spices

8 DIY Spice Blends

We are frequently asked why we don’t carry very many spice blends at The Granary. It is often expected that our large selection of bulk spices would include blends, but the fact is, there are hundreds of possible blends and we carry most – if not all – the ingredients needed to make the many of the most popular spice blends.

With a well-stocked spice cupboard, there really are a million spice blend possibilities.  Each culture has its own traditional blends. Find Berbere in African Cusine, Chinese Five Spice in Asia, Herbes de Provence in Europe, Baharat in the Middle East, Masalas throughout India and Adobo in South American dishes. Even North America has its favorite blends for Pumpkin Pie, Pickling and more.

When you make your own blends you have the benefit of being able to control ingredients such as salt, sugar and the amount of heat. You can also bypass the anti-clumping agents, added colour and preservatives often added to commercial spice brands.

Here are 8 of our favorite blends that can easily be made at home. Like all spices, they are best stored in a cool, dark airtight container to maintain ultimate freshness. Add a ribbon and your favorite recipe for a quick and thoughtful hostess gift.

Italian Seasoning

From pasta to pizza, this versatile blend is a must have for any kitchen pantry. Mix together and store in a well-sealed jar.

  • ¼ cup dried basil
  • 2 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp dried marjoram
  • 2 Tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp dried coriander

Berbere Spice

The word berbere means “hot” in Amharic. (Pronounced bari baray), somewhat of an all-purpose spice mix, widely used in Ethiopian dishes. Just a teaspoon adds depth and flavor to sauces, soups, grains, vegetables, stews and protein. Typically very hot, but you can adjust to your own heat preference by lowering the hot pepper quantity.

  • 3 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons paprika
  • 1-tablespoon ground ginger spice
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic spice
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon spice
  • ½ Tablespoon ground nutmeg spice
  • ½ Tablespoon Fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoons cardamom spice
  • 1 Tablespoon or more Hot pepper (Chili, cayenne pepper) Adjust to suit taste buds

If using whole grain, lightly toast, on low heat, in a frying pan, for a couple of minutes, before grinding. Cook just until the spices smell nice and toasty. Then grind in a coffee grinder.

Persian Advieh

This warm, aromatic blend comes from Persian cuisine. Advieh is comparable to a mild garam masala — fragrant, a little sweet, and gently warming rather than spicy. It’s also quite versatile and can be used in rice pilafs, grilled or roasted vegetables, meat or bean stews, and rice puddings.

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground rose petals
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Mix together and keep in an airtight container.

 Poultry Seasoning

Forget about the store bought kind – this easy recipe with the secret ingredient (that’s the nutmeg) will make your next turkey dinner sing!

  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried sage
  • 2 tablespoons of dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried savory (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

Cajun Spice

This Cajun spice blend is great on grilled meats, roasted vegetables, or anywhere you have rich and creamy ingredients (alfredo sauce, cream cheese dip). It’s spicy without being too hot (you can always adjust the amount of cayenne pepper) and full of flavour.

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

Tandoori Masala

Homemade Tandoori masala is an authentic spice mix used in Indian cooking to flavor meals prepared on the grill, or in the oven. A few tablespoons of this spice mix adds a smoky flavor to any dish – veg or non-veg.  Note that this blend will not have the vibrate red colour of many tandoori blends as it lacks the powdered food colouring

  • 2 teaspoon Ginger powder
  • 1 tbsp mild paprika for colour
  • 2 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg powder
  • 1 tablespoon Fenugreek seeds
  • 2 -4 Cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoon Cloves
  • 2 teaspoon Mace
  • 3 tablespoon Cumin seeds
  • 4 tablespoon Coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoon Black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoon Black cardamom
  • 2 teaspoon Green Cardamom
  • Salt to taste

Combine all the solid ingredients (not the powders) and toss them in a grinder and ground them to its powdered form – very fine.

Heat a heavy bottomed pan on low heat. Combine the freshly grounded spices and all powdered spices- ginger powder, garlic powder, nutmeg powder and dry roast all the spices for 2-3 minutes on low or until it starts emitting its aroma. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

From Pumpkin Pie to Smoothies, this warm fall like blend can be sprinkled on baked apples, lattes, oatmeal and more. Keep some in a shaker jar to be sprinkled on – well…everything.

  • 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

Herbes de Provence

Herbes de Provence, or Provençal herbs, is a traditional blend of aromatic herbs that flourish in hills of southern France during the hot summer months. Herbes de Provence is a good addition to any dish from the Mediterranean region and is especially good mixed with olive oil to coat chicken, fish, tomatoes or chunks of potato for roasting, add it to a pizza sauce or sprinkle over game or kabobs before roasting. While the lavender is optional it does add a nice aroma and flavour.

  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried savory
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers