Grilling Spice Mix

I love making food gifts and now is the time to start thinking about getting organized for the holidays. I have been inspired by a great little book - Gifts from the Kitchen by Annie Rigg. It is definitely worth a look. This recipe is based on one of the recipes in that book. Feel free to tinker with the amounts and types of herbs. It's all up to you!

This grilling spice mix is perfect for your friends that love to BBQ throughout the year. Package the mixture up into little mason jars with handwritten tags for your favourite people. Include a bottle of gourmet barbecue sauce, and a grilling utensil or two, and you have the makings of a great gift. I made lamb burgers last week and I added 2 tablespoons of my spice mix. They were fantastic!

Grilling Spice Mix
Makes about 1 cup.

6 green cardamom pods
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
4 tsp coriander seeds
4 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp dry mustard powder
2-3 tsp sugar

Gently crack the cardamom pods by giving them a sharp tap with a heavy object. Remove and discard the papery green outer husks and put the little black seeds into a dry skillet. Add the peppercorns and the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds. Toast the spices in a dry skillet over low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until they start to smell very aromatic and begin to brown slightly.
Immediately put the toasted seeds into a mortar, add the crushed red pepper flakes, and finely grind with the pestle. Add the remaining ingredients to the mortar and mix to combine. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can use a clean coffee bean grinder)
Scoop the spice mix into a sterilized jar, seal, and label with grilling instructions.

*** Sprinkle the spice mix over steaks, chicken or veggies and leave to marinate before grilling. Store the spice mixture in a cool dark space for up to 2 months.

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