Homemade shawarma spice (seasoning blend)
This homemade shawarma spice is the perfect seasoning blend for your homemade pita wraps!
Servings: 12 1-tablespoon servings
- 2 tbsp whole black peppercorns (see notes)
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1-1/2 tbsp whole clove (see notes)
- 1-1/2 tbsp ground Ceylon cinnamon (see notes)
- 2 tbsp ground nutmeg (see notes)
- 1 tbsp whole green cardamom pods (see notes)
- 1/2 tbsp chili powder (see notes)
- 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tbsp salt
Combine all of the spices in a spice/coffee grinder (or mortar and pestle, if you prefer) and grind until everything is mixed together well. Alternatively, grind the whole spices separately and add then the spices that are already ground, mixing everything together well.
Store in an airtight container. Makes about 3/4 cup (about 12 servings of 1 tablespoon each).
To use the seasoning
Per 1lb protein (meat, tofu, etc.), place 1 Tbsp seasoning and 2 Tbsp olive oil in a container (close to the size of the protein for the best marinading!). Add the protein, ensure the marinade covers it as best possible and let it marinate for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. Cook the protein by grilling or pan-frying for best results. Use in your favourite wrap!
- Whole black peppercorns are best because they impart a spicier taste when they're freshly ground. My favourite peppercorns are Cha's Organics' whole peppercorns.
- Whole clove is not to be confused with garlic! It's a spice that comes in little buds and is sometimes used in sweet dishes. You can also find it powdered, but I usually use Cha's Organics' whole clove in this recipe and grind it fresh with the other whole spices.
- Ceylon (a.k.a. true) cinnamon is so much better than what most stores sell. Most "cinnamon" in the market is actually a cheaper cousin of cinnamon called cassia. True/Ceylon cinnamon has a more complex and higher-quality flavour, and is identified on the label. The one I recommend is Cha's Organics' true cinnamon.
- Ground nutmeg is less pungent than freshly-grated nutmeg, so if you're grating it fresh, use only about 1 tablespoon. I recommend Cha's Organics nutmeg (whole or ground).
- Whole green cardamom pods are often used in Indian cuisine and can be found in some chai blends. Using the whole spice is going to give a better flavour than just the little black seeds, as it's a milder and more complex flavour. The best pods I've found are Cha's Organics' whole cardamom.
- Chili powder is not the same as red chili flakes, cayenne pepper or any other super hot spice. Chili powder is actually quite mild, all things considered, and gives a lovely smokiness to things like chili con carne (hence the name). If you can't find chili powder, try about half as much of red chili flakes (or about 1/4 the amount of cayenne pepper powder) and increase to taste in the next batch if you like it hotter.