Friday, March 20, 2015

RawSpiceBar March 2015 Persian Spice Review

RawSpiceBar heads to Iran to find our spices for the month of March 2015.  Two spice blends and a pinch of Saffron are featured this month.  Recipes are included for Braised Lamb Shanks, Saffron Rice and Mast-o-khiar.
Each month RawSpiceBar will send you a collection of freshly roasted and ground spices.  They are shipped in resealable bags for those who can't get to their spices right away.  Since I cook dinner for only two, my spices tend to last longer.  You'll also receive a note explaining the area your spice blends are from, why they were chosen and how you can use them.

The Cost: $6/month (starting at $18 for a 3 month subscription).

What You Get: Receive 3-4 hand-picked, small batch, freshly ground spice blends. Each monthly spice box contains 2-3 ounces of spice blends, creating three dishes for serving 8-10. You will also receive kitchen-tested, detailed recipes and ideas for each spice blend you receive as well as a background on our monthly chef and spice blends every month.
Saffron Threads- Saffron, by weight, is one of the most expensive spices in the world.  The threads are actually the stigma of the Crocus Sativus.  Yep, its a kind of crocus and the saffron threads are the long bits that catch pollen in the center of each flower.  I actually planted some Crocus Sativus in my garden but I don't think it's hot enough.  I wanted my own saffron!  All my other crocus bloom but not the Sativus. Sadness!
Anyway, this saffron is accompanied by a recipe for Sabzi Polow with Dill and Saffron.  I think I'm going to go easy on myself and just make a plain saffron rice.
Advieh Khoresht- This spice blend is not to sweet and not too spicy and is created for stews.  It can also be stirred through rice or couscous.  This spice blend contains Organic Rose Petals, Cinnamon, Green Cardamom, Angelica, Persian Lime Powder, Coriander, Cumin and Black Peppercorns. Interesting to see Persian Lime Powder in there because its not a spice.  This is extremely fragrant and smells mostly like cinnamon to me.  I think I'm going to stir it through rice because the spice smells like that would be delicious.
The recipe using this spice blend is Braised Lamb Shanks with Advieh. Lamb is a taste I just don't enjoy. So if I make this is will be with chicken.  Most likely.
Mast-o-Khiar Herbs- For a traditional Persian dish, RawSpiceBar recommends adding this to yogurt with nuts and/or a dried fruit like cranberries for a dip.  The ingredients for this blend are Mint, Dill, Organic Rose Petals and Black Peppercorns.
Mast-o-Khiar with Rose and Mint is the recipe accompanying this spice blend.  I don't think I'll be making this because I don't like yogurt but I might do it for my husband.  We'll see what he says.

VERDICT: I love what RawSpiceBar is doing.  Receiving fresh, fragrant spices along with recipes to use them with adds a little spice (ooo!) to my life.  I do wish that this month wasn't from a place so close to India because these spice blends are quite similar to last months.  I would have preferred something completely different.  But my husband loves this style of food so he doesn't care.  Or notice, probably.  He's just happy to have tasty foods! Or maybe I'm not adventurous enough with my spices. Hm.  That's a possibility.

I should also point out that while RawSpiceBar says you'll receive 2-3oz of spices each month, this month contained only half an ounce total.  That could be because the Saffron is so expensive (and I know it's expensive, I had to buy it once) but it would have been nice to have a note to that effect.

I love that they provide recipes even though I may not use them.  There are more recipes available online, on their website, too.  I really love that the pouches are resealable because I cannot use up this much spice that fast.  Knowing they are fresh and delicious encourages me to use them, though, so we've been having some pretty flavorful dishes.  I made Chicken Tikka Masala twice already from last months shipment.

If you would like to sign up for RawSpiceBar, you can do so right here.  Subscriptions start at 3 months for $18 and go from there.  I think it's a fun way to expand your cooking horizons (or mine, at least) and I love getting freshly toasted and ground spices.

*This was sent to me for review purposes.  No compensation was received for this post and all opinions are entirely my own.


  1. This is so awesome. It seems like Raw Spice Bar really makes an effort to send out interesting and unique blends... I certainly don't have anything like the Mast-o-Khiar Herbs in my kitchen right now!

    1. Neither do I (usually). These spices definitely take me out of my comfort zone. I am hoarding my saffron. I made sure I got every thread after taking the photo. I wasn't going to use the Mast-o-khiar for dip but I'm going to take it to a party and see how it goes over.