Opal Sunshine tasting at mmm… and glug…

mmm… and glug… is hosting a free tasting on Saturday, 5 May with Opal Sunshine, so customers can taste her hot, fresh and zingy pepper sauces.

Opal Ward is Belizean – and her beloved Belize is her spiritual home, her roots and her inspiration for cooking.

Belize is such a beautiful country. with its pristine lush natural terrain, extensive marine wonders and its diversity.

As the only English speaking country in South America, the Caribbean Sea rests to the East, Mexico to the North and Guatemala to the South and West.

With a population of approximately 368,000 (tiny right!), it stretches just 174 miles long and 68 miles wide.

Opal Sunshine hot sauces at mmm… and glug…

It was about a year ago when Opal was at a food festival selling her Belizean tamales, and instead of buying a shop bought hot sauce she decided to make her own.

Opal started with the ‘Original Hot Sauce’, which took a lot of time and testing (and tasting).

Initially, she took a family recipe and experimented to create a balance of heat and more importantly flavour.

From the original came the ‘Lime-anero’, a heavily infused lime flavoured pepper sauce with plenty of heat and full of flavour.

The mildest of them followed – Opal’s ‘Mayan Mango’. a fusion of mango, lime and ginger – great flavours which fuse beautifully together.

A sweet, fresh milder sauce. Yet still hot.

Want to know more about Opal Sunshine?

More tasting events at mmm… and glug… (all from 1pm unless otherwise stated)

  • Friday, 11 May – 40 Kola: Taste the new north east made ‘proper’ Kola (11.30am to 3pm)
  • Friday, 11 May – Masons Gin: Taste Yorkshire-distilled tea and lavender gins (4pm to 7pm)
  • Saturday, 12 May – Parlour Made: Taste award-winning local cheeses, including Durham Camembert
  • Saturday, 12 May – Durham Gin: Taste locally-made Durham gin, vodka and liqueurs
  • Saturday, 19 May – Consett Ale Works: Taste Consett’s classic ales, as well as their newly launched beers
  • Friday, 25 May – Lisbon Wines: Taste our small producer Portuguese wines with Victor.

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Little Turban curry sauces at mmm…

Little Turban sauces at mmm

‘Little Turban’ (aka Harj) is an artisan producer of modern regional Indian cooking sauces available at mmm…

Their vision is to introduce real authentic, regional flavours and aromas from around India to your dining table.

Little Turban’s products reflect the diverse flavours, aromas, spices and tastes India has to offer.

Each of their cooking sauces is inspired by a regional classic steeped in tradition and influenced from past generations and rulers.

Little Turban at mmm…

Rich and aromatic Lababdar Curry

A meal fit for Royalty!

A rich sauce made with a cashew nut paste, cream and butter for that decadent experience.

This dish originates from the Mughal era and has stood the test of time as a truly rich royal dish from Hyderabad.

Rustic and hearty Kashmiri Rogan Josh

The famous Rogan Josh created in the way it was orginally created with freshly ground Kashmiri chillies.

These chillies give this sauce a deep red colour.

Combined with a blend of aromatic spices and tomatoes this sauce is a umami hit, which gives it an amazing meaty taste.

Creamy and aromatic Makhani Masala

Creamy, rich and well spiced is the only description for my version of the famous Butter Chicken made famous in Old Delhi

Little Turban was inspired to recreate it with his special blend of tandoori spices.

A real must for lovers of Butter Chicken and for those that enjoy a little spicy kick.

Hot and spicy Naga and Mango Curry

Little Turban’s take on the classic chicken curry but with a bit of kick.

This smooth sauce is combined with a special garam masala blend, naga chilli and mango pulp.

This combination gives the sauce a great balance of heat and sweetness.

A must for chilli lovers.

Creamy coconut Goan Fish Curry

Inspired by Harj’s (aka Little Turban) trip to Goa.

This creamy coconut based sauce brings together a blend of complex spices together which embodies the coastal flavours of Goa.

It’s great with with fish and seafood, as well as chicken, lamb, beef and pork.

Meet the producer – Little Turban’s sauces are already hugely popular with our customers at mmm… so come and try one yourself from 1pm on Saturday, 11 March with Harj himself.

Want to know more?

Kwan’s Kitchen stir fry kits at mmm…

Kwan's Kitchen at mmm...

Kwan's Kitchen family photoKwan’s Kitchen, award-winning Chinese condiments and stir fry kits at mmm… can help you create restaurant quality dishes at home in minutes.

The Kwan family knows a thing or two about the Great British taste for Chinese cuisine.

For more than three decades, they have been preparing authentic Chinese food that excites the taste buds of their restaurant clientele.

Originally from Guangdong province in South China, Kwan’s Kitchen take inspiration from the vast array of Chinese cuisine on the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

Kwan’s Kitchen at mmm…

Spicy Szechuan meal kit – this spicy kit uses a delicious blend of tomato and garlic combined with Kwan’s award winning Szechuan chilli oil to give you a true taste of Sichuan cuisine.

Kwans_Kitchen_spicy_SzechuanBlackbean and garlic meal kit – this stir fry meal kit uses freshly ground blackbean and garlic combined with Kwan’s award-winning salt and pepper spice blend and Szechuan chilli oil.

Aromatic curry meal kit – this kit uses a fine blend of herbs and spices combined with Kwan’s award-winning salt and pepper spice blend and Szechuan chilli oil.

Sweet chilli with sesame and coriander meal kit – this Sweet chilli stir fry kit uses a delicious blend of fresh red chillies combined with Kwan’s award-winning salt and pepper spice blend.

Unlike commercial sweet chilli sauce Kwan’s don’t dilute the chillies with water or saturate with sugar.

How to use the kits – simply choose your favourite meat and vegetables, follow the simple three step process and you have a restaurant quality Chinese meal in 10 minutes!

Salt and pepper spice/hot salt and pepper spice – Kwan’s traditional family blend of five spice, ginger and garlic has been used in Kwan’s restaurants since 1978.

Experience authentic Chinese flavours with this versatile seasoning blend.

Want to know more?

Simone’s crunchy jalapeño panko poppers – a mmm… recipe

Jalapeño poppers


Crunchy jalapeño panko poppers
Serves 3
Every summer we stock UK-grown fresh chillies and as soon as they arrive our thoughts turn to one thing – jalapeño poppers!
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Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
  1. Makes 12 poppers
  2. 6 fresh jalapeño chillies – ideally large, plump ones
  3. 170g of a good strong cheddar - grated
  4. 3 tbs of cream cheese
  5. Plain flour
  6. One egg – beaten
  7. A cup of breadcrumbs (we used our Japanese Panko as it is extra crunchy).
  1. Cut the top off each chilli and use a thin bladed knife to remove the core and any seeds.
  2. Cut each chilli in half down the length of the chilli to make a shell.
  3. Take the cheddar and cream cheese and mix together in a bowl using a fork
  4. Optional – you can spice up the mix a little by adding a dusting of paprika or black pepper. But we prefer to keep it totally cheesy!
  5. Use a teaspoon to spoon the mixture into each shell and press down with a (clean) finger. It’s messy but fun!
  6. Cover the chillies with cling film and pop in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
  7. When you are ready to cook the chillies remove from the fridge.
  8. Roll each of the chilli shells in plain flour, then the beaten egg and finally in the breadcrumbs to cover them.
  9. Put on a baking tray into a pre-heated (180°C/356°F) oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese starts to ‘escape’.
  1. These bite size delights are named after the ‘pop’ of warm melted cheese you get when you bite into them.
  2. You don’t have to just use jalapeños – our serenades, pardons and other chillies work just as well.
  3. We even had a customer last year making ‘chocolate habanero’ poppers – spicy!
  4. Serve with a chilled pilsner (we love Wylam Brewery’s Bohemia) and a spicy chilli jam (we love the tingly kick of Mr Vikkis Cumbrian-made chilli jam).
mmm... and glug... http://mmm-glug.co.uk/
The jalapeños and Panko breadcrumbs for these jalapeño poppers are available from mmm…
The eggs came from the Grainger Market.

More recipes from mmm…

Shemin’s curry pastes at mmm…

Shemin’s Indian and Thai Curry Pastes at mmm… are a deliciously authentic, multi-award winning curry paste range, based on traditional family recipes.

Whilst growing up in Uganda, some of Shemin’s most treasured memories were of her mother preparing food in the courtyard of the kitchen.

She was surrounded by foods flavoured with fresh fragrant herbs and spices, and a love for great cooking.

Inspired by these memories, Shemin created a range of fresh curry pastes based on her traditional family recipes.

You can use these versatile pastes to make a huge range of delicious Indian and Thai food including all your favourite curries.

As TV Chef James Martin said about Shemin’s pastes himself: “A curry to beat any takeaway in 15 minutes. Now that’s magic.”

What we sell at mmm…

Shemin’s Thai Green Curry Paste (100g)

Shemin's Thai Green curry pasteThis Thai Green Paste is made from a combination of delicious Thai flavours including:

  • Fresh lemongrass
  • Coriander
  • Galangal
  • Green chillies
  • Kaffir lime leaves.

Perfect with pork, seafood or chicken.

Shemin's mild Indian curry pasteShemin’s Mild Indian Curry Paste (100g)

Perfect for those of you who like their curries with just a touch of heat.

Grab a copy of Shemin’s free recipe book for some great ideas, including Korma and Lentil Curries.

Shemin’s Medium Indian Curry Paste (100g)

Shemin's medium Indian curry pasteAll of Shemin’s fresh ingredients mixed in with just the right amount of chilli.

This paste will give you a perfect medium heat for those who like a bit of spicy heat, but not too much!

Great with Shemin’s Rogan Josh and Vegetable Curry recipes.

Shemin’s Hot Indian Curry Paste (100g)

Shemin's hot Indian curry pasteIt’s got quite a kick to it!

But you still get all those lovely fresh flavours coming through.

Grab Shemin’s free recipe book for some great ideas, including Chicken Jafrezi and Tarka Dahl.

Shemin’s Seafood Spice Paste (100g)

Shemin's Seafood spice pasteShemin’s Seafood Spice Paste is the perfect marinade to spice up your seafood dishes.

It is also an amazing curry paste for lentil and vegetable curries.

Grab Shemin’s free recipe book for some great ideas, including Prawn Pakoras, Spicy Salmon Fishcakes, Grilled Masala Fish and many more!

Want to know more?

Thanks to Shemin’s for the information and images on this page.


Anandas Gourmet spice kits at mmm…

Looking to try the taste of India but don’t know where to start, or just don’t have the time, well try Ananda’s Gourmet spice kits from mmm…

Ananda hails from Hyderabad in Southern India, traditionally a land of Nawabs and kings. 

Anandas spice kits - shopping listHer cooking is very much influenced by Moghul cooking, which has its own distinctive traditions and flavours. 

She gives her utmost attention to picking the right kind of spices, which add a distinct aroma and taste. 

Her spice kits provide all of the spices you need, in each to use packs, to create a gourmet meal of your own.

Each pack includes a shopping list (handily sized to fit in your wallet or purse) so you know exactly what you need to purchase to create a delicious meal, all of the spices and a step-by-step recipe to create a spicy feast at home.

What we sell at mmm… 

Anandas Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani curry kit at mmmHyderabadi chicken Biryani – this dish hails from the royal kitchens of Nawabs and is renowned for its mouth-watering aroma.

This luxurious recipe combines rice and chicken in a single dish, and although more complicated than a simple curry, has been simplified to bring an extravagant indian feast to your table.

The chicken is marinated in a wide selection of spices and herbs in yoghurt mixture and layered with partially cooked rice; saffron infused milk and caramelised onions resulting in a melt-in-the-mouth dish.

Aloo gobi masala – a fragrant dish that is a staple curry of the Indian family dinner table.

Aloo (potatoes) and Gobi (cauliflower) are combined with spices to make a quick side dish to any indian bread or rice. 

Anandas Goan Prawn Curry kit at mmmGoan prawn curry – the coastal town of Goa combines Indian and Portuguese culinary influences and flavours, along with the abundance if fresh seafood.

Anandas’ Goan Prawn Curry is made with ground coconut and chillies and blended with aromatic spices of coriander, pepper and garlic.

Fresh, pre-cooked and peeled king prawns are the most convenient and work best with this recipe.

The pungent sauce is an ideal partner to steamed rice or any indian bread.

Meryala Kodi Vepudu – this spicy dry dish originates from the Southern India province of Chettinad.

The region was on a historic spice trade route and is famous for combining flavours of star anise, tamarind, chilli and cloves.

Meryala (pepper cloves) chicken fry is a dry dish, and brings the impact of cloves balanced with the aromas of green and yellow peppers.

It goes well with cucumber raita (yoghurt and cucumbers), steamed rice, naans or rotis.

Anandas Matar Paneer Masala Curry kit at mmmMatar paneer masala – paneer is an Indian cheese with a firm texture and mild flavour.

This aromatic, creamy and mild vegetarian curry combines paneer with the sweetness of fresh green peas.

Serve with naan bread for a simple lunchtime meal or as a side dish with pilau rice.

Murgh Makhani (butter chicken) – Murgh Makhani is originally a Punjabi dish. It is rich, creamy and full of flavour making it an all time favourite curry to prepare and eat.

The dish is made in two stages. Firstly, the chicken is marinated in a spicy yoghurt marinade and grilled, and then added to a delicious creamy tomato curry sauce.

It is best enjoyed with the classic accompaniment of rice and naan bread.

Kheema aloo – this is a popular spicy minced lamb or beef dish from the North-West Frontier.

Lean minced lamb or beef and potatoes are combined with the aromatic spice of cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.

Whether as a lazy Sunday brunch dish served with bread rolls, or as an accompaniment to an evening meal served with puris, rice or naan, Kheema Aloo is comforting and punchy.

Anandas Hyderabadi Lamb Korma curry kit at mmmHyderabadi lamb korma – Hyderabad is a South Indian city, which was once the hub of the Mughal Empire.

The region remains famous for its sumptuous food, evocative or royal banquets.

In this dish, marinated lamb is enriched with a paste of coconut and poppy seeds, and slow cooked till tender.

It is mildly spiced, and can be served with rice or naan bread.

Chana masala (chickpea curry) – Chana Masala is a typical Northern Indian dish.

Traditionally, chickpeas, spices and tomatoes are simmered together for hours to produce a delightful sauce.

Anandas’ recipe is easy and just as delicious – a rich masala vegetarian dish is ready in minutes.

Chana Masala makes a great side dish served with any Indian bread, or pilau rice.

Tadka Dal (lentils) – the perfect accompaniment to any Indian curry, mixed with rice or enjoyed on its own.

This recipe is delicately flavoured with caramelised onion and sweetened with tomato to make a simple wholesome and easy to prepare dish.

Tadka refers to the final tempering of the lentils with hot spices, which are gently fried to release their fragrance and flavours.

Kodu Kura (chicken curry) – Kodu Kura quite simply translates as chicken curry, but is a sophisticated dish prepared with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.

The light curry is cooked at the final stage in a creamy yoghurt mixture combined with cashew nut, coconut and poppy seed paste to give it a korma consistency, and finished with a splash of lemon or lime. 

Want to know more?

Thanks to Anandas Gourmet for the images and information on this page.

Mushemi Fire at mmm…

Mushemi Fire logoWe are delighted to be stocking ‘Mushemi Fire’ Zambian inspired hot sauces and chilli products at mmm…

We tasted them at a mini chillifest at Spitalfields City Farm, Brick Lane, London last year and we were hooked!

Mushemi Fire sauces are handmade in small batches in Staffordshire, and designed to bring a distinctive taste of African fire and flavour to your food.

What we sell at mmm… 

KambuziKambuzi hot sauce – made with African piri piri (kambuzi, “little goat”) chillies, sun dried tomatoes and Zambian honey.

Rich and spicy piri piri sauce for grilled chicken, prawns and vegetables either as a marinade or directly on foods.

Great on a burger! 

Heat rating – 4/6.

Roast tomato chilli sauce sweet chilli sauce – rich and flavourful sweet chilli sauce made from roast tomatoes, red peppers and chillies.

Sweet chilli style sauce for chicken, fish and pork dishes, stir fires and sandwiches. 

Heat rating – 2/6. 

Mother's RuinMother’s Ruin hot sauce – fermented gin hot sauce with African scotch bonnet chillies and lemon.

Use like Tabasco. Splash on tomato dishes, eggs, chicken and fish.

Great in a Bloody Mary!

Heat rating – 4/6.

Sweet pepper and tamarind sauce sweet chilli sauce – sweet chilli style sauce with fiery African scotch bonnet chillies and tangy tamarind.

Tangy sweet chilli sauce for dips and stir fries. Use as a marinade for chicken and prawns, or as a glaze for salmon.

Heat rating – 2/6.

ChipatsoChipatso hot sauce – fruity papaya and guava hot sauce spiced up with African scotch bonnet chillies.

Fruity hot sauce for chicken, pork and fish dishes.

Add directly to foods or use as a marinade.

Heat rating – 3/6.

Smoked chilli oil – cold pressed extra virgin rapeseed oil infused with flakes of home smoked African piri piri chillies and paprika.

For stir fries, salad dressings and marinades.

Drizzle over pizzas or bruschetta.

Heat rating – 4/6.

ZwaoZwao! hot sauce – extremely hot piri piri sauce made with African scotch bonnet and piri piri chillies.

Use as a marinade or add directly to grilled meats, chicken and vegetables.

Use with caution!

Heat rating – 6/6.

Want to know more?

Thanks to Mushemi Fire for the images and information on this page.

Asharun Spices at mmm…

MEET ASHARUN SPICES AT MMM… – come and see (and taste) the spicy delights of Asharun Spices at mmm… from 12.30pm on Saturday, 16 August.

Everyone at mmm… agrees with Asharun Spices that with quality ingredients and a simple set of instructions you really can cook amazing spiced meals all at home.

They have a fabulous selection of hand-blended spice kits, all with a shopping list and simple to follow recipes.

These carefully written cooking instructions give options for the Hob, Oven, Aga or Slow Cooker. Perfect for fast or slow cooking.

Asharun Spices select the finest spices, temper them, carefully stone grind making sure that the oil in the spices is released and then hand blend.

However none of this happens until we make our latest order.

Asharun Spice Kits add dried chilli flakes (not chilli powder) just enough to give flavours.

The option is your to add a fresh chilli to your taste. That makes the Madras mild too… but with the full flavour of black cardamom and curry leaves.

What we sell at mmm…

Indian spice mixes – mains

  • Chick Pea Curry  – Masala mix
  • Spiced Aubergine  – Masala mix
  • Madras  – Masala and onion mix
  • Korma  – Masala and coconut mix
  • Pasanda – Masala and almond mix
  • Tikka Masala – Masala and onion mix
  • Rogan Josh – Masala and onion mix
  • Jalfrezi – Masala and onion mix
  • Balti – Masala and onion mix.

Indian spice mixes – sides

  • Bombay potato
  • Saag aloo spice mix
  • Aloo gobi spice mix
  • Tarka dhal
  • Pilau rice
  • Onion bhaji kit
  • Naan bread kit.

Tex-Mex spice kits

  • Fajita herb and spice mix
  • Tex-Mex chilli beef herb and spice mix (uses beef skirt – our top tip is Oliver and Eden in the Grainger Market).


  • Lamb tagine spice mix
  • Chicken tagine spice mix
  • Mqualli (fish) tagine spice mix
  • Ras el Hanout – a unique blend of fourteen spices created for home-made gourmet Moroccan cuisine.  The literal translation from Arabic is “head of the shop” implying that it is the best (or top) of the shop.

Want to know more?

Please note: as we deal with small suppliers, many of which make our orders from scratch or depend on seasonal ingredients, it is always best to check with us in advance if there is a specific product you want.

Thanks to Asharun Spices for the information on this page.

An A to Z of herbs, spices and chillies at mmm…

We have a vast array of the best quality spices, herbs and chillies at mmm… – from everyday basil and bay leaves to hard-to-find sumac, za’atar, saffron and three types of smoked ‘pimenton’ paprika.

Here is an A to Z (but by no means exhaustive) list of herbs, spices and more available at mmm…

We keep on adding to our list each week. Don’t ask if we stock it – just ask where it is!

Please note: We get weekly deliveries of our spices to ensure their freshness and are subject to stocks being available.

So please check ahead if there is a particular ‘hard to find’ herb or spice that you need and we will be happy to keep it back for you.

And even better – during the summer we get super fresh UK-grown chillies at mmm…

Keep watching this page, our website and our Tweets for more fresh chilli news.


Achiote paste – Annatto seeds, know as ‘achiote’ in México, have a mild, earthy flavour and bright red colour, making them a perfect ingredient in a marinade base.

Dissolve in a little of the paste in vinegar or a mix of fresh lime and orange juice and add salt to taste.

Use to marinate fish or meat before roasting, steaming or barbecuing or use to colour and flavour rice dishes.

Achiote seedAchiote seed (annatto seed) – this lentil shaped seed is brick-red in colour and is used to impart a yellow/orange colour to Latin American or Spanish cooking.

It can be used in place of saffron and will impart a slightly peppery, nutty taste to food.

May be used whole, ground or infused in oil.

African Grains of Paradise – 

Ajwan seedAjwain (or Ajwan) seed – a pungent, bitter fruit-pod from the Bishops Weed plant.

Although not a true seed it is known as a seed and is similar in appearance to caraway.

This spice has a strong thyme taste and should be used sparingly.

Use in speciality Asian dishes. In particular, it goes well in dahls, breads, vegetable dishes and chutneys.

Allspice berries – ground – Finely ground Allspice berries. See below.

Allspice wholeAllspice berries – whole – the dried berry of an evergreen tree indigenous to Central America and the Caribbean.

It was traditionally harvested by young men with climbing skills. Allspice was named by early European visitors because the warm flavour seemed to combine the flavours of cumin, cloves and nutmeg.

It is used in Caribbean regional cooking, as an ingredient in pickling vinegar and as an essential ingredient in the mix of spices for mulling wine and ale.

AmchoorAmchoor (Mango powder) – Amchoor, also known as mango powder, is made from dried unripe mangoes and has a sour, bitter flavour.

It is widely used in North Indian cooking to flavour chutneys, pickles and vegetable dishes.

Use sparingly!

Anardana (ground pomegranate seeds) – 

Aniseed whole - aniseAnise (or whole aniseed) – the seeds of an annual plant related to Cumin and Fennel.

Indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean it is now widely cultivated in Europe and Central America.

Its mild, liquorice flavour is used in Middle Eastern cooking, particularly vegetable based dishes.

Anise Star (Star Anise or China Star) – the star shaped fruit of an evergreen shrub indigenous to southern China and Vietnam.

Star anise - anise starBoth the fruit case and the seeds have a strong aniseed flavour and may be used whole (remove before serving).

They can also be ground as found in traditional Five Spice Mix.

Use sparingly wherever an aniseed flavour is required.

Aniseed – whole – see Anise.

Annatto seed (achiote seed) – this lentil shaped seed is brick-red in colour and is used to impart a yellow/orange colour to Latin American or Spanish cooking.

Achiote seedIt can be used in place of saffron and will impart a slightly peppery, nutty taste to food.

May be used whole, ground or infused in oil.

Use to marinate fish or meat before roasting, steaming or barbecuing or use to colour and flavour rice dishes.

Advieh rice seasoning – 

Arrowroot – the starch extracted from the tuberous roots of a perennial plant indigenous to Central America.

ArrowrootArrowroot is now also cultivated in Africa and South East Asia.

Widely used as a thickening agent as it produces a thick gel when mixed with hot water.

In the past this was considered a useful source of nutrition for those with weak stomachs.

Asafoetida – a highly pungent gum extracted from the flower stalks of a herbaceous perennial native to Afghanistan.

AsafoetidaAsafoetida is widely used throughout Southern Asia to flavour rice, vegetable dishes and chutneys.

It typically works as a flavour enhancer and, used along with turmeric, is a standard component of Indian cuisine.

Asafoetida is used particularly in lentil curries, such as dal, as well as in numerous vegetable dishes.

An acquired taste!


Baharat – 

Balti stir fry mixBalti Masala (Balti stir fry mix) – see below.

Balti stir fry mix (Balti Masala) – A blend of curry spices well suited to the ‘Balti’ style of cooking.

This style of cooking, ‘legend’ has it, was developed in Birmingham using the traditional Indian Balti frying pan for British style Indian curries.

Barberry – whole

BasilBasil (sweet basil) – this leafy annual is native to the Middle East and South Asia but is now cultivated widely throughout the sub-tropical zones.

Egypt and Turkey are the main commercial producers.

The leaves have a strong, pungent taste that compliments fish and meat dishes, particularly those containing tomatoes.

Basil is one of the most widely used herbs and is essential to Mediterranean and Arabic Cuisine.

Basil – Thai holy basil

Bay leavesBay leaves (or sweet laurel) – a large tree native to the Eastern Mediterranean but now grown throughout the sub-tropical zones.

The dried leaves of Bay have been used since ancient times as a food flavouring.

They are an essential ingredient in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian cooking.

One or two leaves will add a piquant lemon flavour to fish, meat or vegetable dishes. Remove before serving.

BBQ seasoning – a blend of spices used as a marinade for meat or fish to be cooked on the barbeque.

Beetroot powder – 

Berbere – 

Biryani spice mix – 

Bouquet GarniBouquet Garni – together with Fines Herbes and Herbes de Provence, Bouquet Garni is one of the classic herb mixtures of French cuisine.

It contains Marjoram, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley and Bay Leaves.

Traditionally the herbs would be added to a dish tied up in a muslin pouchette which would be removed before serving.

The flavour compliments meat or tomato based dishes.


Cajun seasoningCajun seasoning – a spice mixture typical of the Cajun region of the southern United States.

Add to boiled, braised or fried dishes.

Works particularly well with fish and chicken dishes.

Cajun blackening spice – 

Caraway seed – the seeds of a slender biennial plant native to a wide region covering Central Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Caraway seedCaraway seeds are similar in flavour to aniseed and can be used whole or ground.

Caraway seeds are frequently used in baking. The seeds found in most types of rye bread are caraway seeds.

Caraway seed is also used in flavouring curries, sausages and are sometimes used in pickling and brining as well.

It pairs rather well with garlic, and also with pork and cabbage.

Cardamom – ground

Cardamom wholeCardamom whole (green pods) – cardamom is indigenous to South India, but is now cultivated extensively in Central America.

The green or straw coloured seed pods contain small black seeds that have a strong lemon flavour.

It is an indispensable ingredient in Indian cooking.

Crack the seed pods by crushing before use and remove before serving.

An interesting addition to cooked fruit!

Cardamom – pods (green) – see above.

Cardamon – pods (black)

Caribbean jerk spice rub

Cassia - cassia barkCassia (cassia bark) – the bark of a tree closely related to cinnamon.

It is indigenous to China and now cultivated throughout South Asia and Indonesia.

A five-inch piece added to rice or fish dishes will empart a cinnamon flavour.

Remove before serving.

Cayenne pepperCayenne pepper – traditionally, the ground, dried, fruit of a variety of capsicum indigenous to the Cayenne area of northern South America.

In reality, it is an alternative name for Chilli Powder.

Beware, Cayenne Pepper is very hot and should be used sparingly.

Celery leaf

Celery salt – A popular way of using ground celery seed. Use instead of salt in fish or chicken dishes or as a sprinkle on salads or vegetables.

It is particularly favoured with quail eggs.

Celery seedCelery seed – the seeds of the fleshy plant widely grown as a vegetable and indigenous to Southern Europe and North America.

The strong celery flavour that the seeds impart is much favoured by cooks in Central Europe.

Celery seed has a very strong flavour, especially when ground, so use sparingly.

It goes well with vegetables and eggs.

Chai spices

Chat masala



Chicken seasoning – a blend of herbs and spices that enhance the flavour of all poultry dishes.

Use as a rub before roasting or cooking chicken in a casserole dish.

Crushed chilliesChilli – crushed – whole chillies chopped into 3-4mm pieces for ease of use.

The chilli gets distributed more evenly throughout the dish.

Beware, Crushed chillies are very hot and should be used with caution.

Lovely sprinkled on pizza or added to pulped tomatoes to make a simple pasta sauce.

Ground chilliChilli  – ground – produced in most tropical countries but supplies available in the UK usually come from southern India, Pakistan or China.

Depending on the t of chilli pepper used powders range from the mildly hot to the downright dangerous and vary in colour from pale yellow/pink to deep red.

We try to always stock a medium hot chilli powder with a strong orange red colour.

See also Cayenne pepper

Chilli  – pepper

Chilean Alino

Chillies wholeChillies – whole – the dried seed pods of a variety of capsicum widely cultivated in the tropics.

Chillies, particularly the seeds, are very hot and should be handled with caution.

They are used in Indian cooking, both in the whole state as well as crushed or ground.

See also Chilli – ground above.

If used whole, the Chilli is usually removed before eating.

Chillies – dried ancho (poblano)

Chillies – dried bird’s eye

Chillies – dried chipotle meco

Chillies – dried chipotle morita

Chillies – dried d’arbol

Chillies – dried guajillo

Chillies – dried New Mexico red

Chillies – dried habaneros

Chillies – dried piquin

Chillies – dried naga

Chillies – dried bhut jolokia

Chillies – dried ‘ghost’

Chillies – Kashmiri – powder

Chili en polvo

Chinese 5 spiceChinese 5 Spice – also known as ‘five spice mix’.

The classic spice mixture of Chinese cooking.

The mix is made by grinding Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Cinnamon and Black Pepper.

A teaspoon full added to a chicken or beef stir-fry dish will give it the rich aniseed flavour associated with Chinese cuisine.

Chives – the fleshy leaves of a plant indigenous to Europe and North America, which is closely related to onion and garlic.

ChivesChives are one of the “fines herbes” of French cuisine, which also include tarragon, chervil and/or parsley.

It is widely used as a garnish with a mild onion flavour.

Chives enhances salads and vegetable dishes, particularly potatoes.

It goes well with cheese or mayonnaise dips.

Cinnamon  – bark (cinnamon sticks) – the bark of an evergreen tree indigenous to Sri Lanka but cultivated throughout the tropics.

Cinnamon sticksThe bark curls into sticks when being cut.

Cinnamon is one of the most widely used spices.

Its warm sweet aromatic flavour is an essential part of South Asian and Indonesian cooking.

Use a five-inch piece in meat, vegetable, fish or rice dishes.

It can also be used to flavour rice pudding or other milk based dishes.

Cinnamon – ground (cinnamon powder) – the finely ground bark of the cinnamon tree.

Cinnamon ground - powderSee also cinnamon bark/sticks above.

This popular spice is one of the essential ingredients of Indian and Indonesian cooking.

Its warm sweet aromatic flavour is also widely used in baking.

Cinnamon – sticks (Sri Lankan)

Cinnamon – sticks (Mexican)

Cloves – ground – finely ground whole cloves (see below).

Use sparingly instead of whole cloves when the clove bodies would detract from the dish.

Use with stewed or baked fruit, fruit puddings, Christmas pudding and sweet sauces.

Cloves wholeCloves – whole – cloves are the dried, unopened flower buds of an evergreen tree indigenous to the Moluccas Islands (“The Spice Islands”).

They are now cultivated throughout the tropics particularly East africa and Indonesia.

Cloves was one of the earliest spices to reach Europe and is prized for its strong, sweet, aromatic flavour.

It is particularly well suited to flavour pork or ham dishes and is also used with stewed or baked fruit. Remove before serving.

Coriander - groundCoriander – ground – finely ground coriander seed plays a part in almost every regional cooking style.

In particular Indian, Malay, Mexican and Middle Eastern.

Its warm, aromatic flavour is fully developed after frying in oil at a high temperature for a minute or so.

It is an indispensible ingredient in most curry powder/masala mixes.

Coriander leafCoriander – leaf – the dried leaves of the coriander plant have a strong aromatic flavour similar to that of ground coriander.

It is used as a garnish in North African, Middle Eastern and Indian cooking.

It can be used with vegetables, fish and in cream dips.

Coriander leaf also provides an interesting alternative to parsley.

Coriander – seed – the seed of a hardy annual indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean area.

Coriander seedIt is now cultivated throughout the temperate zones.

After pepper, coriander is probably the most widely used spice.

The seeds have a warm, aromatic flavour, but because of the indigestible husk they are usually used in the ground form.

The seeds may be ground using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.

The best way to get the maximum flavour out of coriander seeds is to dry-fry them.

Seeds are ready when the warm aroma is released. Remove from pan and cool.

Seeds can then be used whole or crushed. See also – Coriander – ground above.

Creole seasoning

Cumin groundCumin – ground – finely ground Cumin Seed. See below.

Widely used in South Asian cooking.

To obtain the best flavour, fry first in oil at a high temperature for a minute or so.

Cumin gives a warm aromatic lemon flavour to meat, fish or egg dishes.

Cumin – seed – the seeds of a plant related to parsley and indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Cumin seedIt is now widely cultivated throughout the sub-tropical zones.

Cumin seeds have a full aromatic lemon flavour and are often used ground. See Cumin -ground above.

To prepare the seed yourself, first roast in a hot, dry, frying pan for a few minutes and then grind using a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder.

Cumin is an important ingredient in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking and is also used as a topping for bread.

Cumin seed blackCumin – seed (black) – also known as Royal Cumin Seed, these are a species of Cumin cultivated in Central India.

Reputed to have a superior flavour to Cumin Seed they are particularly suited to vegetarian dishes.

Dry roast in a pan and grind finely before use.

Use as Cumin – seed (see above).

Curry leaves – the leaves of a bush indigenous to South India.

Curry leavesThese leaves smell like curry powder, hence the name.

They have a sharp, bitter, aromatic flavour.

They are widely used in Sri Lankan and South Indian cuisines to add flavour to meat, fish, vegetable or lentil dishes.

Remove the leaves before serving.

Curry powder – Biryani spices

Curry powder – Madras

Curry powder – Medium

Curry powder  – Mild

Curry powder  – Thai Green

Curry powder – Thai Red


Dhansak spice mix

Dill herb leafDill  – herb (Dill – leaf) – the leaves of an annual plant originating from the Mediterranean but now widely cultivated.

Dill Leaf has been used as a food flavouring since ancient times.

It has a particular aromatic piquante flavour and is typically used to garnish soups, salads, vegetable and fish dishes.

It is widely used in Arabic, Central European and Scandinavian cooking. See also Dill – seed below.

Dill seedDill – seed – the dried seeds of the Dill plant.

It is used to flavour the vinegar in pickles, particularly pickled gherkins.

Finely ground it may be added sparingly to soups and sauces.

It is widely used in Arabic, Central European and Scandinavian cooking.

See Dill Leaf above.

Dukka (Dukkah)




Fajita seasoningFajita seasoning – A spicy mix of chilli, onion, garlic salt, paprika, mustard, pepper, oregano, lemon, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Use as a rub or in a marinade to produce the Mexican dish of grilled meat or fish ‘fajitas’.

Perfect with our Mexican Masa Harina (corn) tortillas we have delivered each week at mmm…

Fennel seedFennel seed – the seeds of a plant related to Dill and native to the Mediterranean area. It is now widely cultivated in all temperate zones.

Its mild, aromatic, liquorice flavour enhances meat and fish dishes.

You’ll get more flavour out of fennel seeds by grinding or dry frying them.

To grind, either pound in a pestle and mortar, put them in a sealed bag and bash with a rolling pin or whizz up in a small, clean coffee grinder.

To dry fry, heat up a pan, tip in the seeds and, over a medium heat, brown for a couple of minutes, tossing them around the pan frequently.

Fenugreek (methi) – ground – finely ground Fenugreek seeds. See below. Use sparingly.

Fenugreek leafFenugreek (methi) leaf – the dried leaves of the Fenugreek plant. See Fenugreek – seed below.

Used as an alternative to ground Fenugreek when a less sharp flavour is required.

The dark green leaves add interest to many vegetarian dishes.

Widely used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking.

Fenugreek seed - methiFenugreek (methi) – seed – fenugreek is a small annual plant which is widely distributed throughout Asia and the Mediterranean.

It has been used as a culinary spice since the earliest times.

It is mainly grown commercially in India and North Africa.

You’ll get more flavour out of fenugreek seeds by grinding or dry frying them.

To dry fry, heat up a pan, tip in the seeds and, over a medium heat, brown for a couple of minutes, tossing them around the pan frequently.

Fish seasoningFile (Sassafras) powder

Fish seasoning – a herbal mix of orange peel, fennel seed, parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil.

The mix perfectly compliments fish dishes.

Add half a teaspoon per person during the cooking process.

Chinese 5 spiceFive spice mix – also known as Chinese 5 Spice.

he classic spice mixture of Chinese cooking.

The mix is made by grinding Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Cinnamon and Black Pepper.

A teaspoon full added to a chicken or beef stir-fry dish will give it the rich aniseed flavour associated with Chinese cuisine.

Fleur de Sel

French lavender – the flowers of a perennial shrub native to the Mediterranean region.Lavender

Now more widely cultivated for its popular aromatic properties.

It can be used in southern European and Middle Eastern cooking as an interesting alternative or addition to traditional herbs.

It can also be used with Herbes de provence.


Galagal groundGalangal – ground – the finely ground dried root of a plant closely related to ginger.

It is native to South and East Asia and is widely used as an aromatic spice with a warm ginger-like flavour.

It is an essential ingredient in many Thai and Indonesian dishes.

See Galangal – root below.

Galangal – root

Garam MasalaGaram Masala – a generic name given to a mixture (masala) of ‘good’ spices kept in the kitchen of any Indian home.

The ingredients will vary depending on availability.

Our everyday, always stocked Garam Masala is a mixture of coriander, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg.

Use as a ‘curry powder’ or sprinkle on savoury dishes, particularly vegetarian dishes, before serving.

Garlic bulbs – unsmoked

Garlic bulbs – smoked

Garlic chips granulesGarlic – granules (Garlic – chips) – related to the onion, garlic is a native of Asia but is cultivated throughout the warmer zones.

Together with black pepper, it is probably the most widely used food flavouring in the world.

Garlic chips are made by cutting up dried cloves of fresh garlic.

Half a teaspoon is equivalent to a medium sized clove of fresh garlic.

Garlic powderGarlic powder – finely ground dried garlic cloves.

It is much stronger than garlic chips so use sparingly.

Garlic powder will easily absorb water vapour and ‘cake’ so always store in an airtight container in a dry environment.

See Garlic – granules/chips above.

Garlic saltGarlic salt – garlic Salt is a mixture of salt and ground garlic, plus an anti-caking agent.

It provides a convenient way of using garlic.

It should always be stored in an airtight container in a dry environment.

See Garlic – granules/chips for general information on garlic.

Goan Xacuti curry powder

Ginger rootGinger root – the dried fleshy, tuberous rhizomes of a perennial plant indigenous to South East Asia, but now cultivated throughout the tropics.

Culinary use of ginger usually calls for the finely ground root (see Ginger – ground below).

But whole root ginger is widely used in the preparation of pickling vinegar.

Ginger ground – the finely ground, dried root of the Ginger plant (see Ginger root above).

Ginger groundGinger has been used since ancient times and is widely used in Asian and Caribbean cooking.

It is also a popular flavouring in many bakery products.

The dried root is difficult to grind in the domestic environment, so is usually purchased ready ground.

It gives a strong, warm, hot, aromatic flavour and should be used sparingly.

Goma Shio

Grains of Paradise

Cardamom wholeGreen cardamom  (Cardamom whole/green pods) – cardamom is indigenous to South India, but is now cultivated extensively in Central America.

The green or straw coloured seed pods contain small black seeds that have a strong lemon flavour.

It is an indispensable ingredient in Indian cooking.

Crack the seed pods by crushing before use and remove before serving.

An interesting addition to cooked fruit!


Harrisa paste

Harrisa paste (fresh – in our fridge)

Harissa spice mix (just blend with olive oil and garlic)

Herbes de ProvenceHerbes de Provence – Herbes de Provence is one of the classic herb mixtures used in French cuisine alongside Bouquet Garni and Fines Herbes.

Exact recipes vary, but our everyday, always stocked blend contains marjoram, thyme, rosemary, parsley.

This fragrant mixture of dried herbs typical of southern French cooking has a more robust flavour than Fines Herbes.

It is well suited for use in flavouring soups and casseroles.

Hibiscus flowers – 

Himalayan pink salt – 


Indian five spice – panch phoran – 

Iranian Advieh rice seasoning – 

Iranian sabzi ghormeh – 


Jalfrezi Curry Powder

Jalfrezi Mix

Jerk seasoningJerk seasoning – a Caribbean seasoning comprising pepper, salt, coriander, paprika, sugar, chilli, allspice, cumin, nutmeg, and bay leaves.

Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice.

Jerk seasoning is traditionally applied to pork and chicken.

But it can be used as a rub or a marinade for most meat and fish.

Juniper berriesJuniper berries – the dried berries of a large evergreen shrub native to the northern areas of Europe and Asia.

Juniper has a strong, aromatic flavour that has been widely used in cooking since the earliest times.

It is the essential flavouring in gin and also complements game, rabbit and hare dishes.

Use sparingly and remove the berries before serving.


Lime leavesKaffir lime leaves (lime leaves) – the dried leaves of the Kaffir tree, indigenous to South East Asia.

It should not be confused with leaves from the European Lime (Linden) tree.

Much used in Thai and Indonesian cuisine, lime leaves impart a strong, aromatic lime flavour to stir fry and water based dishes.

Use whole and remove before serving or use ground.

Kashmiri chillies – powder

Korma curry powder


Lamb seasoningLamb seasoning – a herb and spice mixture perfect for lamb.

Sprinkle on a roast or barbeque lamb before cooking.

One tablespoon will season a medium sized (2kg) joint.

Our always stocked mix ingredients include rosemary, thyme, mint, pepper, bay leaves and garlic.

Lavender (French lavender) – the flowers of a perennial shrub native to the Mediterranean region.


Now more widely cultivated for its popular aromatic properties.

It can be used in southern European and Middle Eastern cooking as an interesting alternative or addition to traditional herbs.

It can also be used with Herbes de provence (see above).

Lemon grassLemon grass – the dried stems of a fleshy grass-like plant that is indigenous to South East Asia.

Lemon grass has a delicate lemony flavour and is much used in Thai and Indonesian cooking.

Dried lemon grass can be used to flavour to a variety of south east Asian dishes.

Added to Thai and Malay-style dishes it gives a distinctive flavour which makes them quite different from Indian curries.

Use sparingly (1tsp per four persons) in vegetable and chicken dishes.

It can be ground in a coffee grinder for a stronger flavour.

Lemon myrtle – 

Lemon pepper – 

Lime (Kaffir) leaves – see Kaffir lime leaves above.

Loomi – shade dried limes

Long pepper


Mace – ground – the coarsely ground oily powder produced from Whole Mace (see below).

It has a rich aromatic flavour similar to but not as robust as nutmeg. It is ideally suited to milk and cheese based dishes.

Mace wholeMace – whole – mace is the dried outer covering of the seeds of the nutmeg tree.

It is indigenous to the Molucca Islands, but is now cultivated widely in the tropical zone.

The ‘blades’ of mace have a flavour which is similar to that of nutmeg but which is not as strong.

They can be used whole in pickling spice or milk puddings (remove before eating).

There is a wider culinary application for ground mace – see above.

AmchoorMango powder – also known as amateur.

It is made from dried unripe mangoes and has a sour, bitter flavour.

It is widely used in North Indian cooking.

This includes flavouring chutneys, pickles and vegetable dishes.

Use sparingly!


Methi (fenugreek)

Methi (fenugreek) leaves

Mexican oregano

Mexican salsa mix


Mixed herbs

Mixed spice

Mulled cider spices

Mulled wine spices

Mustard powder

Mustard seeds – black

Mustard seeds – brown

Mustard seeds – yellow


Nigella seed (onion seeds/Kalongi)

Nutmeg – ground

Nutmeg – whole


Onion Seed (Nigella seeds/Kalongi)


Oregano – Mexican


Paella seasoning

Panch phoran (Indian five spice)

Paprika/pimenton – Spanish – sun-dried mild

Paprika/pimenton – Spanish – smoked (hot)

Paprika/pimenton – Spanish – smoked (sweet)

Paprika/pimenton – Spanish – smoked (semi-sweet)

Paprika – Hungarian (sweet for goulash)


Pepper – black coarse

Pepper – black ground

Pepper – white ground

Peppercorns  – black

Peppercorns  – cracked black

Peppercorns – cubeb

Peppercorns  – green

Peppercorns – long pepper

Peppercorns  – mixed

Peppercorns  – pink

Peppercorns  – Szechwan

Peppercorns – Tellicherry

Peppercorns – White

Peppercorns – Vietnamese

Peppercorns – Wynad

Pickling spice

Pilau rice spices

Piri Piri seasoning

Pizza topping mix

Poppy seed

Poppy seed – white

Poudre de Colombo



Rogan Josh curry powder

Rogan Josh mix


Rose petals


Sabzi ghormeh

Saffron – Do La Mancha

Saffron – Spanish Grade A


Sage – wild

Salt – Himalayan pink

Sambar powder

Savory – wild

Sea salt – coarse

Sea salt – fine

Sea salt – Maldon (Welsh)

Sea salt – Maldon (Welsh) – smoked

Sel Gris

Sesame seed

Shade dried limes (aka Loomi)

Shichimi Togarishi

Shrimp paste


Star Anise

Steak seasoning

Sumac – ground

Sumac – berries

Sweet Thai basil


Tagine seasoning

Tamarind – paste

Tamarind – root

Tandoori Masala

Tandoori mix


Tellicherry black peppercorns

Thai Creen curry mix

Thai holy basil

Thai Red curry mix


Thyme – wild

Tikka masala

Tikka masala curry powder

Tsire powder


Turmeric – root


Vanilla bean

Vanilla paste

Vanilla pods

Vietnamese black peppercorns


Wasabi powder

West Indian curry powder

Wild sage

Wild savory

Wild thyme

Wynad black peppercorns


Yellow mustard seeds


Za’atar – Palestinian blend (we also sell Zaytoun Palestinian olive oil)

Za”atar – Lebanese blend

Want to know more?

Thanks to Green Cuisine and Seasoned Pioneers for the herb and spices information for this page.

Newcastle deli goes mmm…exican with Thomasina Miers

Thomasina Miers at mmm...

A top UK chef and restaurateur met a horde of her Mexican food disciples at a Newcastle deli today (Thursday, 12 July) after striking up a twitter debate about finding good food.

Grainger market-based ‘mmm…’ played host to Thomasina ‘Tommi’ Miers after being named as one of the top suppliers of Mexican produce in the UK.

Thomasina Miers signed copies of her new book ‘ Wahaca – Mexican Food at Home’ at the deli, which has a growing reputation for sourcing unusual spices, herbs, chillies and other Mexican staples.

The four-year old deli has been listed in the new book, which the former Masterchef winner is hoping will convert even more fans to the world of Mexican cooking.

Thomasina Miers at mmm 2 webOwner of mmm…, Simone Clarkin, 49, was delighted to hear that her deli had been listed in the book and even more excited to hear from Thomasina herself.

She said: “Thomasina Miers is the most mentioned chef we have in our deli and her first book, ‘Mexican food made easy’ is the cooking bible for many of our customers.

“Our conversations started last year via twitter when Thomasina bemoaned the lack of Mexican food in the UK.

“Many of our customers told her about our efforts to supply Mexican and South American food lovers in the region with those hard to get ingredients.

“We are delighted that the north east food scene will feature in the book and the news that Tommi was coming to mmm… saw several of our customers taking a day’s holiday especially to meet her.”

In her book, Thomasina Miers says: “When we first started Wahaca it was extremely difficult to find the necessary ingredients. Chipotles, tomatillos, Mexican oregano, even corn tortillas were unheard of.

“These days the Mexican food bug has spread and people are really up on Mexican ingredients.

“I have come across many of the suppliers, including mmm…, only recently – but they are doing a great job.”

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