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DIY World Spice Blends

Lots of different spices, herb powders, and spice blends in bowls and containers with spoons on table

All too often it’s easy to use the same spices over and over again. If they work, then why not? I sprinkle Italian seasoning on just about everything. Turmeric powder and smoked salt are two other popular staples in my houshold. But this season I was determined to bring some new flavors into my kitchen. I’m thrilled to say that these blends did just the trick!

Tips for Making Spice Blends at Home: 

  • If you have whole spices on hand instead of powdered spices, you can easily grind the spices yourself using a mortar and pestle.
  • If you are making the spice blend to be used as a regular garnish, add the whole spices to a spice grinder and then use as needed.
  • For every "1 part" of a spice called for in these blends, I suggest using a half teaspoon or a teaspoon to get started. Remember, these are just general guidelines. Adjust proportions to what feels right for you! 
  • While blending, you'll find that certain spices (like garlic or cayenne powder) spread quickly into the air around you! So it may be best to mix your blend with gloves or in a well-ventilated room. 

World Spice Blend Ethiopian Berbere In A Mortar With Ingredients In A Plate

Berbere Spice Blend Recipe from Ethiopia

Not only is this blend delicious, it seems to fill your entire mouth with flavor, instead of just your tongue. The variety of spices make for a surpisingly smooth taste, and it's easily adjustable depending on your tolerance for spicy foods.



To get the most flavor from this mix, lightly saute the blend in oil and add to a glass jar to use whenever you want an extra pop of flavor. This berbere spice blend oil was so popular in my household, we added spoonfuls to everything from plain rice to cooked veggies. Enjoy!

Punjabi Spice blend with cumin powder, coriander powder, black pepper, salt in a copper dish with a spoon on the table

Punjabi Cumin Spice Blend Recipe from India

One of my favorite kitchen aromas is the smell of roasted cumin! Growing up in an Indian home, this spice blend has always been used when we make curried garbanzos. 



If using turmeric powder, lightly saute it first in oil so that it cooks. You'll find the flavor become more smooth. Then, add in other spices, simmer for a few more minutes, and a little hot water if you want it to be saucy! Add to pre-cooked garbanzo beans, vegetables, or other savory dishes. 

Hulled cardamom, black pepper and peppercorns, cinnamon powder and other spices in bowls on wooden table

Advieh Spice Blend Recipe from Iran

While I was researching new (to me) spice blend recipes, I came across this one. I hadn’t seen many blends with such unique contrasts (like cumin and rose petal powder), so I couldn’t help but reach out to my Iranian friend to ask if she’d ever used this blend. She gave it a thumbs up, and so do I. It tastes like a sophisticated cinnamon spice mix with both savory and floral notes. 



This blend makes for a lovely addition to a rice pilaf or lentil soup. It’s also great sprinkled on some toast or oatmeal with a little butter and honey. 

These global spice blends warmed up my kitchen, brought new inspiration to old dishes, and inspired me to keep trying new blends. Plus, they made the whole house smell out of this world! To those of you who think you've tasted it all, I assure you that when it comes to the kitchen, there will always be new flavors to try and new aromas to enjoy. Such is the nature of herbs and spices. 


Inspired To Start Spice Blending? 

Learn To Make Your Own Mulling Spice


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Topics: Culinary, Recipes

Ek Ongkar

Written by Ek Ongkar on October 12, 2017

Ek Ongkar Khalsa was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, but she’s no stranger to the ancient Indian wellness philosophy of Ayurveda. She’s had the pleasure of attending many health seminars by the world renowned Ayurvedic physician, Dr. Partap Chauhan from Jiva Ayurveda. While spending three weeks in India at a Jiva clinic, she attended classes on traditional herbal remedies, Ayurvedic lifestyle, and even got to enjoy traditional Ayurvedic treatments along with traditional Ayurvedic Indian cuisine. Ek Ongkar holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University. In addition to working as a Marketing Strategist at Mountain Rose Herbs, you can often find her sipping chai, taking long walks on local woodland trails, and doing origami.

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