The Spice Trail

spice trail badge long

I adore cooking with spices. And through The Spice Trail challenge, I pay homage to a different spice every month. Food bloggers from the UK (and indeed the rest of the world) help me out with this by sharing their favourite recipes featuring that month’s selected spice, and each month we end up with the most incredible round-up of spicy recipes.

The latest Spice Trail challenge is themed Spice Mixes.  Enter your recipe here.

And here’s where the Spice Trail has taken us so far…

November 2014 – Peppercorns

Mulled grape juice overhead

So many people forget that pepper is actually a spice and don’t think to make it the star of a dish in its own right.

So in November, The Spice Trail challenge encouraged food bloggers to share their recipes that really put the humble peppercorn back in the spotlight it deserves.

We received a surprising range of entries, from curries and spicy seafood dishes to shortbread, biscotti and even chocolate truffles. See the round-up here.

October 2014 – Preserves & Pickles

mango and chilli chutney3 webPerfect for autumn, The Spice Trail in October challenged bloggers to come up with their tastiest recipes for spicy pickles and chutneys, preserves and jams.

The round-up features all manner of preserved fruits and vegetables – from pineapples and mangos to green beans and sprouting chickpeas. See the round-up here.

The winning entry was a wonderful Tomatillo and Tomato Chutney from Mrs Portly’s Kitchen.

September 2014 – A Taste of India

A Taste of IndiaIn September The Spice Trail took us to the Indian sub-continent, where we feasted on a banquet of beautifully spiced dishes from saag paneer and lentil dahl to kulfi and masala custard. Just heavenly.

Here’s the full round-up in all its sensational glory.

The winning entry was Miss Messy with her tempting Slow Cooker Red Lentil Dahl.

August 2014 – Beach Barbecue

beach barbecueSpicy foods perfect for a barbecue or beach party were the order of the day during August. Oh and we were really spoilt for choice this month with sumptuous salads, jerk chicken, burgers and kebabs, and even pies and cakes.

Take a look at the full Beach Barbecue round-up here.

And isn’t this winning dish amazing? Middle Eastern Spiced Camp Fire Chickpeas from Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.

July 2014 – Summer Spice

summer spice
Celebrating the long-longed-for warmer weather, July’s theme was Summer Spice. And even if the sun didn’t shine constantly, your entries cheered our spirits no end.

From fruity bakes to picnic delights, you’ll find July’s round up here.

And here’s the Summer Spice winner: Fasulye with Dukkah Roasted Tofu from Chocolate Log Blog.

June 2014 – Cumin

cooking with cuminJune’s challenge took cumin as its theme, one of the most used spices in my own kitchen. We received a heap of gorgeously inviting entries, including cumin seed crackers, spicy falafel, chicken satay and a divine mint-cumin roast lamb.

The winner was Helen from Family–Friends–Food with her Spice-roasted Butternut Squash and Halloumi Fajitas.

The full round-up is here.

May 2014 – Vanilla

vanillaSolange from the fabulous Pebble Soup blog took over The Spice Trail reigns in May. The vanilla-themed challenge attracted a brilliant assortment of cakes, bakes, relishes, ice cream and even savoury dishes.

Check out the entries over on the Pebble Soup website.

The winning entry was a Fruit Cocktail Bundt Cake from Jibber Jabber UK.

April 2014 – Mexico

mexican monthIn April it was Destination Mexico on The Spice Trail and for the first time we celebrated the food of a nation rather than an individual spice.

Food bloggers brought a a sensational array of Mexican cuisine to our table, demonstrating just how diverse and exciting this nation’s food really is.

Here’s the full Mexican round-up.

And here is the winning entry: Moreish Mexican Fish Tortillas from What the Cook.

March 2014 – Ginger

cooking with ginger

The ginger challenge proved to be an incredible feast for the senses with a glorious collection of sweet and savoury entries from the four corners of the globe.

If you’re a fan of ginger, you’ll be in seventh heaven reading through this round-up, which features soups and stir fries, curries and kebabs, cakes and biscuits, drinks and puddings.

Here’s the full ginger round-up.

And the winning entry was Slow Cooked Pork in Tonkatsu (Japanese Barbecue) Sauce from Searching for Spice.

February 2014 – Caraway

caraway and linseed breadWe always receive such a diverse array of entries for The Spice Trail, and February’s caraway challenge was no exception. There were pretzels, shortbreads, tuiles, bread and even healthy kale crisps.

Here’s the full caraway round-up.

See the winning entry: Caraway Pretzels from GoodFoodSeeking.

January 2014 – Paprika

paprika challenge

The first Spice Trail challenge of 2014 received a bumper bag of spicy paprika dishes, from bread and biscuits to meaty casseroles, tasty pasta, warming soups and a whole host of exciting vegetarian dishes.

Here are January’s paprika dishes.

See the two winning entries: Food to Glow’s Pan-fried Creole Cauliflower Fritters and Deena Kakaya’s Chermoula Marinated Halloumi.

December 2013 – Cinnamon

cooking with cinnamon

Used by the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians, our love of cinnamon dates back centuries. And judging by the dishes entered into December’s Spice Trail, it is clear this spice is as popular as ever.

Here’s the full cinnamon round-up.

See the winning entry: My Veggie Desserts’ Mince Pies with Spinach Pastry.

November 2013 – Chilli

cooking with chilli2

This round-up of the first ever Spice Trail challenge is a glorious celebration of cooking with chilli. From tagines and tarts, pies and pasta, to sweets, soups and salads – it’s all here.

Take a look through the full chilli round-up.

See the winning entry: My Golden Pear’s Lamb Curry.


The latest Spice Trail challenge is themed Spice Mixes.  Enter your recipe here.

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