Turkish spice blend is a warm and earthy seasoning mix rich with cumin and Middle Eastern Spices. Use this on roasted meats or as a dry rub.
The perfect mix of dry toasted pink and black peppercorns and cilantro, this seasoning also includes paprika for a touch of sweetness, the lemony zing of sumac, and some heat from cayenne peppers.
There are so many ways to utilize this mix, you’ll want to keep a container of this on hand at all times!
Try sprinkling this over some cooked chickpeas and then roast for a crunchy satisfying snack. Or add some to your next salad or roasted vegetables for a little kick of flavor. It's perfect rubbed on chicken and fish before cooking and sprinkled over popcorn, too!
Ingredients for Turkish Spice Blend
*For a complete list of seasonings, see the recipe card below
Cumin Seeds - You’ll be using these whole and dry toasting them before you grind them up.
Peppercorns - These will also be dry toasted until they start to burst. I like to use both black and pink for the different flavors they add to the blend.
Turkish Bay Leaves - Turkish bay leaves are different from the California bay leaf. I prefer the Turkish variety for this blend because it has a much milder flavor and lacks the strong menthol flavor of California bay leaves.
Sweet Paprika - I love the color and hint of sweetness that the paprika adds to this recipe.
Sumac - An essential to any Mediterranean recipe, sumac adds a warm and lemony zing to this mix.
How to make Turkish Spice Blend
It’s hard to imagine an easier recipe to make, but there are a couple of points to highlight.
You’ll use a dry saute pan and toast the peppercorns and cumin until the cumin starts to burst. This will take several minutes, so just watch the pan to make sure they don’t scorch.
Next, you’ll combine your toasted peppercorns and seeds with the oregano and bay leaves in your spice grinder and grind until everything is powder.
Now it’s the cilantro’s turn to be toasted and dried in your pan over low heat. Again, be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. You can also purchase dried cilantro at your local market or online.
Combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
- Use or store
You can use this right away or store it in an airtight container for future delicious meals.
Tips For Making Homemade Turkish Spices
Whole cumin seeds are much more pungent than the preground version, therefore you will get some really wonderful flavor in your spice blend.
However, if you don’t have cumin seeds on hand, you can skip the toasting step and substitute ground cumin instead. You’ll just have to use a little bit more to achieve the flavor.
For every teaspoon of seeds, you’ll need 1 ¼ teaspoon of ground. So for this recipe that would be an additional ¾ teaspoon of ground cumin for every tablespoon of seeds called for.
With many different types of peppercorns available, it’s interesting to note that green, black, white, and red varieties are actually all the same seasoning just ripened or processed differently.
Pretty amazing that so many flavors and levels of spice can come from the same plant.
Pink peppercorns, though, aren’t peppercorns at all. Rather they are the dried berries of a South American shrub called Baies Rose. While they do have a peppery bite, they also have fruity and floral notes in their flavor.
For additional information about more herbs and spices check out Essential Mediterranean Spices and Pantry Items
Turkish Spice Blend
- 4 tbsp cumin seeds (or 3 ¾ tsp ground cumin)
- 4 tbsp black peppercorns (or 3 ¾ tsp ground black pepper)
- 1 tbsp dried cilantro
- 4 tsp oregano
- 10 Turkish bay leaves
- ¼ cup salt
- 4 tsp sweet paprika
- 4 tsp sumac
- 3 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- In a small sauté pan toast the cumin and peppercorns until the seeds start to pop, several minutes. Do not burn. Remove from pan and place in spice grinder with dried cilantro, oregano, Turkish bay leaves and grind until powder.
- In a small bowl mix the ground spices with the salt, paprika, sumac, cayenne pepper and sesame seeds. Store in an airtight container.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.