Main Meals

Sri Lankan Black Curry Chicken Banh Mi World Spice Cookbook Club is grilling, steaming and frying at the August 2015 Meet & Eat. We are all cooking from Andrea Nguyen’s classic Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More and her more recent and crazy-popular The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches. We are going to taste so many different types of banh mi, and this is perhaps the most anticipated maybe because we are all so fond of our Sri Lankan Curry.

From the author: When Viet people eat curry with baguette, they typically dip the bread into the spiced coconut-scented sauce. San Francisco chef Alex Ong sent me his recipe for this bewitching curry (the name comes from the dark-colored spice blend), insisting that it would be perfect stuffed inside a baguette for banh mi. He was right, but to avoid a soggy sandwich, I hand shredded the cooked chicken and recooked it in the sauce, allowing it to fry in the residual oil and become encrusted with the seasonings. It became like an Indonesian rendang or, as my husband put it, a curried chicken carnitas. It’s fantastic.


Sri Lankan Black Curry Chicken Banh Mi

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 sandwiches


  • 1/2teaspoon cardamom, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cloves, ground
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coriander, ground
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • A hefty 3/4-inch (2-cm) knob of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 slender stalk of lemon-grass, trimmed and coarsely chopped (2 to 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 large Fresno or jalapeño chile, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup (3.5 oz/115 g) coarsely chopped shallot
  • 1-3/4 pounds (800 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons virgin coconut or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/3 cups (330 ml) coconut milk


  1. In a small bowl, combine the cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, mace, cloves, cumin, and coriander. Set the spice blend near the stove. Use a mini or full-size food processor to finely chop the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chile, and shallot. Keep by the spices. Trim the chicken of large fat pads and set nearby.
  2. In a 4-quart (4 l) pot, heat the oil over high heat. When hot enough to sizzle a mustard seed upon contact, add all of the mustard seeds. Swirl or stir for about 10 seconds, until a few seeds crackle and pop, then add the shallot mixture. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring, until no longer raw smelling.
  3. Lower the heat slightly, add the spice blend, and stir for about 30 seconds, until toasty and a dark chocolate color. Add the chicken, turning to coat with seasonings. Add the salt and coconut milk, which should barely cover the chicken; add water if necessary. Adjust the heat to simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching; the pot contents will shrink to roughly half the original volume. Remove from the heat and let cool for 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer the chicken to a plate and hand shred, with the grain, into pinkie finger–wide pieces; set aside. Pour the sauce into a large nonstick skillet. Over high heat, vigorously simmer for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until reduced by half and pools of coconut oil dot the surface. Lower the heat slightly, then add the chicken and any accumulated sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, for 8 to 12 minutes, until the chicken has darkened to a rich brown and is coated with crusty seasoning; the sauce will no longer be visible and the chicken will gently fry in hissing oil.
  5. Cool slightly, then season with extra salt, if needed. For great flavor, enjoy the chicken slightly above room temperature in banh mi.
  6. Notes
  7. To let the rich, spiced chicken shine in a black curry chicken banh mi, use just a bit of regular mayo and omit or go light on Maggi. Add pickled shallots, chile, cucumber, and cilantro. Try as a regular banh mi or slider.
  8. Refrigerate for up to 3 days, reheating in a microwave oven or a skillet over medium heat, with a splash of water to moisten and refresh. Perfect for make-ahead banh mi. Instead of fresh chile, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cayenne to the spice blend. Or substitute 2 tablespoons of a favorite curry powder for the spice blend (our Sri Lankan Curry would be perfect). If you have fresh curry leaf (Murraya koenigii), fry 5 or 6 large leaves along with the mustard seeds; remove the leaves before reducing the sauce

Banh mi handbook


The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches is one of the August selection for the World Spice Cookbook Club. The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches is currently available for purchase at our retail store.

Reprinted with permission from The Banh Mi Handbook by Andrea Nguyen. Copyright © 2014 Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photography © 2014 by Paige Green


Categories: Asia, Breads, Cookbook Club, Main Meals, Recipes | Leave a comment

Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries

Two great things come together in the Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries– a great mystery story and some great recipes! Inspired in turn by the Pike Place Market food scene and all the spice therein, Montana author Leslie Budewitz has created a feast for the senses.

Assault and Pepper (Final)

Leslie was good enough to share a recipe from the first book in this series with us, and it’s delicious! Here’s what she has to say about it……

“Inspiration for this recipe comes from the potatoes and broccolini in the Market. A hybrid of traditional broccoli and gai lan, also called Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale, broccolini has long, slender stalks with small florets and kale-like leaves, and a peppery taste that holds up well when cooked. If you can’t find it, use traditional broccoli or broccoli raab. Traditional broccoli can be hard to find with the stalks intact, but the search is worth the effort. Use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to cut out any knots and peel off the tough skin. Those stalks carry a lot of flavor and vitamins and minerals.

If you don’t have a chance to pop into the Spice Shop for Herbes de Provence, make your own with whatever you have on hand.  Herbes de Provence are spectacular sprinkled on sautéed potatoes, rubbed on chicken before grilling, or best of all, in roast chicken and potatoes. Add them to a lamb or a vegetable stew—think eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini, maybe some cannellini (white beans). Use them to season homemade croutons or tomato sauce.

You can also wrap a teaspoon of Herbes de Provence in cheese cloth and tie with kitchen string to make an herb bouquet, also called a bouquet garni. Drop it into a small jar of olive oil for a few days to make an infusion for salads or sautées.

For this recipe- don’t skimp on the Parmesan on top! If you need to cut it because you’re watching sodium—Parmesan is naturally low in fat—reduce the amount that goes in the egg mixture. The cheese on top broils to such lovely salty, crunchy perfection—you don’t want to miss that!

For dinner, serve with a green salad and crunchy bread, and a white wine—a light non-oaky Chardonnay, a Pinot Grigio, or any white with a clean, crisp touch.”

Broccoli Potato Frittata

Yield: Makes 8 servings


    For the Herbes de Provence
  • 2½ tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2½ tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried savory
  • 2 tablespoons dried crushed lavender flowers
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • For the Frittata
  • 8 to 10 small white potatoes (about 10 ounces total), scrubbed and quartered
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8 ounces broccolini, trimmed and chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


    For the Herbes de Provence
  1. Mix spices in a small bowl. Store in a jar with a tightly fitting lid. Makes just over half a cup.
  2. For the Frittata
  3. Place the potatoes and broth in a large (10- to 12-inch) ovenproof skillet. On the stove top, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, turning the potatoes often, until almost all of the stock has been absorbed and the potatoes are tender.
  4. Preheat your broiler. If yours has variable settings, use the high setting and leave the rack in the middle of the oven. If your broiler is not particularly hot, raise the rack.
  5. Add the olive oil, broccolini, onion, and Herbes de Provence to the potatoes in the skillet. Continue cooking on the stove top on medium heat for about 2 minutes, turning frequently, until all the vegetables are coated with oil and herbs. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover the skillet, cooking about 3 minutes, until the broccolini has become mostly tender.
  6. Beat the eggs with half the Parmesan and the salt and pepper. Check the heat in your skillet; you may need to turn it way down to avoid frying the eggs in the next step. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Cover and cook on the stove top over medium-low until the eggs are lightly set, about 10 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top and place the pan under the broiler, until the top is bubbly and golden, and the eggs are just set throughout, about 5 minutes.
  8. Let cool slightly before slicing into wedges. These reheat beautifully for breakfast or lunch.


As with all herb blends, experiment with your own touches. Let your taste be your guide. Other frequent additions: rosemary, sweet marjoram, or fennel seed. (Marjoram and oregano are distinct herbs but closely related and can be substituted for each other in some recipes.) Try a blend with whatever combination of the suggested herbs you have on hand. Then, next summer, grow a pot of lavender on your deck or in a sunny window!

The stories and recipes just keep coming so connect with Leslie her on her website,, on Facebook,, or on Twitter

Her latest book, Butter off Dead will be hot off the presses July 7th!!!!

Butter Off Dead (final)

Categories: Breakfast, French, Hot Topics, Main Meals, Recipes | Tags: | 2 Comments

Chile & Cumin Marinated Hangar Steak

The World Spice Cookbook Club is thrilled to be cooking from Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond at the upcoming June 3rd Meet & Eat. As with last June’s Meet & Eat, the club is returning to our warehouse location and will be grilling up a storm. Robert, our fearless warehouse leader, was the first to call his recipe and it looks delicious and easy (smart guy, because he’s a busy man.) Here it is for you to enjoy at home!

From Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond: “At traditional Brazilian churrascarias, rock salt is usually sprinkled on the side of meat that faces the grill, then knocked off just before serving. It’s tasty just like that, but we’ve adapted our steak to include a bit more spice. Our Chili & Cumin Marinade is a blend of vinegar, cumin seeds, oregano, and red pepper flakes; we use it to marinate all our steaks, but it’s equally good on lamb or fish.”


Chili and Cumin Marinated Steak


Chile & Cumin Marinated Hangar Steak


  • For the marinade:
  • 3 ounces red chiles seeded and chopped, preferably Malagueta
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon toasted cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup light olive or safflower oil
  • For the steak:
  • 4 x 7-ounce hanger steaks (also known as butcher’s steak or onglet)
  • 4 tablespoons Chili & Cumin Marinade, plus extra for brushing
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put all the marinade ingredients in a food processor and blend to a smooth, wet paste suitable for coating meats and fish. Use immediately or refrigerate up to one week in a clean, sealed jar.
  2. Put the steaks in a large bowl and toss with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
  3. Half an hour before you are ready to cook, take the steaks out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature.
  4. Light the barbecue and let the flames die down before starting to cook. If cooking indoors, heat a griddle pan until very hot.
  5. Scrape the marinade off the steaks and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. Brush them with a little oil, season lightly with salt and pepper, then barbecue or griddle for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked to medium rare. They should feel a little springy when pressed.Remove from the heat and brush with a little marinade.
  7. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.




Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond is the June selection for the World Spice Cookbook Club. Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond is currently available for purchase at our retail store.

Reprinted with permission from Brazilian Barbecue & Beyond, published in 2014 by Sterling Epicure. Text © 2014 Cabana; Photography © 2014 Martin Poole. All rights reserved.

Categories: BBQ, Cookbook Club, Global Cuisines, Grilling Season, Latin America, Main Meals, Notes from the Field, Recipes | Leave a comment


Chermoula and Pom-Peach BBQsm

Afro-Vegan  by Bryant Terry is the  World Spice Cookbook Club selection for May. We are whipping up his incredible Chermoula recipe! Chermoula is a versatile marinade combining fresh herbs with dried spices, oils and citrus to create layers of flavor. It is used liberally in Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking to flavor fish, seafood, meats and vegetables.



  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced seeded habanero chile
  • pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups packed minced cilantro
  • 1/2 cup packed minced flat-leaf parsley


  1. Warm the oil in a medium saute pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the onion and salt and saute until the onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne and saute until fragrant, for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the lemon juice, orange juice, water, habanero, and saffron and mix until well combined.
  5. Stir in the cilantro and parsley.
  6. Taste and season with more salt if desired.
  7. Use immediately or store in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Afro-Vegan--book coversmAfro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean & Southern Flavors Remixed is the May selection for the World Spice Cookbook Club. Afro-Vegan is currently available for purchase at our retail store and also online through the following sellers:,,,

Reprinted with permission from Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Photography (c) 2014 by Paige Green



Categories: Africa, Cookbook Club, Grilling Season, Main Meals, Recipes, Sides | Leave a comment

Sassy Short Ribs

We love all things sassy, and these short ribs are no exception. The bold flavor of our Sassy Steak Spice is infused into every bite along with orange marmalade and fresh oregano for an impeccable flavor combination. The great charm in this dish is the layers of flavor developed by adding spices in stages along the way, and finishing with fresh herbs… who says you can’t have it all? The melt-in-your-mouth beef is pretty good too.

sassy short ribs

Sassy Short Ribs

Sassy Short Ribs


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 3 pounds small bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Sassy Steak Spice, divided
  • 3/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano, divided


  1. Add the oil to a heavy, medium skillet, over medium heat. Working in batches- brown the short ribs, about 2 minutes each side. Transfer the seared ribs to a platter or bowl.
  2. Add the chopped onion to the skillet and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the Sassy Steak Spice over the onion and cook one minute more. Lower the heat and add the marmalade, cooking just long enough to melt it with the onion. Transfer the mixture to the insert of a 5-6 quart slow cooker, scraping out every tasty bit!
  3. Add the chicken broth, red wine and soy sauce to the cooker and stir to combine. Now nestle the ribs into the sauce and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 9 hours, until the meat is fork tender. Don't peek while it is cooking! You want all those luscious flavors to circulate for the whole cooking time.
  4. At the end of the cooking time, transfer the ribs to a serving platter and then strain the sauce into a fat-separator. Remove the strained bits of meat and onion to top the ribs on the serving platter and, after the fat has separated, pour the de-fatted sauce into a medium saucepan.
  5. Add the remaining teaspoon of Sassy Steak Spice and simmer the sauce 4-6 minutes to reduce and concentrate the flavors. Add 1 teaspoon of the oregano and cook 1 minute more.
  6. Pour the sauce over the ribs and garnish with the remaining teaspoon of oregano.
  7. Serve with brown or white rice, and lightly sautéed chard and/or bok choy.

Tip: For those of you with slow cooker inserts that are stovetop safe, go ahead and use it in place of the skillet to start the sauce and save a dish!

sassy steak spice


Categories: Asia, Course, Global Cuisines, Latin America, Main Meals, Recipes, Slow Cooker | Leave a comment

Take Out-Fake Out: Lemon Chicken

Many foods convey a sense of place. Unless you are lucky enough to be in China, there’s no doubt that Chinese food tastes best delivered on a stormy night in the 212 area code. But for those of us outside the delivery area, there has to be an alternative and this is it – Take-Out/Fake-Out: Lemon Chicken.

Lemon Chicken

While it may not be as easy as dialing up the Chelsea Big Wok, this juicy crockpot lemon chicken is the next best thing. Set it and forget it, and at the end of the day just stir fry your favorite vegetables to serve alongside and enjoy. We have tried many spice blends in this dish and they are ALL fantastic, so whether you are in the mood for a little Thai Seasoning or Indonesian Ayam, take your pick, it is hard to go wrong with lemon chicken.


Take Out-Fake Out: Lemon Chicken

Take Out-Fake Out: Lemon Chicken


  • 2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Thai Seasoning, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Rooster Spice (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • Lemon wedges, Gomasio and sliced scallions for garnish (optional)


  1. Rinse the chicken thighs well, and pat dry.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the chicken broth, sliced onion, soy sauce, honey, 1/4 cup lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Thai Seasoning and 1 teaspoon Rooster Spice. Stir the sauce well to combine, and pour it into a 5-6 quart crock pot.
  3. Nestle the chicken pieces in the sauce and cook on low for 4-5 hours, until the chicken easily pulls apart with a fork.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the crock pot and set aside. Adjust the crockpot to high heat.
  5. In a small measuring cup, mix together the arrowroot and cold water to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the sauce in the crockpot, then add the sesame oil, 1 additional teaspoon Thai Seasoning and remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
  6. Adjust the heat setting to warm or low, and return the chicken to the crockpot and gently shred the pieces before serving.
  7. Serve with rice and vegetables, and garnish with a lemon wedge, Gomasio and sliced scallions. Some folks like an extra sprinkle of Rooster Spice as well.


Categories: Asia, Course, Global Cuisines, Main Meals, Recipes, Slow Cooker, Take-Out/Fake-Out | Leave a comment