Thursday, 9 June 2016

Homemade Spice Mixes GF SCD

If you're wondering how to make your own spice blends to avoid all the nasty fillers and preservatives often included in prepared spice mixes, it's a very simple process and once prepared they can be kept for up to 3 months in a dark place. If we're cooking for the SCD we always make our own, just to be on the safe side, even if the ingredients on the jars and packets don't state any additives.

Ideally try to buy organic whole spices and use a spice grinder or pestle and mortar to grind them, the whole process of making your own mixes is so satisfying and relaxing and your food will benefit too! Here are a few of our favourite spice mixes :

Curry powder

6-8 dried chilli peppers
8 tblsp coriander seeds
4 tablsp cumin seeds
2 tsp black mustards seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tablsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger

  • Remove the stalks and seeds from the chilli peppers.
  • Dry fry the chilli peppers, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and black peppercorns in a heavy based pan on a gentle heat until they give off a rich aroma while shaking the pan constantly.
  • Cool the spices.
  • Grind the roasted spices in a coffee grinder.
  • Stir in the turmeric and ginger.
  • Makes 16 tablespoons

Chilli powder

Dried Chilli Peppers

  • It's advisable to wear gloves while you are making chilli powder.
  • De-seed and remove the stems of dried chilli peppers then dry fry them for a few minutes to remove any moisture and to bring out the flavour.
  • Grind to required fineness using a dedicated coffee or spice grinder.
  • Alternatively you can chop your dried chilli peppers into small pieces and place into a pepper mill and grind them as you need.

Garam Masala

10 green cardamoms
6 tablsp coriander seeds
4 tablsp cumin seeds
10 cloves
5cm piece cinnamon stick
1 tablsp black peppercorns
3 dried bayleaves
1 tblsp ground mace

  • Gently warm a heavy based pan.
  • Bruise the cardamom pods by lightly crushing with a flat blade knife until outer husk is cracked but the seeds don't fall out.
  • Dry fry the cardamom pods, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns and bay leaves in the pan on a gentle heat until they give off a rich aroma while shaking the pan constantly. Oven roasting can scorch the spices.
  • Cool the spices.
  • Remove seeds from cardamoms.
  • Break cinnamon stick into small pieces.
  • Grind the spices into fine powder in a coffee grinder.
  • Stir in the ground mace.
  • Makes 16 tablespoons.

Mixed Spice

1 tblsp ground allspice

1 tblsp ground cinnamon
1 tblsp ground/grated nutmeg
2 tsps ground mace
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground ginger

  • Where possible grind whole spices in a pestle and mortar or in a spice grinder.
  • Measure out the spices into a sterilised jar
  • Put the lid on and shake well

Morrocan Spice Mix

3¾ tsps ground/grated nutmeg

3¾ tsps ground cumin or ground cumin seeds
3¾ tsps ground coriander seeds
2 tsps ground allspice
2 tsps ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • Where possible grind whole spices in a pestle and mortar or in a spice grinder.
  • Measure out the spices into a sterilised jar
  • Put the lid on and shake well

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  1. Oh I do love spices and I can almost smell them reading all of the wonderful ingredients you're using in your mixes. Freshly ground spices are so much more flavoursome too. I go through phases of making my own, but if I buy them I tend to buy organic ones to be sure they are pure and of good quality.

    1. I totally agree! They add so much more to a dish when freshly ground and the aroma is so wonderful when heating the spices in a pan.

  2. Nothing beats the aroma of homemade spice mixes , they give a unique dimension to the recipes when added to them.

    1. I agree Nayna, they definitely add so much more flavour and it's quite fun to prepare them too.

  3. This is really useful, thanks! Saves buying loads of different spices.

  4. A life without herbs and spices is a very boring life indeed, in my opinion! Great to find another spice lover who makes their own blends! <3

    1. Oh it would Nicole, I can't imagine how food would taste without them though growing up I think I only had fresh herbs in stuffings at Christmas, mint suace and parsley sauce. I don't remember having any spicy food at all.

  5. This is so useful! I think I will try that garam masala one because I don't like the shop-bought ones. Great post, Vicky :-)

    1. Thank you Aimee, you can experiment with the mix too to add more or less of a spice you maybe aren't that keen on, which is a huge bonus!

  6. Your spice mixes look fabulous! I didn't realize there were additives in store bought spices. Good to know, and I'm sure homemade is fresher and better. Thanks for sharing these recipes