What is the ultimate spice

The spice lies in the short: 5 spice mixes to make yourself

These instant spices make your life easier

I'm a big fan of giving my sense of taste artistic freedom and letting off steam while seasoning my dishes. A pinch of this and a little of it is a big part of cooking for a reason, because spices are part of every dish just like a good dessert in a full stomach.

But as much as I appreciate the art of cooking: Sometimes it can just be easy. Especially after a strenuous day, it is reassuring to know that there is a spice jar in the pantry, in which the aromas are already mixed together in perfect proportions.

Today we are drawn to these little lifesavers in the kitchen. We explain to you why instant spices should definitely not be missing in your pantry, show you which mixtures are used around the world and also which 5 homemade ready-to-use mixes cost you little to prepare but one to cook Save a lot of time.

Why spice mixes make your life easier

A deep breath with your nose over a bulging spice jar has something fulfilling. The rollercoaster of your olfactory nerves, which cannot decide between bittersweet, flowery and fruity, is rounded off by a pleasant feeling that is most likely sent directly from your stomach to the brain.

Spice mixtures are not only beneficial for the nose and stomach, but also save you a few simple steps when preparing food. Because in brevity lies the flavor! Whoever said that was right.

Having everything you need in terms of spicy flavor components ready with just one grip on the spice rack is indispensable for the fast cook. The fantastic thing about ready-made mixes is that you actually only have to invest time once to mix everything together - and then you can simply use a pinch of it to round off your dish in terms of taste

Another advantage: You determine the ratio of the elements in advance. This means that when you cook your spice it is already perfectly balanced and no longer needs to be subjected to lengthy taste tests.

This is how you mix your perfect blend of spices

If you can, get ingredients such as allspice or star anise whole and not pre-ground, as this will keep the full aroma. The greatest amount of work then only consists of crushing everything with a mortar and pestle, mixing it and placing it in an airtight glass - that's about it.

Just feel your way to the right mixing ratio as you wish. For spices with intense flavors such as chilli flakes, garlic, onion or ginger powder, only use a small amount at first. This mostly affects mixtures from Indian, Oriental, Asian or Mexican cuisine, as the cuisine there is more spicy than in this country.

Therefore: slowly at first, because seasoning is always possible. Once you have found the ideal mixing ratio, it is best to write it down on the label of your spice jar.

Mild dishes such as pastries, dips or bowls usually tolerate more additional flavors. Use it more courageously, but don't forget to season it. In the end you get your ultimate, very individual instant mixture.

Spice mixes from all over the world

In Germany we love hearty food, but our dishes are naturally less spicy. Compared to dishes from other food cultures, which sometimes cannot do without at least ten different spices per dish, we usually only have a handful.

Sometimes the focus is therefore on traditional German cuisine - specialties from all over the world take their place. To make it easier for you with the multitude of spices, here is a small guide for spice mixtures from afar:

In many regions of India, people cook spicy, very spicy! This is also not uncommon in other warm countries, because contrary to western intuition, spicy food can cool our bodies. The spice mix Garam Masala is very well known - one of the few ready mixes that is used on the entire Indian subcontinent and is great for curries, rice dishes and meat marinades. Ingredients include cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. However, there is no uniform recipe and it is an absolute family matter. You can still find a variant on our website:

A hot drink afterwards? How about Masala Chai, a flavored black tea-based tea with milk and sugar. Translated means Masala “Spice”, which also explains why the specialty has its place here, because it not only tastes good in the drink that gives it its name, but also in pastries and hearty dishes.

Asian spice blends vary from country to country, of course. Still, there are some spices that can be found in many kitchens. The Chinese five-spice powder, for example, stands out from the multitude of different spices and has also been used in Vietnam and Thailand in addition to China.

In China it is often used in meat marinades or in the breading of deep-fried tofu, but it is also used in Vietnamese grilled dishes. If you want to try something special, Five-Spice also goes amazingly well with chocolate desserts.

At a weekly market in the Middle East you will find, among other things, spices, spices and more spices. After you've stuffed your pockets there, your fingers will certainly not only tingle to finally start cooking, but also your nose because of the many impressive smells. Oriental dishes live from their spice, so Middle Eastern spice mixtures are often very intense, which is why you shouldn't be too overzealous with the dosage. Za'atar is widespread in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Whether in North Africa, Israel or Syria, it is valued everywhere for its light acidity and the fine, tart thyme taste and is suitable, among other things, for seasoning dips, marinades and salads.

Baharat is Arabic for "spices", but at the same time it describes a specific mixture that often consists of cardamom, cloves, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika and pepper. In the Persian Gulf region you will find the spice superficially in connection with meat - whether as a marinade or rub. With this mixture you can also try a very special specialty: Coffee baharat, a spiced mocha.

5 spice mixes, 5 less worries

Have a mortar, pestle and some airtight jars ready, because you shouldn't miss these ready mixes on your spice rack!

Proof that ready-made spice mixes make your life easier: Porridge spice. How often was it in the morning in the kitchen and I gave almost all the aces on my spice rack to the poor oatmeal, which afterwards certainly had the feeling that they were inedible on their own.

Well, it really cannot be completely denied, at least a little spice does not harm the filling, but somewhat unspectacular breakfast cereal. Since I have a glass of the spice mixture in my pantry, my morning is more relaxed than ever:

● 2 tbsp almonds (ground)
● 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
● 1 tbsp cinnamon
● 0.5 tbsp ginger (ground)
● 1 tbsp vanilla powder
● 0.25 tbsp clove (ground)
● 0.25 cardamom (ground)

I mix a heaping teaspoon of the finished spice under 100 g of oat flakes, which I prefer to warm up with a little (plant) milk. The interplay of the cinnamon breakfast cereals and a crunchy apple results in the perfect breakfast for me. And that's almost all I need - the only thing missing is coffee. Also tastes great in a fruit salad with yogurt!

On my first visit to the USA, I had an assignment: to bring the famous Everything (but the) Bagel Seasoning. No wonder - you don't need more than a fresh bagel, cream cheese and the spice mix.

It's just a shame when the companion of the round pastry runs out and you don't get overseas again anytime soon. But: You can also find all the ingredients you need in this country! As unusual as you sometimes like it culinary, a simple composition made of just a few ingredients sounds like this:

● 1 tbsp sea salt
● 1.5 tbsp sesame seeds
● 1.5 tbsp black sesame seeds
● 0.5 tbsp poppy seeds
● 1 tbsp garlic flakes
● 0.5 tbsp onion flakes

Ramen noodles are divine as long as they are not doused with salt or peppered with an excessive amount of chili. So what's left? Mix the ultimate ramen spice yourself according to your needs.

If you're not a fan of ginger, take a little less of the ground spice or leave it out entirely. Too hot, too smoky, not enough pep? Adjust the ingredients according to your wishes and create the best and fastest ramen soup around.

● 2 tbsp garlic powder
● 2 tbsp onion powder
● 2 tbsp chicken stock powder
● 1 teaspoon black pepper
● 1 tbsp ginger (ground)
● 0.5 tsp chilli flakes
● 1 teaspoon salt
● 1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder

One tablespoon of the spice mixture is enough for 500 ml of water, which you can add to taste with a dash of chicken broth. What is still missing are ramen noodles, which you cook according to the instructions on the packet and then add the broth. Add fried minced beef and top your noodle soup with a halved egg, spring onions, sesame seeds, shichimi and nori leaves.

I have a feeling that this mixture could be the best seller among all the five ready-to-use spices. This is not only due to its scent, which directly spreads the Christmas spirit, but also to the very easy preparation.

Here is another tip for a sophisticated Christmas greeting: Add a small sachet with the spice mixture to your Christmas cards this year. And that's the key to getting your family & friends affectionate:

● 12 cardamom pods
● 10 carnations
● 1 star anise
● 1 cinnamon stick
● 8 allspice grains
● 2 teaspoons of whole aniseed
● 1 orange
● 60 g brown whole cane sugar

All ingredients except the orange peel and the whole cane sugar go into the mortar and are crushed. Then add the two ingredients and the mixture is ready. When the time comes, you simply remove the mixture from its storage and put it in a saucepan with 1 liter of red wine. Warm up, but do not bring to the boil!

Alternatively, you can put the mixture in a tea bag, put it in the wine and take it out again after cooking. It'll be nice if you serve the mulled wine with an orange slice, a cinnamon stick and a star anise. You can find the detailed recipe here.

Ciao! Why does this ready-made Italian spice mix wrap you around not just one, but all of your fingers? Because you can use it to season more than just a special dish, but numerous Italian classics: bruschetta, tomato sauces for pizza & pasta and dips (for example based on crème fraîche, yoghurt or sour cream) will never taste better. To recreate the mix at home, you'll need a ton of green ingredients, such as:

● 4 teaspoons of dried basil
● 4 teaspoons of dried oregano
● 4 teaspoons of dried rosemary
● 4 teaspoons of dried marjoram
● 4 teaspoons of dried thyme
● 4 teaspoons of dried savory
● 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
● 2 teaspoons of onion powder
● 2 teaspoons of sweet paprika powder

The Italian all-rounder does without salt. Therefore, make sure that you always season your dishes to taste before serving and, if necessary, spice them up.

No other ingredient can affect the taste of a dish like spices by adding just a small amount. All the more, spice mixtures can bring several taste buds into full swing at the same time.

Now you only have to decide on the composition and the mixing ratio of the individual components for your Live Saver relaxation spice mixture. Besides a little laziness, where else is there individuality - or, as theorists would call it, that certain something?

Posted on October 22, 2020