Advieh (Also called adwiya) is a Persian spice mix that (like many spice blends) has been likened to India’s garam masala. The word advieh translates simply to “spice,” and an advieh blend may contain multiple or just one in some cases. As with the many spice blends that have been around long enough to become a part of a community’s food culture, the recipe can vary from region to region and may even be different in each household. What goes into an advieh blend is determined by the cook’s preference rather than any set recipe.
There are advieh recipes that go back more than 2,000 years. Persian cooking has a history that is said to go back to the time of Cyrus the Great and which has been tremendously influential. This influence is truly global. Many dishes in India and the Middle East have their roots in ancient Persia, so much so that many Indian dishes still have Persian names. India’s spice-centric cuisine is believed to have descended from Persia’s love of seasoning. Persian food has long been praised for its flavors. Consider the fact that Herodotus was among its fans.
As an ancient spice blend, there is no canonical version of the blend’s origin. However, certain cultural practices surround this spice. For example, advieh is supposed to be blended only by the woman in charge of a household or the spice merchant from which she buys the blend.
Advieh flavor profile
As previously noted, advieh does not have a set ingredient list. As a result, the flavor profile can vary dramatically depending on which spices a cook chooses to use. The most common spices used in the blend include cumin, rose petals, and cloves. Cumin will bring an earthy nuttiness to the mixture along with a hint of smoky bitterness. Rose petals bring a floral quality while cloves are camphoraceous and piney.
Along with the variability of ingredients, you should also note that the proportions of each ingredient can differ from blend to blend. The flavor profile of a blend can vary depending on which of the spices has the highest concentration. Other spices that may be used include black pepper and cardamom. Note that many blends will also add that staple of Persian cooking: saffron.
Health benefits of advieh
The nutrients that you get from an advieh blend can vary, but blends with the most popular spices can provide you with:
- Vitamins: The cumin that you find in most advieh blends contains thiamin, as well as a small amount of vitamin A. Cardamom includes a small amount of vitamin C.
- Minerals: Cloves can provide a significant amount of manganese and are a source of magnesium. Cardamom also contains magnesium and provides calcium and iron as well.
- Antioxidants: Rose petals and cardamom are known to contain antioxidants like myrcene and quercetin.
The nutrients in advieh make it a useful addition to your diet if you want to control or prevent health problems like:
- High blood pressure: Cardamom is used as a diuretic, which makes it an effective treatment for high blood pressure.
- Poor digestion: Both cumin and cloves are known to be beneficial for digestion. They work by stimulating the release of gastric juices.
Use advieh in rice dishes or in dishes that would traditionally be served with rice. Adas polo is an example. Persian cooks will often use it as a dry rub that they sprinkle on lamb or chicken.