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Where possible, try to use whole spices and dry roast them before grinding – this has a dramatic effect on the flavour and aroma by fully developing & enhancing their volatile oils. This is how we make all our spice blends to ensure you always get the finest, authentic flavours.
Heat a wok or heavy frying-pan so it’s medium hot (don’t add any oil or butter, this is dry-roasting.)
Add the whole spices & move them frequently around the pan with a wooden spoon to ensure an even roast and prevent burning.
Now the fun bit starts! The spices will start to crackle and smoke as the heat really develops those flavours, so remember to keep them moving! Make sure you breathe in those intoxicating aromas – we’re genuinely told there’s good karma in them by aromatherapists!
When the spices are darkened, but not burnt (once they start crackling this will generally take about two or three minutes depending on the type of spice and its size), remove and allow to cool.
We feel that the best way is to use a mortar & pestle and plenty of elbow grease! Most kitchenware shops now sell good quality stone or ceramic mortar & pestles.
An alternative is to use a small electric coffee grinder. Although we have found that it’s better to use it exclusively for spices, otherwise you get an interesting coffee a few days later!