THREE COMMON SPICE MIXTURES

 

Garam Masala   (Herbs of India)

The French do it and call it “ Herbs de Provence” and the Chinese make a combo called “Five-spice powder”. The recipe changes from region to region within northern India and even changes from house to house where it might even be a closely guarded secret.

Blends may contain Rosebuds  [Found in Indian or Middle Eastern markets)
Black cardamom, and fennel seeds (in the style of Kashmir)
Royal cumin (shahi or kala zeera, also found in Indian markets)
Garam Masala is only added at the last step of cooking, almost like a fresh herb, because it tends to become bitter if cooked too long.  If you are not into mixing herbs 
McCormick’s GOURMET or 

TYPE ONE SIMPLE - INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

DIRECTIONS - Mix cumin, coriander, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a bowl. Place mix in an airtight container, and store in a cool, dry place.


TYPE TWO - MORE COMPLEX INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon dried miniature rosebuds (optional)
A 1-inch piece cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup cumin seeds
1/3 cup coriander seeds
1 tablespoon green cardamom pods
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 dried red chile
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground mace

DIRECTIONS - If the roses have stems, break them off and discard.  Heat the roses with the cinnamon, bay leaves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, whole peppercorns, cloves, and chile in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the cumin becomes brown, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or coffee mill, add the nutmeg and mace, and grind until powder fine. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 months.

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Taco Seasoning Mix  (Herbos De Mexico)

Taco seasoning is one of my favorite spice mixes.  Sadly, store bought taco seasoning is full of nasty stuff with an ingredients label that reads like a chemistry textbook. If you’ve been wondering how to replace those small packets of MSG-riddled spices with something real, you should give this recipe for homemade taco seasoning a try.
Not only is this homemade taco seasoning more nutritious, it’s also cheap! 

INGREDIANTS
2 tablespoons onion powder1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground oregano
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Optional   1/4 treaspoon Sirachi Powder (Tone)

DIRECTIONS Mix onion powder, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, sugar, and salt together in a small bowl.

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Herbes De Provence  (Viva La France)

Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs typical of the Provence region of southeast France. Formerly simply a descriptive term, commercial blends started to be sold under this name in the 1970s   These mixtures typically contain savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and other herbs. 

In the North American market, lavender leaves are also typically included, though lavender does not appear in the recipes in Jean-Baptiste Reboul's 1910 compendium of Provençal cooking.

As the name herbes de Provence is generic, and not a Protected Geographical Status, there is no guarantee that any herb mixture on the market actually comes from Provence; indeed, the vast majority of these blends come from central and eastern Europe, North Africa, and China.

Herbes de Provence are used to flavour grilled foods such as fish and meat, as well as vegetable stews. The mixture can be added to foods before or during cooking or mixed with cooking oil prior to cooking so as to infuse the flavour into the cooked food. They are rarely added after cooking is complete.  It was in the 1970s that homogenized mixtures were formulated by spice wholesalers, including notably Ducros in France (now part of McCormick & Company).


INGREDIANTS

2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1 tablespoon fennel seed
2 tablespoons dried savory
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
2 tablespoons dried Italian parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon bay powder

DIRECTIONS Grind rosemary and fennel seed in a spice grinder; transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir savory, thyme, basil, marjoram, lavender, parsley, oregano, tarragon, and bay powder with the rosemary and fennel. Store in an air-tight container between uses.

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