Gold Chai Powder


My favorite way to serve and outstanding specialty hot beverages to my family or friends is by introducing them to flavored teas or coffee. We make our flavored spice mixtures in batches, using fresh grinded whole spices and other high quality spice powders, so that the blends stay aromatic and highly enjoyable, without being too artificial tasting.

This special precious like gold and intense flavored blend is based turmeric, cardamom, ginger and enriched with other aromas like star anise, nutmeg, fennel and cinnamon.

It’s delicious with simply hot milk or with black tea or even with coffee! A small quantity in cakes (for example carrot cake) would give a special note in a very simple way.

The first time I used a similar blend was simply with soy milk as a chai latte recipe  but then I‘ve discovered how delicious is it with black tea and even with coffee.

I’ve changed the basic recipe a little bit and now I have the blend I need and which is best with the quality of spices I have.

Please don’t forget that each spice can have a very different intensity of aroma (quality, storage and age of the ingredients) and I suggest to check the taste first and if needed adjust to your personal taste.


Gold Chai Powder

  • Servings: quantity to taste
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need (about 2.5 cups in total) big batch 

  • 1/3 cup whole cardamom
  • 1/4 cup whole star anise
  • 1/4 cup whole fennel seed
  • 1 cup ground turmeric
  • 1/4 cup ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 10 teaspoons vanilla sugar

You need (about 2/3 cups in total) smaller batch

  • 4 teaspoons whole cardamom
  • 3 teaspoons whole star anise
  • 3 teaspoons whole fennel seed
  • 12 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2-3 teaspoons vanilla sugar


  1. With a spice grinder or a food processor work cardamom, star anise and fennel until the powder turns very fine (if necessary sieve it).
  2. Place into a bowl add the other ingredients and stir until well combined.
  3. Store in closed jars in a fresh and dark place.


Basil Flower Salt


This is more a suggestion than a recipe. Before temperature goes below zero, I use to collect all basil flowers. After drying I mix them with salt and I use this in for cooking and directly on the table.

I started this using the violet flower of the African basil and it was real great success!  I prepared this to be used for cute gifts, so I mixed the violet flowers and pink salt.

This was so delicious that I shared this in the family and I had no leftovers for other gifts!

I bought cheap transparent salt mills that I refilled with my mixture!

This is salt is fantastic over grilled meat (I love this with beef most), for salad dressings and many other uses. Fresh milled over the meal is the best!

Dukkah or Duqqa – Egyptian Condiment Based on Roasted Nuts and Spices


Dukkah is an Egyptian Condiment consisting in crushed dry roasted nuts and spices. This condiment is very popular and many variations are available one better than the other.

The word is derived from the Arabic for “to pound” since the mixture of spices and nuts are pounded together after being dry roasted to a texture that is neither powdered nor paste-like.

The nutty taste fits perfect with oven-vegetables, salads and cheese, but traditionally this is served with fresh bread (usually flatbreads) and olive oil. Dip first your bread in olive oil and then into the dukkah mixture and enjoy!
I will give you a table of the mixture I tried out, but you can experiment further and almost any kind of roasted nuts and different herbs.

Here a few more inputs: Mint, walnuts, pine nuts, caraway, marjoram, oregano, roasted chickpeas and sunflower seed.

  • Difficulty: easy
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You need:

Quantities in teaspoons, use whole spices (not grounded). The first combination is the most classical one.

Roast 1 2 3 4 5 6
pistacio yes 2 1 3
sesame seeds yes 2 3.5 1
coriander yes 1 1 1 1 1
cumin yes 1 1
salt no 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
red chili flakes no 0.25 0.25
cinnamon no 0.1
black pepper yes 0.25
almonds yes 3 5 1
hazelnuts yes 1
Goji (dry) yes 4
pumpkin seeds yes 5
nigella yes 0.5
Paprika powder no 0.5
fennnel yes 1
allspice yes 0.25
thyme no 1


Nuts (already peeled!) and seed have to be roasted first, check the table. You can roast them dry in a skillet or for about 5 minutes in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F. I prefer the skillet method and I roast them separately.

  1. Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the nuts or seeds and cook stirring for 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Place them in the mortar (you may also use a coffee or spice grinder, but pulse only shortly), crush them and transfer to a bowl.
  2. Repeat with the other nuts or seeds. Some seed, as coriander will pop while roasting; this is O.K.! J
  3. Combine all the ingredients and season with salt and eventually pepper
  4. Serve dukkah with some extra virgin olive oil and crusty bread.

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Za’atar Spice Mix



Za’atar is a spices blend use in a lot of countries in the Middle East but probably originated in Egypt . Try this recipe with others Middle Eastern dishes.

I used this in my blog for  Za’atar FlatbreadsShakshuka (Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomatoes) and Red Couscous Salad with Beets and Walnuts

Za’atar Spice Mix

  • Difficulty: easy
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You needza'atar-spice-mix

  • ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ tablespoon dried thyme
  • ½ tablespoon ground sumac
  • ¼ tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  • Salt


  1. Mix together ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and store in a cool place in an airtight container.

Chai Masala


A cheap and quick homemade mixture for a fast and delicious spiced black tea which is very convenient to keep on hand for when that chai craving hits you..

I got this spice mix recipe in Jodhpur (India) and now I use this mix in my office as ready mix (with non-dairy creamer), where we get hot water, but we don’t have the possibility to cook. This mixture is perfect if you wish hot or iced chai as well.

At home I prefer to boil (5 minutes!) the tea with the spices add some fresh milk and sugar.

For this recipe the quality of the ingredients and the spices is relevant, if possible grind your own yourself!

Chai Masala

  • Difficulty: easy
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Autor: Chai-Masala


Spice mix

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

For fresh milk preparation

  • Fresh milk to taste
  • Sugar (best brown sugar) to taste

For a ready to use preparation (dried non-dairy creamer instead adding fresh milk)

  • 2 cups non-dairy coffee creamer
  • Sugar (best brown sugar) to taste


Mix all the spices and store in tightly closed jars, this will be your base for both methods.

Fresh milk method

  1. Prepare your black tea (I like it very strong!) with a good pinch of spices mix for each person. For me easiest method is to place a few spoons of black tea into a paper tea bag and close it so that the tea has enough space to move and give out its flavor.
  2. After boiling it for 5 minutes remove the bag with tea and add milk and sugar (I love it with brown sugar) sugar to taste. Adjust to taste.
  3. Serve letting fall the spiced milk tea from at least 30 cm if you wish some foam on it!

For a ready to use preparation (dried non- dairy creamer instead adding fresh milk)

  1. Combine all the spice mixture with the 2 cups of non-dairy creamer, mix well and store air tight containers (this makes two jars).
  2. For the preparation prepare the black tea as usually and let soak for about 5 minutes. Remove the bag.
  3. Add about 2 teaspoon spice powder (quantity depends on the size of the cup and on the taste) as well as sugar.
  4. Enjoy hot or add some ice cubes for a delicious iced chai!


Christmas Coffee


When Santa (Athina was my very generous Santa this year) brings you such adorable coffee mugs and you wish to keep the Christmas spirits in your house, then you know: it’s time to prepare a festive coffee, stop the time machine and keep the magic atmosphere around you.

An easy way to prepare a spiced- infused coffee is add the spices in-between to layer of coffee powder, then brew you coffee slowly.

I used my old coffee machine, but you can use what you find more convenient for you. As sweetener I love brown sugar and milk or cream may be an option for those who are used to this.

This method is quite simple and at once your coffee will fill your house with Christmas spirit. Feel free to try with different spices and flavors! Variations: use all spice, nutmeg, anise, mace, powdered chocolate, cloves….

Christmas Coffee

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Autor: Christmas-Coffee-6

You need:

 All quantities to taste!

  • 4 teaspoons coffee powder
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • 2 pinches ground ginger
  • 2 pinches ground cardamom
  • 4 teaspoons brown sugar
  • milk or cream to taste


  1. Place half of the coffee need into the coffee filter
  2. Layer the spices you like
  3. To with remaining coffee
  4. Brew as usual and serve with brown sugar

If you use simple filter papers you can also mix all the ingredients and brew the coffee.

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Mexican Seasoning Mix


This season mix adds authentic flavor to Mexican and  Tex-Mex dishes.

Use for tacos, ground beef, potatoes or BBQ chicken. You can add it to salad dressing too!

Prepare this ahead to have this on hand in my cabinet and prepare some more for gifts!

Mexican Seasoning Mix

  • Difficulty: easy
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Autor: Mexican-Seasoning-Mix

You need

    • 1 teaspoon chili powder (add more if you like)
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder ( or 2 teaspoons crushed dried fried onions)
    • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 2 teaspoons paprika
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
    • 1 pinch ground cloves


  1. Mix together ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and store in a cool place in an airtight container.