We love this West Indies-inspired spice mix for it’s ability to transform hum drum everyday broiled chicken into something juicy and intensely spiced (but not spicy!). The warm, zesty aroma always picks me up after a busy day on the run and it gets my mind thinking about lazy barbeques, the beach and summer vacations. Anything that can accomplish that gets a big gold star in my book and the fact that both my little guys happily scarf up these flavors is like the icing on the cake.
Anything you might be inspired to grill up with this mix will make a great filling for a taco or a sandwich, and is guaranteed to kick up a boring plate of rice and beans (or Orlando Cepeda’s famous Caribbean Cha Cha Bowls). I can also recommend this spice mix as a fun mini cooking project to do with little hands. Kids will enjoy seeing the whole spices (and smelling everything of course) as well as getting into the act with measuring, grinding and marinating.
West Indies-Inspired Marinade
To save time, you could use all pre-ground spices or make up a big jar of the mix, but the flavors will be extra special if you start from whole and grind them when you need them.
In a coffee or spice grinder, grind to a fine powder:
- 1.5 tsp whole allspice
- 1 tsp whole coriander
- 1 tsp whole cumin
- 1/2 tsp peppercorns
- fresh thyme (leaves from about 2 sprigs), or 1 tsp ground
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbl ground paprika (sweet, smoked or a combination)
- 1.5 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- Optional: If you’re a chile-head like Simran, add cayenne, crushed red pepper flakes or chili powder to taste.
To the ground spices add:
- Juice of 1 lemon or lime
- 3 TBL of olive oil
- 1 TBL of brown sugar or honey