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Advieh Spice Blend Uncovered

Understanding Spices

What is advieh?

Literally translating to ‘spice’ in Persian, advieh is a spice blend used in Iranian cuisine. It’s a staple in Persian cooking, often compared to India’s garam masala. As with many other spice blends that have been around for eons, the recipe varies from region to region (and even from household to household!) It has a delicate, floral flavour which pairs well with a wide range of dishes.

Depending on the variety, the spice blend usually consists of:

  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Cloves
  • Rose petals or rose buds
  • Cumin
  • Ginger
  • Black pepper
  • Dried limes
  • Caraway seeds
  • Nutmeg
  • Star anise
  • Angelica
  • Mace
  • Saffron
  • Coriander

A brief history of advieh and Persian cuisine

Persia is one of the oldest civilisations in the world and is where modern-day Iran stands. At its largest – 2,500 years ago – the Persian Empire extended all the way to Egypt, Greece and Turkey. Persian cuisine is ancient and varied, and has taken influence from ancient Greece and Rome, Asian, Mediterranean and Russian cuisine, and of course the Silk Road which went through Iran. In turn, Persian cuisine has also been incredibly influential, lending styles and recipes to everything from Indian and Turkish, to Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine. There are recipes out there which use advieh that date back more than 2,000 years ago, so as an ancient spice blend, there isn’t a precise version of advieh’s origins.

Today, Persian cooking is varied. Rice dishes are central to Persian cuisine, so you can imagine just how ubiquitous advieh is. These rice dishes vary greatly and contain ingredients like almonds, pistachios, glazed carrots, orange peels, raisins, vegetables and meat. Lamb and chicken are typically marinated with spices and grilled as kebabs, or added to stews with fruit and sour ingredients like lime juice. Spices like cinnamon and cardamom are commonly used, as well fresh herbs like dill, mint, parsley, coriander, basil and tarragon. Flatbreads and pickles are served at every meal and desserts often use rose water and pistachios.

How do you use advieh?

As advieh doesn’t have a set ingredient list, the flavour can vary depending on which spices are used. However, the most common spices which are mixed into the blend are cumin, rose petals and cloves. Cumin adds an earthy, nutty flavour with a slight bitterness. Rose petals add a delicate, floral taste and cloves have a strong camphor, piney taste and aroma.

Advieh is most commonly used in rice dishes or in dishes that would usually be served with rice, such as vegetable dishes, grilled meats, stews, soups and pickles. It’s also used as a dry rub for meat such as lamb and chicken.

Recipe suggestions

Keen to try it out? You can find advieh on our website here. Here are some great recipes which use the spice blend:

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