Sometimes it’s just so much better to make your own spice mix at home. You can control the flavors, the spice level, and the quality of the ingredients. For me it’s just so much fun, and I get to be creative and have my own twist on the classic.
In addition to all the flavors these mixes are packed with power house medicinal spices that can treat many conditions from inflammation to digestion as well as fight germs and bacteria.
In this post, let’s focus on 2 very distinct, spice-full and delicious mixes.
The first one has become a staple in American cuisine: Cajun mix was developed by the French community living in Louisiana in the 18th century.
What makes a great Cajun mix?
- Sweet paprika
- Hot paprika
- Black pepper
- White pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- I like to add oregano and a little cumin for an added level of flavor.
- Herbs de Provence is another spice mix which adds a floral undertone to the mix.
Cajun spice mix is great for grilled meats and chicken as well as grilled vegetables or Portobello steaks. Perfect for jumbo and any stew.
The second spice mix: Garam Masala, is one of my favorite Indian spice mixes. Super aromatic and flavorful,
Garam Masala originated in the north of India. Garam means hot or warm. Masala means mix.
The warm mix, according to Indian homeopathic medicine can help the body fight diseases that come from “cold” weather such as cold and flu and other respiratory conditions.
Classic Garam Masala consists of:
- Black pepper
- Moscat Powder
Now ideally, you would get all of these spices whole, lightly roast them in a big heavy pan, and then grind them. Not everyone has a spice grinding machine or the time to roast whole spices at home, so I would like to make this easy on you and ask you to start by mixing just a 1/2 teaspoon of each of the above. I add a little turmeric to the mix as well for added health benefits and color.
When you’re using the above mixture, just add it at the very end of the cooking. Garam masala doesn’t like to be cooked for a long while as it can get bitter. Perfect for mixed sautéed veggies, shakshuka, different types of curries with coconut milk, beef stews, or roasted chicken.
Feel free to send ideas and share some thoughts
The Spice Detective