J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s Stir-Fried Potatoes with Hot and Numbing Spices recipe calls for a Hot and Numbing Spice Blend, also in The Wok cookbook.
With the experience of making garam masala recent in my mind, I already planned to alternate the mortar and pestle and small food processor to make this spice blend.
I omitted the anise pod and the fennel seeds as we just are not fans of those flavors.
The ingredient I was most worried about grinding in to a find powder was the whole dried chiles de árbol. And, indeed, they were the most problematic, but it turned out to be their seeds that required the most work.
I took a Thai approach to grinding, starting with the hardest to pound and adding the easier ingredients. That meant working with the toasted ingredients (Sichuan peppercorns, white peppercorns, cumin seeds, and chiles de árbol) first. I pounded those for a while and then blitzed them for about minute in the food processor. Then I added the powdered chicken bouillon and pounded and processed. Then the sugar and then the salt in the same process.
This process worked just as well as with the garam masala.
I am cooking my way through J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s The Wok cookbook. Read more about it.