African Pepper Mix

This is the spice mix I use in my tomato and cashew South African curry (recipe to follow soon!). I found this recipe online but I wanted a much more peppery version so I changed it quite radically to create this mix.

The grains of paradise and voatsiperifery pepper can be replaced with black pepper if you don’t have them but they add a complex aromatic woody note that helps make the recipe distinctive and delicious!


  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp grains of paradise
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp voatsiperifery pepper
  • 1 clove
  • 1cm2 cinnamon bark
  • 8 smoked birds eye chillies


Combine all ingredients and grind to a powder. You can use a pestle and mortar, or a spice grinder.

We have an electric spice grinder which is much easier than grinding manually and results in a fine even powder that’s easy to use.