5 DIY Spice Blends For Adding Flavour To Your Dishes
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Spices are incredibly essential in culinary cuisine and can make or break a recipe, often having an impact on the depth, warmth, and flavour profile of a dish. Although it first seems easy to buy ready-made spice blends in supermarkets, you can make some on your own that are often more piquant, cheaper and adjusted according to your desire. Home-made spices not only allow you to save money but also bring a lot of flavour experience to your home cook, allowing you to taste the cuisine of a particular country without leaving your home. 

Spice mixes are by far the most exciting to prepare at home. Apart from improving a dish’s flavour, you get to adjust seasonings as per your preference. These blends provide a food tour around the globe, bearing in mind that their charter is meant to provide the Mediterranean appeal of the Italian seasoning blend with the spicy kick of the Ethiopian berbere.

These frequent uses include curry powders in sauces, marinades, meat rubs, soups, rubs, barbecues, grilled foods, and condiments. Some of the spice blends that will be discussed in this article are as follows: Spice blends are mixtures of ground dried seeds, barks, buds, roots, fruits, leaves, etc. that are mostly used in making sauces, marinades, meat rubs, and soups.

  • Italian Seasoning

Italian seasoning is a versatile blend that brings the robust flavours of the Mediterranean to your kitchen. Typically comprising oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, and marjoram, this blend is perfect for enhancing pasta sauces, pizza, marinades, and roasted vegetables.

How to Make:

  • 2 tablespoons of dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Store it in an airtight container for up to six months.

Uses: Italian seasoning is incredibly versatile. Add it to tomato-based dishes like marinara sauce, sprinkle over roasted vegetables, or mix it into olive oil for a bread dip. Its herbaceous and slightly sweet profile complements a wide range of dishes, bringing a taste of Italy to your home-cooked meals.

  • Garam Masala

Garam masala is a warm, aromatic spice blend commonly used in Indian cuisine. The blend typically includes cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cumin, coriander, and black pepper, offering a complex flavour profile that adds depth to curries, stews, and soups.

How to Make:

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg

Toast the spices in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Let them cool, then grind them to a fine powder using a spice grinder. Store it in an airtight container for up to six months.

Uses: Garam masala is typically added towards the end of cooking to preserve its aromatic qualities. Use it in traditional Indian dishes like chicken tikka masala, lentil dahl, or vegetable curry. Its warming spices also work well in meat rubs and rice pilafs, adding a fragrant, spicy kick.

  • Za'atar

Za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend that combines earthy, tangy, and nutty flavours. The mix usually includes sumac, sesame seeds, thyme, and sometimes oregano or marjoram. Za'atar is perfect for sprinkling over flatbreads, salads, and roasted meats.

How to Make:

  • 2 tablespoons of sumac
  • 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Store it in an airtight container for up to six months.

Uses: Za'atar is incredibly versatile and can be used in many dishes. Sprinkle it over hummus, mix it with olive oil as a dip for bread, or use it as a seasoning for grilled meats and vegetables. Its bright, tangy flavour adds a unique twist to any dish.

  • Ras El Hanout

Ras el Hanout is a complex, fragrant spice blend from North Africa, particularly Morocco. The blend can include up to 30 different spices, but common ingredients are cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cloves, cardamom, and paprika. It's known for its warm, aromatic profile.

How to Make:

  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Mix all the spices in a bowl until well combined. Store it in an airtight container for up to six months.

Uses: Ras el hanout is traditionally used in Moroccan tagines and couscous dishes. Its complex flavours also work well as a rub for meats or seasoning for roasted vegetables. Add it to stews and soups to infuse them with a rich, aromatic depth.

  • Cajun Seasoning

Cajun seasoning is a spicy, bold blend originating from Louisiana. It typically includes paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and thyme. This blend is perfect for adding a kick to meats, seafood, and vegetables.

How to Make:

  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Store it in an airtight container for up to six months.

Uses: Cajun seasoning is perfect for blackening fish, seasoning shrimp for a boil, or spicing up chicken. It also adds a fiery kick to roasted vegetables and can be mixed into sauces for an extra layer of flavour. Its bold, smoky profile enhances any dish with a taste of the South.

By creating your spice blends, you can ensure freshness, adjust ingredients to suit dietary needs, and explore new flavour profiles with ease. So, next time you’re looking to add a burst of flavour to your meals, consider making your spice blends and elevating your cooking to new heights.