A signature spice blend is a wonderful way to capture the culinary spirit of a region. The garam masala powders of India. Morocco’s ras el hanout. The famous steak spice of Montréal.
The all-purpose blend khmeli suneli instantly conveys the imprint of Georgia’s Caucasus terroir at the Eurasian crossroads of the spice route. Its aromatic backbone of blue fenugreek, dried marigold flowers, coriander, dill, and hot pepper weave hints of earthy spice, floral notes, musky bitterness, and tang. At the Georgian Bakery & Cafe in Northeast Philadelphia, which sells the spice in a pack, it’s a common backdrop to a wide array of dishes, like simple lobio bean pots, ground meat kebabs, vegetarian patés of beet and spinach minced with walnuts, and the many other pureed walnut sauces that are essential to the menu.
— Craig LaBan