Advieh - warm, aromatic and easy homemade Persian spice mixes for spicing up all your delicious Persian recipes. These advieh spice blends are the best ever and quick to make. Easy to store and use.
What Is Advieh?
I used to get so many questions about the advieh in my Persian recipes. So here it is finally!
Advieh is an aromatic Persian spice blend comparable to the Indian garam masala and is used for a variety of Persian recipes such as rice pilafs, grilled meats, stews, vegetables dishes, frittatas, soups, pickles and more.
A staple in Persian kitchens, this spice blend has some common ingredients with garam masala, but it is actually milder and not spicy at all.
Types of Persian Spice Blends
- Advieh khoresht: This blend is for stews (khoresh) and is more intense in aroma and often include dried limes. This can also work as a multipurpose blend.
- Advieh polo or Advieh berenj: This is a blend for rice (berenj) or pilafs (polo or polow). It is a simpler blend with more floral aroma from the dried rose petals.
- Advieh torshi: This is a blend for making pickles (torshi).
- Advieh ash: This is for soups (ash). Less intense than spice mix for stews but more intense than what is used for rice dishes.
And there are plenty of other spice blends. But to start with you can make advieh khoresht, which can work as a multipurpose spice. Just use less of it for rice and soup dishes.
Advieh Ingredients: Health Benefits
The common ingredients include cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, dried rose petals, coriander, black pepper, turmeric, dried limes, cloves and such. As with any spice blend, there are many regional variations. Some that include caraway seeds, nutmeg, star anise, angelica (golpar in Persian) etc.
Apart from enhancing the taste of recipes, spices come with a lot of health benefits. They are often rich sources of antioxidants, polyphenols and other phytonutrients that have health promoting properties.
Cardamom: This sweet and fragrant spice has been credited for improving digestion and circulation, lowering blood pressure, fighting inflammation. Cardamom also provides some vitamins and minerals.
Cumin: This spice is popular in traditional medicine for its aid in digestion. It is known to also possess anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and carminative properties.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is obtained from the bark of a tropical tree and is considered to have one of the highest antioxidant values for a spice. The spice has been shown to reduce inflammation and blood triglyceride levels. It is well known for lowering blood sugar by increasing sensitivity to insulin.
Dried Rose Petals: The rose petals used for culinary purposes in Persian cuisine are obtained from a wild variety of rose. Rose petals are used in savory dishes too and lend a fragrant floral note that combines well with the other warm spices in advieh. They are also rich with phytochemicals.
Black Pepper: Black pepper is supposed to have anti-inflammatory, carminative, digestive, cardioprotective and anti-oxidant properties.
Turmeric: Perhaps the most popular for its health benefits, turmeric contains many compounds with medicinal properties. Prominent among them is curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound and is associated with healing for several disease conditions.
Dried Limes: These are a staple of Persian cooking and have an intense citrus aroma. They are small limes (or lemons) boiled in brine and dried until hard. They are added whole or as a powder to stews, soups, appetizers, rice etc. Dried limes bring along the benefits of citrus.
Cloves: This spice has anti-microbial properties, and is especially known for fighting oral diseases. It has been associated with enhancing the immune system, cancer prevention, and maintenance of bone health.
- How to use: Most spices have a long shelf life. But try to buy them in usable quantities at a store with high turnover, where it is not sitting on shelves forever. Store ground spice mix in glass containers and seal tightly.
- Where to buy: The best places to buy spices are ethnic stores or spice specialty stores. Indian and middle eastern stores often carry them for a much better price. Readymade advieh is also available on Amazon and at Persian or middle eastern grocery stores.
- Substitute for advieh: It is quite easy to make your own spice blend. However, if you run out of it, the closest substitutes would be other mild (not spicy) but aromatic mixed spice blends from the middle east or eastern Mediterranean.
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Recipes That Use Advieh:
- Lubia Polo (Persian Green Bean Rice)
- Persian Zucchini Frittata (Kuku Kadoo)
- Persian Cream of Barley Soup (Soup Jo)
- Persian Style Lentil Cranberry Rice
- Persian Zucchini and Chicken Stew
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Zaalouk (Moroccan Eggplant Dip)
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Prick the eggplants with a fork in couple spots and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the skin turns darker and shrinks. Check foot notes for grilling, broiling or stove top options.
- The eggplants should be cooked through completely in the center. To check, press the back of a fork on the eggplant. It should compress easily all the way into the center without any resistance.
- Cut through the eggplant skin and scoop out the soft cooked flesh and mash it with a fork and set aside.
- Chop the tomatoes into small pieces, discarding some seeds if you wish. See note below for peeled and deseeded tomatoes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan at medium setting. Add the chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, paprika, cumin, cayenne or chili powder, ⅓ teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes are softened, stirring in between, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add the mashed eggplants and cilantro. Continue to cook over low heat for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, mashing it if needed, into a thick but slightly textured dip like consistency.
- Stir in lemon juice and salt. Adjust as per taste, let it cool and transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate it overnight before serving.
- Take the zaalouk from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving and let it come to room temperature. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Garnish with cilantro and red pepper flakes if you prefer.
- Chunky Zaalouk: To make a chunkier but less traditional zaalouk, insert garlic cloves into eggplant and roast it in the oven at 400˚F, along with the tomatoes. Chop the eggplants and tomatoes. Add the spices, herbs, half the olive oil, salt and mash it up to desired consistency. Drizzle olive oil and serve.
- Cooking Eggplants:
- Grill: Roast eggplants on charcoal or gas grill for 20 to 30 minutes, turning them slowly in between, until skin turns darker and shrinks.
- Broil: Cut eggplants lengthwise into halves and place the cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Place on the second rack and broil until skin turns darker and shrinks, about 20 minutes.
- Stovetop: Peel the eggplants completely, only some stripes or leave the skin on if you don’t mind it. Cut the eggplants into small pieces. Steam on high heat until soft or cook in a pan with some water until soft and mushy.
- Easy Zaalouk: Combine all ingredients with ⅓ cup of water and cook it over stove top until softened. Mash it up well and drizzle olive oil.
- Peeled and deseeded tomatoes: If you prefer, you can blanch the tomatoes. Cut a small cross on the surface of tomatoes and dump them in hot boiling water. After a minute, pick out the tomatoes and peel the skin, cut them into halves and deseed. Chop them into small pieces.
- Use more tomatoes if you want the dip to be saucy. You may even try using a little bit of tomato paste to give it thickness.
- Leftovers: Can be refrigerated for 4 to 5 days. You can freeze zaalouk for couple months. Thaw and reheat. Adjust the consistency, evaporating or adding water as needed. Check the seasoning as well.
- Nutrition facts not including any added salt.
- For other variations, tips and serving suggestions, scroll up the page to the blog post.
Advieh (Persian Spice Mix)
ADVIEH POLOW/ADVIEH BERENJ (RICE/PILAF SPICE MIX)
ADVIEH TORSHI (PICKLE SPICE MIX)
- 3 tablespoons ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons angelica (golpar in Persian)
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon shah Jeera
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
- ½ teaspoon celery seeds
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon green cardamom or nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
- ½ teaspoon dried savory
- ½ teaspoon dried cilantro
ADVIEH ASH (SOUP SPICE MIX)
ADVIEH MAHI (FISH SPICE MIX)
ADVIEH KHORESH (STEW SPICE MIX)
- Mix the dried herbs and other ground powders into the spice blend in the final step.
- If you already have the ground form of the spices, you may simply combine the ground spices in the specified quantities and add the herbs.
- For the advieh torshi you may add the seeds (anise, nigella, celery), dried herbs and red pepper flakes to the mix without grinding.
- Toasting the whole spices is not typical for making advieh. But if you do, it will make the flavors a bit more intense.
- Don't toast the rose petals, saffron, angelica, dried limes or herbs.
- Store spice mixes in glass spice jars.
- You can buy dried roses (culinary grade) from Persian/ middle eastern/other ethnic grocery stores or online.
- How to use: Try to buy spices fresh and in usable quantities at a store with high turnover, where it is not sitting on shelves forever. Store ground spice mix in glass containers and seal tightly.
- Where to buy: The best places to buy spices are at ethnic stores or spice specialty stores. They are often cheaper at Indian and middle eastern stores. Readymade advieh is also available on Amazon and at Persian or middle eastern grocery stores.
- Substitute for advieh: The closest substitutes would be other mild (not spicy) but aromatic mixed spice blends from the middle east or eastern Mediterranean.