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Asha's All-Purpose Fennel Seasoning

Recipe by: Asha Loupy

Makes: 1/2 cup

Asha's All-Purpose Fennel Seasoning
Photo by:  

Melati Citrawireja

Inspired by Montreal-style steak seasoning, this blend is packed with aromatic Hariyali fennel, fragrant, warming black pepper, and smoky Sirārakhong Hāthei chillies. A small amount of ajwain lends oregano-like depth, while granulated garlic weaves its way through the spice mix lending lots of allium goodness.

It's delicious on steak, of course, but we've found ourselves reaching for it to season lots of proteins from chicken and pork chops to lamb ribs and salmon. It also is dynamite with vegetables of all kinds, like potatoes, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, and asparagus. You can also use it to season burgers, eggs, and so much more!

Cook's note: This blend does include some salt, but if using as a seasoning or dry brine for meat, I like adding another 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal or 1/4 teaspoon Morton's kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt per 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mix.

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  • 2 tablespoons (14g) Aranya Black Pepper
  • 10 to 12 (10g) whole Sirārakhong Hāthei Chillies
  • 3 tablespoons (21g) Hariyali Fennel
  • 1¼ teaspoons (3g) Wild Ajwain
  • 2 tablespoons (12g) granulated garlic
  • 1½ tablespoons (15g) kosher salt
  • Pinch of MSG (optional)


To make in a spice grinder
  1. Place the pepper in a spice grinder and pulse a few times to break the peppercorns up.
  2. To prep the chillies, remove and discard the stems and break them into ½-inch pieces. Add the fennel, broken chillies, and ajwain and continue to pulse until the mixture reaches a medium coarse texture. If you like a finer seasoning, continue pulsing until you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Transfer the ground spices to a medium bowl and add the granulated garlic, kosher salt, and MSG, if using, and mix well. Transfer to a small jar (this recipe fits perfectly in a small Diaspora Co. jar!), seal, and store in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
To make in your Roshni Mortar & Pestle
  1. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the whole chillies and gently toast, turning frequently, until fragrant and are a shade darker, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. While the chillies cool, place the pepper in the mortar and pound them into a medium coarse powder. Transfer the crushed pepper into a medium bowl. 
  3. Add the fennel and ajwain to the mortar, pound into a medium coarse powder, and transfer to the bowl with the black pepper.
  4. Remove and discard the stems from the toasted chillies, then break them up into ½-inch pieces, and place them in the mortar. Pound the broken chillies into fine flakes and transfer to the bowl with the other crushed spices.
  5. Add the garlic, salt, and MSG, if using to the crushed spices, and mix well. Transfer to a small jar (this recipe fits perfectly in a small Diaspora Co. jar!), seal, and store in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.

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