This simple but tasty spice-mix is the other Yemeni thing I know how to make apart from Zhoug. It can be used to spice soups, casseroles, grilled meats, kebabs, or – along with zhoug – as a shortcut to amazing falafel.

Any of the spices can be used in powder form but for better results dry-roast and grind them yourself.

Makes enough for a small jar

Cumin 2 tbsp of seeds or 1 tbsp of powder
Caraway 1 tbsp of seeds of 1/2 tbsp of powder
Coriander 2 tbsp of seeds or 3/4 tbsp of powder
Turmeric 1 1/2 tbsp of powder
Black pepper 1 1/2 tbsp of corns or 1/2 tbsp of ground
Cardamom 2 tsp seeds out of husk or 1 tsp powder
Cloves 6 whole or 1/4 tsp ground

If using whole spices throw them in a thick bottomed frying pan on a medium heat and stir around the pan until they are fragrant and just about to start smoking then remove them from the pan to halt the roasting process. Allow to cool before blending nice and fine.

Blend everything up together. This can be done with a blender, a pestle and mortar, a manual coffee/spice grinder or an electric coffee/spice grinder.

Keep blending until there are no recognizable chunks of spice and it it well and truly pulverised.

If kept in a cool dry place this can last for a couple of months but the sooner you use it the better in terms of pungency of aroma and flavour.