Homemade Tunisian Spice Blend Recipe

What is the Tunisian spice blend recipe? The Tabil is a mix of Tunisian seasonings. These spices are used in a variety of dishes in Tunisia. This spice blend is traditionally prepared at home by Tunisian women and then stored in large quantities in the summer to cover needs throughout the year.

Here is the recipe for the famous Tunisian spice blend called Tabil! A quick and easy guide on how to make a homemade tabil spice mix.

Homemade Tunisian Spice Blend Recipe

What is Tunisian Spice Blend?

A typically Tunisian spice, the Tunisian Tabil, also called Tabil Karouia, is a staple of Tunisian gastronomy.

The word Tabil means coriander in Tunisian. It is also the main ingredient of the recipe, hence the name.

Tabil Karouia is the fruit of the fragrant mix of coriander, caraway, sweet red peppers, and garlic. Everything is dried and reduced to powder. But you can add lots of other spices. It’s according to taste. Like most typical mixtures, each family has its recipe.


  • 2 kg of coriander seeds
  • 300 gr of caraway seeds
  • 2 kg of garlic
  • 150 gr of dried red peppers
  • 50 gr of saffron
  • 50 gr of black peppercorns
  • 50 gr of bay leaf
  • 50 gr of ginger
  • 50 gr of dried mint
  • 250 gr of salt

Tabil spice mix ingredients

How to make Tunisian Spice Blend

  1. Clean the coriander and caraway seeds of all impurities and wash them with water to get rid of dust, then leave them in the sun on a clean cloth until they are completely dry.
  2. Peel and mince the garlic cloves, then place them in the sun to dry.
  3. Remove the seeds from the dried peppers and cut them into pieces.
  4. Once the coriander, caraway seeds, and garlic are completely dry, mix all the ingredients except the salt.
  5. Spread the mixture well in the sun for an additional day.
  6. Grind the mix in a spice grinder, then add the salt.
  7. The Tabil mix is ready, add a small amount of salt for better conservation, and store in opaque, completely dry jars.

How to make Tunisian Spice Blend

How to store Tunisian Spice Blend

To best preserve the aromas and nutritional value of your ground spices blend over time, we recommend that you keep them in a spice jar (glass or metal) away from light, heat, air, and humidity. In addition, the period in which the spices last is from 8 months to 1 year.

Note: It is preferable to use metallic instead of glassy jars to reduce the effect of heat and moisture and thus keep longer the Tabil blend.

What is Tunisian Spice Blend used for?

Tunisian spice mix (or Tabil mix) is a condiment also found in Algeria. Like most typical mixes, each family has its recipe and is usually made once a year so that the seasoning mix lasts all year round.

The Tunisian spice blend is widely used to season sauce or hamburger meat. Otherwise, it’s a go-anywhere, you can use it in all meats, stews, and vegetable dishes, it’s up to you to find inspiration!

What spices are used in Tunisian food?

Spices and herbs add a special flavor to Tunisian dishes, among them:

The famous harissa: It consists of hot red pepper, dried, and ground with salt and garlic cloves, which is an indispensable spice in Tunisian dishes. First, the harissa is served on a small plate and drizzled with olive oil, tuna crumbs, and sometimes hard-boiled eggs and olives.

Cloves: have a slightly spicy flavor, sweet, and very aromatic. They incorporate several ground spice mixes. It's often used in court-bouillons and marinades.

Turmeric: has a light woody-peppery scent. It’s very popular and is used to season lamb and vegetable dishes.

Cumin: have a strong, incomparable aroma, and a slightly bitter taste, especially when powdered. It's served with salt to sprinkle on skewers and grilled meats. It is found in the famous kamonia and typical bread.

Saffron: Here we find the empty pistils of “gold” powder, which are used to color and flavor sauces and fish.

Concrete: its crushed leaves are the main ingredient of the famous Molokhia.

Is Tabil spice mix spicy?

Although it contains red dried pepper and black pepper, the Tunisian spice mix is not spicy because its ingredients are diverse, creating an excellent balance. However, if you want to get a spicy flavor, you can add more dried red pepper.

What is in Tunisian Spice Blend?

The word “tabil” refers to coriander in the Tunisian language, which is the main ingredient of the recipe, hence its name. Traditionally, it is made with four spices: coriander, caraway, garlic, and dried red peppers. But you can add many other spices according to your taste. This recipe seems to be a good compromise.

Is Tunisian Spice Blend the same as harissa?

Harissa differs from Tunisian Spice Blend in some ingredients and how to prepare, where Tunisian Harissa is one of the basics of traditional Tunisian cooking. It is also called Arabic Harissa. It’s a blend of fresh red pepper, garlic, salt, and spices with the addition of olive oil.

The crushed red pepper is the main ingredient of the harissa, which is famous for its spicy taste and goes through many stages to reach its delicious taste. Harissa is not just a traditional food preparation but rather a recipe rich in flavors and is the basis of many Tunisian cuisine recipes.

What is a substitute for Tunisian spice?

The Tunisian Tabil blend has always been an important ingredient in the preparation of many traditional Tunisian dishes such as couscous, pasta, and Oujda, as well as for marinating meat and seafood. 

Therefore, the Ras el hanout blend and Baharat are the best substitutes for the Tunisian Tabil mix. You can also make a Tabil mix at home by evenly mixing some of the ingredients that make up the Tabil mix.

Where to buy Tabil spice mix?

You can purchase the Tunisian spice blend from one of the shops. However, the best way to get it is to order the quantity you want from Amazon or one of the other trusted online stores.

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