I really like this spice blend and use it very often. It gives a lovely deep and warm flavor to food without being overly hot. It works especially well on roasted meats or vegetables but you can use it as well in stews, soups or sauces.
In Brussels we are quite spoiled, we have several middle eastern supermarkets where we can buy the spice mix ready made. However I have noticed that the taste is far better when I make it myself.
If you want to have a go at it you just need to respect the proportions listed below (if you want a bigger batch, you just double or triple them). I recommend starting off with whole spices which have been dry roasted which you then put in the coffee blender. However you can also use the spices already in their powder form. Store the mix in an airtight container for a period of maximum 6 months.
There are variations on this spice mix, depending on the country they are used in, however I find that the basic flavors are the same no matter what the variant is.
The ingredients for the Arabic 7 spice mix are:
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 tablespoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamon
Don’t use spices that have been lingering in your cupboard for months – spices loose a lot of their punch and flavor over time. And one last thing: this spice mix pares very well with the sharpness of lemon juice. So when I roast meat or veggies that have been coated in this spice I always squeeze the juice of half a lemon on it before serving. I really boosts the flavor.
I hope you enjoy it!