Thursday, February 11, 2016


Spice review - Spice Monger & Spice Giveaway


Sometime in January after my  first post on Masala Dubba (Spices box), I got am email from Spice Monger, Spice Monger are online retailers of organic spices that are grown in Wayanad in Kerala. They were keen on a partnership with Turmeric N' Spice...I am not big on giveaways or reviews (sorry guys). In both cases I feel you are somewhat bound by the product. However, I read up a bit about the company...


"To bring health and eco-conscious consumers organic spices in their purest and most elemental form, inspiring them to experiment with even the humblest of dishes to create unparalleled taste. Additionally, by sourcing our spices from farms with organic, sustainable growing practices, we hope to help create a better future for us and the Earth.

Our hand-packed, USDA certified organic spices are grown organically in small batches and steam sterilized with no harmful chemicals involved. Our packing seals the spices away from light and air to ensure the longevity of their taste, color and smell. "

And what really made me collaborate : "Our spices are sourced from small, family-owned, certified organic farms in the Indian district of Wayanad. Our farmers eliminate harmful chemical pesticides while simultaneously reclaiming their traditional agricultural practices, which helps conserve water, seeds, and soil and supports the health of the ecosystem and local human communities alike. We source only from Fair Trade Certified cooperatives to ensure that our farmers get a fair price for their produce."

It got me intrigued...the promise of a slice of  'pure' history in a bottle. I requested them to send me some samples.  One thing I noticed right away, even as I was unpacking the box they came in : the aroma. The spices (whole) seem to be handpicked, each clove bud was intact - hardly any broken ones. 

The first bottle I opened was ground cinnamon, the aroma took me to childhood making rasam powder (a spice blend that celebrates cinnamon) . A small quantity goes a long way as it's organic. Over the course of the week I have almost tried everything they sent me. They really stand behind their spice, no question on quality.  I saw the distinct difference when I made turmeric milk with black pepper, both the turmeric and black pepper was from Spice Monger - Trying organic turmeric for the first time. I assumed turmeric does not have that strong of an aroma - I was wrong, their organic turmeric is one of the best turmeric I have used. My husband loved the turmeric milk and he asked me to buy SM from next time - can't agree more. 

The clove buds are really big and gorgeous. I don't feel like using them, so pretty. I did made yellow daal with fragrant!! The images of cloves in my pictures are from SM. 

The red chili has is a vibrant color,  I have not used it yet - I believe it is one of their popular spices. When I do a post on chili, I will let you guys know what I think of it. 

If nothing else, try their cardamom. I'm not going to say anything just try it - keep the bottle open for sometime on your kitchen counter.....aromatherapy. I want to ask them to start making essential oils from their spices, what do you guys think ?? Awesome idea right. 

Am not going to write in detail about every spice they carry, you get the idea.They are a new company, so will introduce more spices. I love the quality of their products, they look hand picked  rather than mass produced. And, the bottles are most adorable,  each comes with a cute label and a fact about the spice. Like cinnamon it says : stimulates creativity, black pepper : used to be called black gold and my favorite, ginger : a common ingredient in love here is a cool fact to implement on V-day! 

Note to self : reuse the bottles and order their spice in packets.

Spice Monger is a new company in the  U.S, they launched just a few months ago in December (on the 21st), 2015. I'm glad I was able to collaborate with them to spread the word about there amazing products. They are expanding  ....stay tuned !

To all the coffee lovers out there - they will be launching their  organic coffee really really soon ....(am so excited)


The Giveaway 

1 bottle of organic Spice Monger whole white peppercorns

1 bottle of organic Spice Monger whole black peppercorns

1 bottle of organic Spice Monger ground white peppercorns

1 bottle of organic Spice Monger ground black peppercorns

1 bottle of organic Spice Monger ground cinnamon

1 bottle of organic Spice Monger powdered turmeric.

To Participate :

1- You have to be a resident of the US or have an address where SM can mail you the spices

2-leave a comment here to participate.

3- Share the giveaway on social media - for every social media you share it on leave an additional comment

4- Like Spice Monger on FB and Twitter 

5- Optional : like me on FB and Twitter 

The winner will be decided by SM. Stay tuned for more from them, they have some exciting collaboration with TNS and more participation from you guys. 

To buy Spice Monger you can shop on Amazon or from them directly. 

 I was given the spices to give my honest review and Spice Monger was generous to offer a giveaway to one of the readers . If I get to experience something I like, I think it's only fair that I share that with you - Thanks Spice Monger for the generous giveaway. 

All Images in this post are © Simi Jois accept - the first image - all the spices images were provided by Spice Monger - I assembled the collage for the purpose of the giveaway, and the last two images of spice farming were provided by SMonger.


This month the four of us picked some intriguing, sexy spices - for the month of love. I merged the giveaway, review and masala dubba all into one post. Actually, I  could not wait to share with you I did this huge big post. Hope you read all of it and participate.

Star Anise

Each of them have distinct aroma, strong historic background...a bit of mystic in their personality. You might think I am crazy, but I do think spices have a unique personality of their own, unique to themselves but when blended together in a's pure magic. If you have shied away from spices, you have missed a lot in your culinary journey. Don't get intimidated with the complexity - go by your instinct and pair them, they are no rules - trust me.

I'll make the write up on each of these short - I know u guys have nano-second attention span like me....Lol!


 Clove originated in the Maluku islands of Indonesia. Back then around the 15th century it was a tradition to plant a clove tree on the birth of your child, the health of the tree was linked to the health of the child.

Clove is quite a strong spice and has a spicy aftertaste, little is more. I remember I must have been ten - had a terrible tooth ache and the only thing that helped me that night was chewing on a clove. I'm no doctor but it was and is still used in Ayurvedic medicine for dental treatments.


It's actually a bark that's sweet and aromatic. Probably one of those spices that are popular in both savory and dessert preparations.

In 1500 BC the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut used cinnamon in her perfumes. I can see myself using a perfume with cinnamon essential oils - yes that's another story that I am no queen.

Star Anise

To me this is the most beautiful spices, it's soooo photogenic - I just can't stop photographing her.

Star anice is the fruit os a small everygreen tree native to southwest China. The star shaped fruit are picked just before ripening and dried before use. Very similar to annise seed - strong and  sweet. Very strong aroma.

Check out there blog


CloveText-800PX- SimiJois
Clove from Spice Monger. Photography : Simi Jois 

Ground cinnamon from Spice Monger. Photography : Simi Jois 



Clove from Spice Monger. Photography : Simi Jois 

Image provided by Spice Monger

Image provided by Spice Monger

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  1. OMG.. what a beautiful post Simi. All the pictures speaks volumes. In love with all pics <3

  2. Simi,
    It's so much fun to do these spice post every month, isn't?
    I am not sure when I will be able to shoot mine. These photos are classic Simi shots - gorgeous , bold and beautiful. Love'em all.

    1. Dol,

      This is like stress buster - of all the personal photography projects, this one is my favorite and thanks for the idea.

    2. I am so glad, we are doing together.

  3. I bought this packet of cardamom from a small shop, on a trip to Munnar, few years back. The aroma of last pods was as fresh as the newly opened packet. Plus, they were so packed with flavor that I never needed more than 2 pods for anything. I used to keep them in a airtight box fearing that they might lose the aroma but couldn't resist opening the bottle every few days just to sink in that smell.
    I still regret not buying anything else other than cardamom from that shop but I learned my lesson.
    Your pictures do complete justice to the aroma and flavor that these spices are packed with, so beautiful. :)

  4. Beautiful pics from Gods Own Country. Nice to see the organic spices from wayanad.

  5. Shared giveaway post on Fb.Following spice monger on Twitter

  6. love to grab white peppercorn , i just love whole spices, much better than powder. will be sharing on Twitter and following on twitter too.

  7. Love love love! Such a beautifully rich post where I can spend hours discovering all the fine details!

  8. The spices seem to come to life with in your photos Simi. Nice job!

  9. Nice article. The pictures are very nicely done. Am a big fan of spices.

  10. So cool! Love trying new spices.

  11. Article is very informative,the picture compliment the article well. We can't live without spices,I believe the organic quality & fresh ingredients in spices makes a huge difference in taste of food we eat.As the popularity of healthy,ethnic cooking home grows, our spice racks should expand to accommodate the seasinings which gives the dishes their unique characters. Simi,thanks for sharing,great job!

  12. As always, gorgeous gorgeous pics!!! The spices look so fresh!! Would love to try them!!! Thanks for sharing...!!!

  13. Love your pics as always...gorgeous gorgeous!!! The spices look absolutely fresh...would love to try them...thanks for sharing!!! Great post!!

  14. I love the giveaway. I shared on twitter. and like on FB and twitter.

  15. Gorgeous pictures Simi. Any good food needs quality spices and ingredients.Your pictures speak about the quality of these spices in volumes. Can't wait to try these.

  16. The images are just beautiful - I can almost smell the aromas from here. I love cooking with fresh spices and am always looking for new brands to try/support.

  17. I shared on Facebook

  18. I shared on Twitter:

  19. This is amazing,.
    I really like your style,.
    spice blends


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