buy spice blends "off the shelf", but where's the challenge? Making your own Spice Blend is a true culinary art - and not as difficult as you might think.
Author Chef Seika Groves

Ingredients

Cajun Spice - South Louisiana

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Bahārāt - Middle East

  • 4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons cloves
  • 4 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoons cardamom pods
  • 3 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 6 teaspoons paprika

Chili Blend - Central America

  • 3 tablespoons chili peppers
  • 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1/4 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 tablespoons cayenne
  • 1 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoons coriander
  • 1/4 tablespoons turmeric

Curry Blend - India/Asia (varies depending on region and tastes; this blend is a simple curry that can be used for most curry recipes)

  • 2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons whole cardamom seeds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds toasted
  • 1/4 cup ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne

Chinese 5 Spice - China

  • 3 tablespoons bajiao star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon huajiao Sichuan pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed

Old Bay Spice - Eastern Seaboard North America

  • 3 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger

Jerk Spice - Jamaica (Jerk is a personal preference as to how much HEAT you want to introduce)

  • 1 teaspoon allspice pimento in Jamaica
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper or any other hot pepper!
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 scallions chopped fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper

The Gypsy Chef Spice Blend

  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper

Quatre Épices - France (literally, "Four Spices")

  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper (or a combination of 1/2 tablespoon white and 2-1/2 tablespoons black pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger or cinnamon

Herbes de Provence - France

  • 3 tablespoons dried marjoram
  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons dried savory
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

Notes

Like any recipe, these measurements are a guideline. Adjusting amounts to your personal taste may involve a little experimentation - but then, that's half the fun!