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I previous bought a pre-made spice blend from a health food store which I absolutely loved however its $5 per 30g which is pretty expensive so I was thinking I would try and recreate it.

The ingredients it contains are paprika, cumin, sea salt, smoked paprika, coriander seed, amchur, chili, cinnamon, coriander leaf (cilantro) and oregano.

The reason i am posting here is that when it comes to actually doing the ratio/quantities for the spices I am lost. Naturally it doesn't say how many grams of each spice there is in the packet. I thought asking here would be a good option since a lot of the people here seem to know there stuff.

I want to use this in a chili con carne sort of styled dish.

  • 1kg Beef Mince
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 1tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 can Pureed Tomatoes
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2tbsp Spice Blend

I would put the tomatoes and spice mix in a slower cooker for 10 minutes while I browned the rest in a pan then I would add the meat into the slow cooker for 2 hours.

I am looking for something that isn't on the hot side since I am not the only one eating this and unfortunately the others don't appreciate hot food however when I made this with the spice blend it was very well received.

Any help with this would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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Do you have a picture of the mix? Texture and color are always helpful in reverse engineering. –  rrhartjr Jul 20 '12 at 12:53
    
I used all mine up that I had at home but after googling I found 2 average images... gourmetshopper.com.au/shop/product.php?productid=9394 and cookeryb.e-web.com.au/Homewares/herbies/… –  Rambomst Jul 20 '12 at 13:01
    
anyone else here feel that dried cilantro is no more than hay? (or am I missing out on a good freeze-dried version?) –  Pat Sommer Jul 21 '12 at 3:09
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2 Answers

Depending on what tickles your fancy about this spice blend, the amchur (dried, ground unripe mangos) may be the deciding factor here. It's a unique spice that will add a nice tart flavor, which is slightly unusual in Mexican spice blends.

The pictures you linked showed a pretty red blend, which means its probably heavy on the paprika and chili powder. These will be the "base" to your mix.

If I were trying to recreate this mix, I would start with this:

2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp coriander seed
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp amchur
1 tsp dried cilantro

Then just tweak to your taste.

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What criteria did you use for your measurements or is this just a guess? –  Sobachatina Jul 20 '12 at 19:29
    
An educated guess using: the ingredients list the OP provided, the color of the mix and a typical spice mix ratio. –  rrhartjr Jul 20 '12 at 19:41
    
I don't know if Australia follows the same rules as the US for ingredient lists printed on packages, but if it does, they'd be listed from greatest to least amount ... so there'd likely be less oregano and chili (which I'd assume would be just ground chilies, not chili powder), and more smoked paprika and salt. –  Joe Jul 20 '12 at 19:47
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@Joe Greatest to least amount by weight, right? So you'd expect oregano to move up in the list if you're sorting by volume. I agree about the rest, though, especially the salt - storebought spice blends are often pretty heavy on that. –  Jefromi Jul 20 '12 at 22:13
    
I tried this out and it wasn't to bad, it will require a lot of tweaking but it worked well :) Thanks. –  Rambomst Jul 22 '12 at 23:26
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Your mix is just a chili powder with a fruity flair.

As a rule of thumb, chili powder contains large amounts of chilis, cumin, and either garlic or onion. Other flavors come and go and appear in varying quantities. The ingredients in your mix that are not typical are the amchur, coriander, and cinnamon. Cinnamon with chili powder is not unheard of and results in familiar flavors but it isn't often included in standard recipes.

The amchur, dried and powdered unripe mango, and the coriander would impart fresh, fruity notes that are not typical but sound delightful!

AB's is a decent standard chili powder recipe:

  • 3 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and sliced
  • 3 cascabel chiles, stemmed, seeded and sliced
  • 3 dried arbol chiles, stemmed, seeded and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

I was able to find a recipe that looked more similar to yours- that is with coriander and cinnamon:

  • 5 dried Guajillo chilies
  • 2 dried Chipotle chiles
  • 4 Arbol chiles (or other thin red spicy chiles)
  • 1 Tbs paprika
  • 1 Tbs coriander seed
  • 1 Tbs cumin seed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns

Start with this recipe and modify it to your taste. For example I would probably double the cumin and leave out the black pepper as I don't think it fits here. If the flavor of the mango was distinctive in your mix it could be added to taste without adversely affecting the mix. If you don't want your mix to be too spicy then you should stick with milder dried peppers. Many dried peppers are surprisingly mild and fruity. Don't just leave them out because they do make up a bulk of the flavor and the magic.

Notice that both recipes call for no salt. Commercial spice mixes include a lot of salt as cheap filler. You should salt your dish to taste and not add it in your spice mix. By mixing this yourself you will also be able to use freshly toasted and ground spices which will taste much better.

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Guajillos do have a slightly fruity flavor, so they're probably a good choice in this context. –  Jefromi Jul 20 '12 at 22:15
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