Blackened Seasoning

Blackening is a Cajun technique in which food is coated with a medley of spices and cooked over high heat, usually in a cast-iron skillet or on a grill. To give your food big, complex flavors, toast whole spices, then pulverize them in a mortar or spice grinder. This blackened seasoning pairs well with vegetables like the grilled okra seen here. 

Peppers with blackened seasoning

Makes 1⁄3 cup
Prep time: 10 minutes


  •  2 tbs. paprika
  • 1 tbs. cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1⁄2 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste

Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and dry toast them for two to five minutes, shaking the pan often to cook them evenly. Remove from heat and cool.

Combine the ingredients in a mortar or spice grinder and grind into a fine powder.

Transfer to a jar and seal tightly. Stored at room temperature, blackened seasoning will keep for six months.

Excerpted with permission from Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Photography © 2014 by Paige Green.

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