Spice Hoarding and a Shawarma Spice Mix


Spice HoardingIt’s really no great secret that my spice hoarding is out of control. But when I unpacked the cupboard to sweep up some dried herbs and spilled Shawarma Mix, even I was taken aback.

The masala daba (Indian spice box) is my pièce de résistance, bursting with color and a heady mix of fragrant garam masala, Indian chili and fenugreek.

The tins with color-coded labels are filled with whole seeds, ground spices, nuts, leaves, and my favorite spice blends. From the oregano and garlic powder I grew up with, to the Egyptian Dukkah and weirdly pungent Hing, I am apparently obsessed with flavor.

The Mr., who could survive on steak, potatoes and meatloaf, along with Mouse and Ruth, have been subjected over the years to bouts of experimentation that, on occasion, have rendered dinner inedible. Even this though, The Mr. reminds me, is better than the baked to oblivion chicken breast soup and Rice-a-Roni I cooked once a week for the first three years of our marriage.

He’s been a brave soul on this journey with me, and every once in a while my spice hoarding pays off, which brings me back to the Shawarma …

Shawarma Spice Mix

1 Tbsp each cumin, coriander, garlic powder

2 tsps paprika

1 tsp each salt, pepper and turmeric

½ tsp each clove, cayenne pepper, cinnamon

We rub this with a little olive oil on chicken, lamb or beef, marinate it overnight and then roast it under the broiler. There's really no way to get the full shawarma flavor without the giant spit to roast it on, but this is a damn tasty second best.