Strictly speaking, you don’t need a spice mix for making Merguez sausages, you can just add a little bit of this and a little bit of that when making the sausages themselves. But I love having the Merguez Sausage Mix at hand because it is so much easier when making the sausages and I also love adding the mix to a variety of other dishes too, like pasta sauces and omelettes.
I give a monthly class that’s based on spice mixes from around the world and this is one of the spices that I show my students how to make, alongside Za’atar, Garam Masala, Advieh and Berbere. It is the most aromatic of our classes, unsurprisingly, and always a huge hit with students who are constantly amazed with how easy many of these spices mixes are to make at home. I love showing folks how not to emancipate folks from the shop bought camp!
Merguez Spice Mix
- 2 Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
- 5 cm (2") cinnamon stick broken up in pieces
- 1 dried red Kashmiri chilli or other mild dried chilli broken up into 3 pieces
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- 4 Tbsp sweet paprika
- 1 Tbsp salt
- Heat a frying pan on medium heat and dry roast the cumin, coriander, fennel and cinnamon stick for about 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Do not let them burn.
- Leave the cooked spices to cool down completely, otherwise they’ll create moisture in you final product and reduce the shelf life drastically.
- Place the whole ingredients into a good spice or coffee mill and blitz to a fine powder.
- Add the paprika and pulse to mix thoroughly or you can do this in the final bowl.
- Store in a dry, clean jar and keep, tightly sealed, in a cool place along with your other spices. Should last for about 6 months but as with any other spices, its potency will decrease with age.