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Spice Mixture Index

In this index, I shall list all spice blends mentioned in my pages. Descriptions are very basic here; to learn more about any mixture, read the article on the corresponding single spice.

Baghar Baharat Berbere Bouquet garni Bumbu Chinese Five Spice powder Curry powder Dukka Fines Herbes Gâlat dagga Garam masala Herbes de Provence Jerk Khmeli-suneli Mole Panch phoron Quatre épices Ras el Hanout Sambaar Powder Shichimi togarashi Svanuri marili Tarka Thai curry pastes Worcestershire Sauce Zahtar Zhoug


Baghar [बघार] (see onion)
Not really a spice blend, but rather a cooking technique: Spices are fried in hot oil to develop their flavour. Usually, the procedure starts with woody spices (cloves, cinnamon, cardamom), next come fresh, watery spices to quench the temperature to about 100 degrees (ginger, garlic, onion), and finally the least heat-tolerant spices (cumin, fennel, ajwain); subsequently, the mixture is gently fried up to the desired shade of brown, and the recipe proceeds with the remaining ingrediens. Deviations from the general procedure are common. In South India, asafetida, mustard and curry leaves are often used.
Baharat [بهارات] (see paprika)
A mixture common to flavour mutton in the countries surrounding the Persian Gulf; usually, the powder is shortly fried in butter before usage. Baharat contains, besides pungent paprika, chiles and black pepper, a variety of aromatic sweet spices (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom), furthermore cumin and coriander.

In Syria, term baharat or bahar [بهار] is used for a spice mixture that consists mainly of allspice.

Berbere [በርበሬ] (aka berebere, see long pepper)
Ethiopian cuisine at its best, combining elements from both Arabic and Indian cooking styles to this highly aromatic and very hot mixture: Long pepper and chiles make up for pungency, whereas cardamom, allspice and others cause a sweet and harmonic fragrance.
Bouquet garni (see parsley)
A bundle of fresh herbs, tied together to allow easy removal. In France, it nearly always contains parsley and thyme; furthermore, chervil is a frequent component and sometimes bay leaves or even orange peel. Variants are used in Germany and Italy..
Bumbu (see lemon grass)
This term refers to Indonesian spice pastes of varying pungency, which are composed individually for each dish. By mass, they mostly consist of onions, but their taste is usually dominated by chiles and garlic; further common ingredients are lemon grass, greater galangale, ginger and Indonesian bay-leaves. Analogous pastes used in the regional cuisine of Bali are called jangkap; see lesser galangale for an example.
Chinese Five Spice powder (wu xiang fen [五香粉]) (see star anise)
This very aromatic and intensive mixture combines star anise with cassia, cloves, fennel and Sichuan pepper and further, optional components. It is not hot, but to be used with care.
Curry powder (see curry leaves)
A substitute designed for British colonial officers used to Indian food. The mixture tries to imitate Indian taste by massive amounts of coriander and cumin besides some chiles, but has little (or nothing) to do with curry leaves. It may be rather hot, but usually it is not.
Dukka [دقه] (also dukkah or duqqah, see thyme)
An efficient, spicy blend from Egypt which combines nuts with pepper, cumin and thyme. The mixture may either be used as a seasoning for mutton stews or, mixed with olive oil, as a spread for Egypt white bread.
Fines Herbes (see chives)
This classical French composition combines four fresh herbs (chives, parsley, chervil and tarragon). It is mostly suited for very subtle and delicate dishes.
Gâlat dagga (see grains of paradise)
This Tunisian five spice mixture combines the pungent tones of pepper and grains of paradise with the rich scent of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Moderately hot, very well suited for Arabic stews.
Garam masala [गरम मसाला, گرم مسالحہ or گرم مصالحہ] (see cumin)
Aromatic mixture based on cumin and coriander in combination with sweet spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and Indian bay-leaves). Basically Persian in origin, it is now indispensable for Northern Indian cuisine. Rather mild.
Herbes de Provence (see lavender)
Combination of several Mediterranean herbs and fennel seeds; the specific Provençal character is determined by lavender flowers. From Southern France.
Jerk (see allspice)
A fiery and aromatic spice paste from Jamaica. Jerk is used to marinate chicken and pork barbecues and combines the extreme heat of Caribbean chiles (among the hottest in the world!) with the harmonic fragrance of allspice and various herbs.
Khmeli-suneli [ხმელი-სუნელი] (see blue fenugreek)
A mixture of various dried herbs (marjoram, basil, savory, dill and others) with pepper and so-called Imeretic Saffron (see safflower) used in Georgia for braised mutton, and especially for Georgian sauces which have a unique flavour both sour–fruity and spicy.
Mole (see paprika for general information, sesame about mole Poblano and Mexican pepper-leaf about mole verde)
A group of spicy sauces from México, made up from herbs, aromatic spices (cinnamon, cloves, allspice), ground nuts, oil, possibly chocolate, tortillas, broth and of course several types of chiles. Fascinating aroma and varying degree of hotness.
Panch phoron [पांच फोरोन, পাঁচ ফোরন, পাঁচ ফোড়ন] (see nigella)
Classical five spice mixture of Bengal; the Bengali are famous all over India for their distinct cuisine. Panch phoron owes its special taste to the antagonism of sweet fennel and bitter fenugreek seeds besides cumin, nigella and radhuni, a local spice with celery flavour which is often substituted by black mustard seeds. Not hot.
Quatre épices (see nutmeg)
Somewhat antiquated, but still much used mixture of white (or black) pepper with several aromatic spices (nutmeg, cloves, and ginger). It may substitute pepper in nearly every dish, imparting a richer taste. From old (pre-revolutionary) France.
Ras el Hanout [رأس الحانوت] (see cubeb pepper)
No fixed recipe, but a generic name for Moroccan spice mixtures. Contains sweet (cinnamon, cloves), hot (pepper, grains of paradise) and bitter (cubeb pepper) elements.
Sambar Podi [சாம்பார் பொடி] (see coriander)
Indispensable for the authentic taste of South Indian cuisine. Besides the ubiquitous coriander and cumin, it contains several other spices (black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, chiles) and large amounts of roasted lentils or small beans. Fairly hot.
Svanuri marili [სვანური მარილი] (see garlic)
A Georgian table condiment that is used to season salads and other foods individually; it is named after the mountainous region Svaneti in Northern Georgia. It has a high proportion of salt, augmented with garlic, coriander, chile and other dried spices, which give it a piquant, rustic flavour with mild pungency.
Shichimi tōgarashi [七味 唐辛子] (see Sichuan pepper)
A Japanese spice mixture served to soups and other tasty dishes. Hot chiles and Sichuan pepper are combined with sea grass, sesame seeds and orange peel. Fairly hot.
Tarka [तड़का], also written Tadka (see ajwain)
A variable spice oil freshly prepared by the Baghar method from fresh and dry spices fried in oil (mustard oil, sesame oil, coconut fat, other vegetable oils or butter fat). Typical spices include cumin, mustard, fenugreek and ajwain; also garlic and chiles. Corresponding to the their thermal stability, spices are poured in a fixed order into the hot fat and are then fried up to the desired shade of brown (according to regional preferences); afterwards, the oil plus spices is stirred into already prepared foods.
Thai curry pastes (prik kaeng or prik gaeng) [พริกแกง] (see coconut)
Pungent dried fish and not less aromatic shrimp paste are ground together with fresh chiles, fragrant leaves (lemon grass, coriander, kaffir lime) and rhizomes (galanga, turmeric, fingerroot). Ranging between fairly hot and satanically hot.
Worcestershire Sauce (see cloves)
An Anglo-Indian sauce, whose exact composition depends on the manufacturer. The core taste is formed by tamarind, medium-hot paprika, cloves and possibly soy sauce or fish sauce.
Zahtar [زعتر, זעתר] (see sumac)
A condiment from Jordan, much used for fried or barbecued mutton. Its unusual taste derives from nutty sesame, aromatic thyme and sour sumac.
Zhoug [زوق] or zhug (see coriander)
The well-known spice paste and relish from Yemen is prepared from both coriander leaves and fruits; furthermore, it contains fresh green chiles, garlic, cardamom, black pepper and olive oil.



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