Herbie’s Spices Newsletter – Autumn 2021

February 24, 2021 posted in General

We trust that you have all survived Australia’s quiet introduction to the new year.  Isn’t it wonderful that, in times of trial and frustration, cooking, eating and sharing bring such consolation?  For those of us separated from our loved ones by insurmountable obstacles, we can be encouraged by improving conditions this year.

In our most recent Newsletter, we forecast spice shortages due to logistical problems.  Sadly, a major casualty has been our supply of Whole Sansho from Japan that we grind to a fragrant, tangy green powder.  Whilst we await the eventual arrival of both the orders we have placed, our supply of the popular Furikake Seasoning blend has run out, as Sansho is an important ingredient in this lovely Japanese blend.  This means, also, that the Japanese Spice Kit is unavailable until Furikake is back in stock.


The supply swings and roundabouts make sure that we continue to think creatively, constantly keeping our minds open to the possibility of alternatives.  Such is the case with our ever-popular Ginspiration Kit, which is working perfectly well, with Grains of Paradise (sadly out of stock) replaced by Australian native pepper berries.  For those who love to experiment, we also still have in stock, Ginspiration Plus to be used in conjunction to the Ginspiration recipe.It’s worth keeping in mind that flavour is not an arbitrary thing – you can ring the changes by replacing one spice blend with another, or by adding or changing a spice in a favourite recipe.

Kids in the Kitchen

Speaking of spice kits, we’ve recently had some serious conversations with our grandchildren, now conveniently aged from seven to fourteen years.  This is exactly the age group we had in mind when we made our Kids In The Kitchen Spice Kit, and we thought it may be a good time to update the kit.  Armed with information on what our own kids in the kitchen like to cook and eat, the kit has had a complete revamp.  It now contains Chinese Stir Fry spice, Mixed Herbs, Katsu curry, Mexican spice mix, and ground cinnamon, with recipes tried and approved by our very own test kitchen kids!  We did insist that they were not all chocolate!

We’ve been happy to welcome more customers, both old and new, to our little shop-within-a-factory at Charmhaven, through the summer period.  Sydney folk en route to the Hunter Valley, or taking a holiday on the scenic Central Coast, have popped in to say hello, and some of our old Rozelle friends have even relocated away from inner Sydney and have happily found us in their locality again!  It’s been such a pleasure for us to introduce ourselves to other locals who are finding us for the first time.

What’s New at Herbie’s?

Sazon Spice Mix

We love responding to our customer requests, and our latest spice blend is a direct response to many enquiries.  Sazon Spice Mix is a popular general-purpose blend in Latin America. Sazon is simply the Spanish word for “season”, and this tasty blend can be used in all sorts of ways to enliven your food.  A careful blend of spices, including epazoteMexican oregano, and annatto, brings the authentic flavour of Central America to your kitchen.  Do try the big chunky corn and cheese fritter recipe on the back of the pack.

Kofta and Falafel Spice Mix

Also new this season is our Kofta and Falafel Spice Mix.  Over the past twenty years, Middle Eastern food, with all its wonderful variety, has become a favourite in many households, and this spice mix is timely.  This mix makes it so very easy to make your own koftas and falafel at home.  To make it even more convenient, you can make a double batch of your koftas, and freeze some of them to cook later.  The recipe, of course, is on the back of the pack! We had a little tussle of opinions as to which recipe should be printed on the pack … kofta, or falafel?  We eventually decided it had to be kofta, but you’ll find both recipes if you click on the Kofta Spice Mix on the website.

Autumn Box of Ideas

The Autumn Box of Ideas continues to explore more of the Herbie’s range, grabbing the opportunity to introduce you without delay to the new Sazon mix, as well as Nigella Seeds, Super Ras el Hanout, and Aleppo pepper.  We’ve had some delicious meals whilst we’ve developed the recipes for you, so we know you’re going to enjoy them as the days shorten and cool down in Autumn.

Stay well, and Spice Well

Herbie and Liz

Explore All

Meal Ideas for Isolation

We thought that in these unprecedented times, it would be appropriate to share some handy meal ideas to ease the stress of isolation and potentially limited food sources. Having to self-isolate creates an opportunity to brush up your cooking skills and have some fun experimenting with some flavours you may not have tried before. Let’s face it, everyone can cook. Have you ever grilled

Spices and Spice Blends for Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking

In this short video, Ian "Herbie" Hemphill talks about how Herbie's Spices, herbs and spice blends are all suitable for vegetarian and vegan cooking. A great spice blend for vegan meals is Aloo Gobi Masala. All ingredients are listed on the labels, so you know exactly what you are getting. For a wealth of information on spices, herbs and making your own spice blends,

Herbie’s Newsletter Summer 2019 – 2020

We’re all in accord about single-use plastics. Having seen huge drifts of plastic in the pristine seas off the Indonesian islands, we know just how important it is to get rid of those shopping bags, plastic wraps and sandwich bags. When one gets emotional about bad plastics, it’s easy to begin to demonize all plastics, and perhaps it’s timely to repeat this message from our Newsletter of some years ago.


Spices & More in South India Jan-Feb 2020

We invite you to join us, Herbie and Liz, as we return to our beloved India to take you to some places where many tourists don’t go! And some amazing places that you just can’t miss. This is designed as a holiday, not an endurance test, and we have made the itinerary a little more leisurely than some earlier tours, so that you arrive home refreshed and well. Be a part of our small group and join the fun!


Herbie’s Newsletter Spring 2019

What kind of meal do you think of when you hear the word “curry”?  The origin of our English word is Kari, meaning a spiced sauce.  The English took the idea back home from the colonies, and the classic Madras curry – well-balanced and flavoursome - became a staple in the English household.  The French, meanwhile, had colonized the Pondicherry area on the south-eastern

Newsletter Winter 2019

What is Single Origin? We see it emblazoned on tea, coffee, spices and other foodstuffs.  It’s pretty simple really.  If all your potatoes have been grown in the Hunter Valley, they are single origin from that region – they don’t all have to come from the same farm. If, say, a coffee blender buys beans from Africa and South America, and mixes them all

Easter Spice Essentials

With Easter just around the corner, it’s time to think about the spices you’ll need for your Easter recipes. For all those sweet recipes such as cakes, biscuits and hot cross buns, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and cardamom are traditional, along with Mixed Spice. For extra fragrance and flavour, try using our Fragrant Sweet Spice Blend as an aromatic substitute. Easter is a great time

Herbie’s Newsletter – Winter 2022

Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us …..  on 7th July this year we celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the opening of Herbie’s Spices.  When we opened the doors of our little shop in the chilli-red terrace in Rozelle, little did we know that it would become a destination for local, interstate and international cooks and foodies.  Our business plan all those years

Peppercorns – What’s Your Favourite?

When we think of peppercorns, it is easy to think of them in terms of black pepper, and well, is black pepper just black pepper? More about white pepper and other pepper varieties later, for now we want to tell you about the different black peppercorns, and the nuances in aroma and taste each type has. Pepper vines are a particularly attractive sight in

Herbie’s Newsletter Autumn 2022

We took a break over the Christmas/New Year period, and arrived home, tired and jet-lagged, to a mostly empty fridge.  It was definitely a moment to appreciate our hero spice mix, Lentil and Dhal Spice, which pulled together a delicious, easy meal using pantry staples and surviving silverbeet in the pot outside our kitchen door.  What did we eat? This: SPICED RED LENTIL AND

Nigella – ‘The Spice That is’!

Cooks are discovering a culinary seed spice that believe it or not has been ubiquitous for many years. Those little black seeds we see on Turkish bread, are more often than not nigella seeds! The nigella of culinary use is an erect annual, a member of the buttercup family and close relative to the decorative plant that is known as ‘love-in-a-mist’ (N. damascena). Nigella


Za’atar, (often spelled zaatar, zartar, zatar) is a Middle Eastern spice blend that is used to flavour breads, and to season dishes in much the same manner as Mixed Herbs are used in Western cooking. The term Za’atar tends to create some confusion in the marketplace, as this Arabic word is used in many Middle Eastern countries to describe both the herb thyme, and

Herbie’s Newsletter Summer 2021 – 2022

This time last year, we thought the worst of COVID-19 was behind us.  We know now that it was just the beginning of another annus horribilis thanks to the Delta strain, but our changed conditions seemed to bring kindness and humanity to the fore.  As always, food has been a comfort and a blessing.  We’re coming to you a little earlier than the new

Herbie’s Newsletter – Spring 2021

Home Made Pizza Like so many Australians, we have had plenty of lock-down time during winter.  Our fabulous local pizzeria closed for a time, and we had to make our own pizza – not so difficult, really.  Here’s a simple dough recipe: mix 400g white bread flour with 1½ teaspoons of dry yeast and 1 teaspoon Italian Herbs.  Dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt in

Welcome to our New Website

The first thing you will notice is that this website looks quite different to the one you may be used to. In response to the many questions we have received from our customers over the years, we have built in many new features that will enhance your shopping experience. While navigating the site is intuitive, we've described some of the many new features here.

Herbie’s Spices Newsletter – Winter 2021

Following through on our gradual revision of the Spice Kits, we’ve had a look at the Al Fresco kit.  At our place, outdoor meals often include big sharing platters, which enable those who are hungry to really dig in, and those with bird-like appetites to pick gently at morsels, without any embarrassment about how much is put on, or left on, the plate.  So we’ve

Black Pepper Beef Recipe at Spice Village, Kumily, Kerala, India

Braised Black Pepper Beef, with Chef Manoj at Spice Village, Kumily, Kerala, India Serves 4-6 1kg beef tenderloin, trimmed Masala Marinade 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil ½ cup grated fresh coconut 2 shallots, peeled and sliced 2 teaspoons coriander seeds 5 small dried red chillies, seeds removed and chopped 3 sprigs curry leaves 1 tablespoon crushed black pepper Braising Curry Sauce 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut

Herbie’s Spices Newsletter – Autumn 2021

We trust that you have all survived Australia’s quiet introduction to the new year. Isn’t it wonderful that, in times of trial and frustration, cooking, eating and sharing bring such consolation? For those of us separated from our loved ones by insurmountable obstacles, we can be encouraged by improving conditions this year.


Herbie makes Avial (South Indian Vegetable Curry) in South India

Herbie loves being in South India, the food and the people. In this video he makes Avial (a South Indian Vegetable Curry). Making lightly spiced meals is one of life’s great pleasures, made all the simpler with our Herbie’s Spices all-natural spice blends.

Join the inner circle

Herbie’s Spices Inner Circle fills a need in the community of cooks and food lovers for early-access & upcoming events to all those hard-to-find herbs and spices.

Please enter valid email.