Versatile Spice Mix and Spicy Baked Fish recipes

Ed Becharian, a Florida resident, is trying to recreate a
spicy fish rub recipe once handed down to him by his mother. 

Here’s what he’s
looking for:
“Once upon a time my Mom had given me a recipe for an
Armenian “rub”… I lost the recipe a while back and have not been
able to quite re-create it since….I do not remember the exact formulation but
I do know that it had among a lot of ingredient
salt/pepper/cumin/cayenne/paprika and sumac (?) and some herbs (?) ….. I
believe it was used in the old country to spice a whole fish before deep
frying….it was an outstanding spice rub even without frying and it tasted
AMAZING on salmon, whitefish, snapper, you name it….anyway being a Floridian
we buy/broil/bake a lot of fish and that’s the fish recipe I have been hunting
for….Mom used to make that with a tomato juice based pilaf rice that was our
version of comfort food growing up.”  
The spice mix recipe I sent Ed (see below) can be used
on fish, as well as lamb, beef, pork chicken, or sprinkled in soups, stews, or on
vegetables. (There’s a lot of pepper in this, so be warned!)

For Ed’s request, I suggested using the spices on a mild-flavored
fish, such as tilapia or any white fish. The fish can either be baked, broiled,
grilled, or fried. A recipe for ‘Spicy
Baked Fish’
follows the spice recipe.

Once you’ve created the spice mixture, place it in a jar
with a tight-fitting lid and store it in a pantry or cupboard. This should keep
for about 2 to 3 months. Be sure to stir or shake the spice mixture before
using in order to redistribute the ingredients.

Homemade Spice Mix

Spice Mix

Yield: approximately 1/2 cup
3 tablespoons of paprika
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of ground white pepper
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 tsp. of ground coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of ground sumac
1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
 1 teaspoon of dried oregano

Mix all of the ingredients together until well-blended. (NOTE: To be sure there are no lumps, you might want to sift the spices before adding the oregano.) Place
in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and store in a cool, dry place for up to 3
months. Stir or shake mixture before using.
Spicy Baked Fish with Zucchini and Feta

Baked Fish

Serves 4
1 pound white fish (Ex: tilapia, cod, haddock)
1 ½ to 2 tsp. versatile spice mix
1 tablespoon lemon
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Cut fish into 4 equal pieces.
3. Spritz a 9x13x2- inch baking pan with vegetable spray. Place
fish in prepared pan.
Spice mix in shaker

4. Drizzle lemon juice evenly over the fish. Sprinkle 1 ½
to 2 tsp. of the spice mix over the entire amount of fish. Drizzle oil over the
top of the fish pieces. (NOTE: To make sprinkling the spice mix easy, I placed some is an empty salt shaker.)

5. Bake, uncovered, until fish flakes easily with a fork,
about 20 to 25 minutes. NOTE:
Amount of baking time will depend on the thickness of the fish. Thin fish bakes
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  1. shant August 16, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    my grandmother had a rub as well, she smeared it on the fish after it was cooked, her cooking method was outside. fish with wooden steaks through it and place in the ground side up facing the fire. the rub had paprika, yellow curry, salt, pepper, ground coriander, tomato paste, tamarind paste, smashed garlic lots of it, mixed all together like a thick milk shake. and so it went on fish and she let it rest before serving oh my goodness we ate with our hands along with rice and salad. I think she called it MAZGOOF. don't know if its Armenian but it was made by my grandmother so its Armenian to me.

    cheers, shant meeroian

  2. Robyn August 18, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    That sounds amazing, Shant; thanks for passing this along!

  3. Organicnetty January 5, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    Hello from England. I’ve just spent our Xmas holiday with family in Vilnius and was given a spice mix called Yerevan. Could you please tell me which spices would this contain and how I should use it? Many thanks.

    1. Robyn Kalajian January 8, 2020 at 8:10 pm

      Based on the ingredient list I mentioned in the previous reply, the blend should work well on any type of meat or poultry, and in stews and soups.

  4. Robyn Kalajian January 8, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    I found this Yerevan spice mix ingredient list (without proportions) online: Armenian spice mix Yerevan – Ingredients: dried onion, black pepper, thyme, dried peppermint, dried coriander leaves, dried basil, ground cinnamon, garlic powder.
    It looks as though the spice mix can be ordered from this site:


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