In one of Nigella's cookbooks there is a red cabbage recipe. The list of ingredients calls for mixed spice. How do I make that or is it something that I need to purchase?
There can be some confusion between mixed spice and allspice and we believe that you may be looking at Nigella's Red Cabbage with Pomegranate Juice recipe (from Christmas). This recipe uses allspice.
Allspice is a dried berry from the allspice tree. It is usually sold ground but the dried berries themselves are brown in colour and about twice the size of a peppercorn. It is sometimes also known as Jamaica pepper as this is where it was discovered and is the main growing area. It was given the name allspice as it was believed that the taste was a mixture of all spices.
Mixed spice is a mixture of ground cinnamon, coriander, dill, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. It is mostly used in baking, particularly in things like hot cross buns, gingerbread and spice cookies. The US has a spice mixture called pumpkin pie spice which is very similar.
Both spices can be bought in most supermarkets in the UK and the US.