• How to make biryani masala spice mix

Homemade Spice Mixes

I love my food full flavoured, interesting and well seasoned, so that means I need a large repository of dried herbs and spices to satisfy my spice-craving tastebuds. My spice “rack” is actually a very large and very deep kitchen drawer full of every imaginable aromatic seed, powder or dried leaf.

Some people collect ornaments, I collect spices so apart from them being really delicious, I regularly decant a few bags into my spice grinder and come up with Homemade Spice Mixes. If like me, you want your food to be implausibly tasty and you love to use up bags of spices bought in a moment of fancy, then read on! I’ll add my latest creations as I come up with them to this post so bookmark this page for future reference.

 

Mixed Spice

An essential for Christmas cakes, Christmas puddings, Welshcakes and Simnel Cake to name but a few, Mixed Spice is fragrant, sweet and warming. As with any of these homemade spice mixes, it makes a great present in a pretty little glass jar as a stocking filler.

Homemade Mixed Spice - a spice blend for all your Christmas and Easter baking needs

5 from 2 votes
Stock up your spice rack with homemade mixed spice - essential for Easter and Christmas baking :D
Homemade Mixed Spice

A festive little blend essential for Christmas baking. 

Makes a generous 5 tbsp worth (I frequently double this recipe too). 

: 81 kcal
Author: Just Jo
Ingredients
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp heaped of allspice berries
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 4-5 whole black peppercorns (optional)
Instructions
  1. Using a coffee grinder, grind the nutmeg, cloves, coriander and allspice berries to a fine powder. Add the black peppercorns if using at this stage too. 

  2. Whisk in the ready-ground spices and sift through a tea strainer or some sieve to get rid of any large shards which escaped grinding. 

  3. Store in a small glass jar in a cool dark place. 

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Mixed Spice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 81 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 11mg 0%
Potassium 141mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin C 3.3%
Calcium 13.7%
Iron 15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

This is the all-American version of the very British Mixed Spice. If you like one but have never tried the other, I hope I can persuade you to give this a try. I love it in my Spiced Carrot Muffins and actually, I use a lot of it in place of Mixed Spice as I prefer the perfume of this blend.

Spiced Carrot Muffins with a hidden cheesecake centre!

 

5 from 2 votes
Spiced Carrot Muffins with a hidden cheesecake centre!
Pumpkin Pie Spice

The addition of cardamom is not traditional but I really love it - do give it a try! 

: 109 kcal
Author: Just Jo
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp allspice berries
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg (about half a whole one grated)
  • 1/2 tsp seeds from green cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
Instructions
  1. Whisk together all the ground spices. 

  2. Grate the nutmeg or throw it in a coffee/spice grinder along with the rest of the whole spices and blitz to a fine powder.

  3. Sift all the spices together to remove any small shards of whole spice which have escaped the grinder and store in an airtight glass jar. 

Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 109 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 13mg 1%
Potassium 265mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber 12g 48%
Sugars 1g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 1.1%
Vitamin C 4.7%
Calcium 22.1%
Iron 20.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Italian Seasoning

This savoury little mix is just fabulous. Whether you sprinkle it on your chicken as it roasts, rub it into pork shoulder before turning it into pulled pork or even on top of homemade Italian herbs & cheese subway rolls, it is delicious. There’s no need to buy jars of this when homemade Italian Seasoning is so much better.

5 from 2 votes
Italian Seasoning

Wonderful rubbed into chicken or pork before roasting, or added to casseroles or stews for extra flavour. 

Makes approximately 6 generous tablespoons worth. 

: 124 kcal
Author: Just Jo
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 whole dried red chillies
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
Instructions
  1. Lightly toast the fennel seeds, peppercorns, cumin, coriander, red chillies and bay leaves in a dry frying pan until fragrant. Allow to cool fully before grinding with a coffee grinder/spice mill.

  2. Whisk in the oregano, rosemary and thyme then store in an airtight glass jar. 

Nutrition Facts
Italian Seasoning
Amount Per Serving
Calories 124 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Sodium 23mg 1%
Potassium 568mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates 25g 8%
Dietary Fiber 13g 52%
Sugars 1g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 24.5%
Vitamin C 4.5%
Calcium 35.1%
Iron 49.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cajun Seasoning

Make this as hot or as smoky as you like, by varying the type of chilli powder you use. It is fabulous in mixed bean chilli and my Cajun Rice that you can use for burritos; my Chicken Burritos use some Cajun seasoning too. Or mix some with a little oil and stir into homemade hummus for a spicy kit.

Homemade Cajun seasoning

5 from 2 votes
How to make biryani masala spice mix
Cajun Seasoning

Hot and spicy, fabulous in all of your Mexican cooking adventures!

: 109 kcal
Author: Just Jo
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp chilli powder*
  • 1.5 tsp dried thyme
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
Instructions
  1. Simply whisk together and store in an airtight glass jar. 

Recipe Notes

*= use whichever chilli powder you prefer and do vary the amount to how hot you like it. Chipotle chilli powder is really fabulous here as the smoky flavour really does something special to this little spice mix. 

Nutrition Facts
Cajun Seasoning
Amount Per Serving
Calories 109 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Sodium 286mg 12%
Potassium 617mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 9g 36%
Sugars 1g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 138.5%
Vitamin C 1.1%
Calcium 21.7%
Iron 77.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Biryani Masala

Now, I am betting that most of us haven’t come across this spice blend before but it is fabulous. Garam masala is like the Mixed Spice of India but biryani masala is used, naturally, in biryanis but I also like adding some to basmati rice to serve with curries and also in my Chickpea & Butternut Curry itself. The spices are less common to those accustomised to British-Asian curries but please give it a go!

How to make biryani masala spice mix

5 from 2 votes
How to make biryani masala spice mix
Biryani Masala

For use in biryanis, rice or even in place of garam masala if you're feeling adventurous! 

Makes about 8 tbsp worth.

Author: Just Jo
Ingredients
  • 1/2 a whole cinnamon stick
  • 8 whole cloaks of mace
  • 5 bay leaves*
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds (or black cumin if you have it)
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 3-4 green cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 whole nutmegs
Instructions
  1. Toast all the spices in a dry frying pan and when cool, blitz to a fine powder in a coffee grinder or spice mill. You will likely have to do this in batches. 

  2. Whisk well and sift together to remove any small shards which escaped the grinding blades. Store in an airtight glass jar. 

Recipe Notes

*= get Indian bay leaves if you can - they are leaves from the cassia tree which is very closely related to the cinnamon we get in the UK. They are really beautifully perfumed. 

Ranch Seasoning

Are you a fan of Ranch salad dressing? Ranch seasoning is an essential ingredient in that creamy blend of buttermilk and mayonnaise but it’s also a requirement in Buffalo style dishes. My Buffalo Chicken and Buffalo Cauliflower Pasta Bake wouldn’t be the same without it!

Homemade Ranch Seasoning

5 from 2 votes
Ranch Seasoning

Essential in Ranch dressing and Buffalo style dishes but equally delicious sprinkled onto chicken or potatoes before roasting. 

Author: Just Jo
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp dried dill
  • 2 tsp dried chives
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
Instructions
  1. Blitz all the ingredients together in a coffee grinder or spice mill until you have a fine powder. Store in an airtight glass jar. 

To finish…

These recipes aren’t exactly spice mixes but if you love what you’ve read so far, I think you’ll love these too!

The secret blend of KFC spices is now not so secret!

How to make your own Bargain Bucket, with the secret blend of herbs and spices and far less guilt!

 

 

 

 

 

All-Purpose Curry Paste is a great base to all manner of homemade curries.

All purpose curry paste suitable for Indian style curries made in a jiffy at home :D

Salt Beef is brisket brined in a fragrant spice bath and cooked until fork tender.

 

 

 

 

 

Look no further for the recipe for Nando’s marinade and sauce!

Peri-Peri Sauce aka Homemade Nandos! How to make a marinade just like the original Nandos recipe at home

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6 Comments

  1. Sue Nicholson 12th November 2017 at 11:48 am - Reply

    I use whole spices from your biryani mix when cooking ‘plain’ rice – cardamom, cloves, cardamom and peppercorns – plus a big knob of butter or ghee. If I’m doing Thai I sub the cardamom with star anise. I carefully count cardamom pods in – and out – because it’s always my plate they all land on!

    • Just Jo 13th November 2017 at 5:37 pm - Reply

      I must be weird Sue as I eat the whole spices lol. But yes, they are great used whole in a pilao.

  2. Corina Blum 13th November 2017 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    I love spice mixes and could happily spend a day making all these and then testing them out in recipes! A good spice mix can really make the difference to a recipe.

    • Just Jo 13th November 2017 at 5:38 pm - Reply

      Absolutely! And it’s fun to come up with different ways to use the blends.
      Plus you know there’s no weird fillers and preservatives when you grind your own x

  3. K 2nd June 2018 at 5:11 am - Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I didn´t think I would find an alternative to a store bought mix (that I later learned contains MSG).

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