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Nadiya Hussain’s Art Masala (eight-spice mix)

This eight-spice masala mix is a blend of spices used in many of the recipes in Nadiya Hussain's Simple Spices.

From the book


This book is all about using eight spices in different ways. With just these spices you can make every recipe in the book. Everyone needs to have a good masala mix in their repertoire, so I want to share my art masala mix, which you can use in lots of the recipes. When trying to source the spices at the supermarket, don’t forget to make your way to the Asian/World Foods aisle too. It’s a treasure trove of goodies and inspiration!

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28g cardamom pods
3g bay leaves
34g fennel seeds
100g cumin seeds or ground cumin
38g ground cinnamon
100g ground turmeric
44g chilli powder
220g curry powder

Essential kit

You will need: a spice grinder or blender with a milling blade.


Start by using a spice grinder, which is the best tool for the job. Lots of smoothie-makers also come with a milling blade that works well to really crush down these whole spices.

Put the cardamom pods in the grinder, husk and all. (Imagine trying to de-pod that many – you would have given up before you’d even started. I know I would have.) Whack them in and blend to a fine powder, then pour out into a large bowl.

Now put your bay leaves, fennel and cumin seeds into the same grinder and blitz to a powder. If your grinder is small, you can do each spice alone, but just note that when doing the bay leaves, always blend them with the fennel seeds. They need the seeds to get them moving enough to crush to a powder. Add to the bowl. Mix thoroughly, being sure to do this after each addition as it’s important to make sure that the mix is well blended.

Now for the cinnamon. I prefer to use ground cinnamon as it’s readily available and will save you from having to crush something quite hard – why should we if we don’t need to? Add to the bowl and mix.

Chuck in the ground turmeric and mix. Add the chilli powder and mix. Lastly, add the curry powder and give everything a good stir.

That’s it. Now you have your very own ninth spice, using ingredients you already have at home. Transfer into a jar or jars and you are ready to go!

+ Dried spices can last for a very long time – just be sure to store them in a cupboard that is dark and out of direct sunlight. If you have spices that have sat for a long time and you want to rejuvenate them, add what you need to a non-stick pan over a low heat and gently toast. This will release the oils and restore the spices as if they had been freshly ground today.


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From the book: Nadiya’s Simple Spices

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