Crafting Traditional Spice Blends

Herb and Spice Blends

Traditional herb and spice blends have long typified popular ethnic cuisines such as Thai, Indian, Chinese, and French cooking. The blends are often what become a signature for that particular region and the great ones become almost interchange when referring to the food there. Traditional spice blends are mostly based on what grows well in the area and seem to encompass a flavor profile that is unique and desirable to the chefs who know how to use them. There are always variations on each blend and they can be altered based on preference or even region. When crafting your own blends it is important to start with the base of flavors and then embellish based on what you have available in season and your personal preference. You will know which spice you like the best and you can adjust up or down with components that you want more or less pronounced. Using all of your senses, just like a good mortar and pestle or spice grinder, is essential.

Below are two of my favorite blends with their ingredients that I usually have on hand at any given time. Sometimes I vary the quantities and add other things, but generally they remain the same.


Garam Masala:


Bay Leaves


Black and White Pepper

Chili Pepper







Herbs de Provence:

Summer Savory