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RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review – February 2015

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 RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review - February 2015 Shipment

RawSpiceBar is a monthly subscription that sends freshly ground, small batch custom spice blends.

 RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review - February 2015 Contents

The spices are shipped via USPS in an unmarked kraft sleeve.

This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

 RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review - February 2015 Spices

The Subscription: RawSpiceBar

The Cost: $6 per month with free shipping

COUPON: Use coupon code spiceaddiction to get a free extra month when you buy a 6-month subscription. (FYI – you have to go to the cart section to apply the coupon).

The Products: 3-4 freshly ground spice blends from one geography or region, enough to create 3 dishes serving 8-12 people

Ships to: US and Canada

Check out the Food Subscription Box Directory for more food boxes!

 RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review - February 2015 Info

Each month, RawSpiceBar sends spices from one region or geographical area. This shipment features spice blends from Punjab, India.

 RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review - February 2015 Chef

 RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review - February 2015 Recipe

RawSpiceBar works with a chef each month to develop the spice blends and create recipes that incorporate them. Vishwa Mohan is this month’s featured chef, and he has included a couple of his family’s Punjabi recipes: Chicken Tikka Masala and Chai & Rose Nankhatai Cookies.

As soon as I started reading about the recipes included in this month’s shipment, I knew it was a perfect fit for my husband and me. My husband is British and grew up eating Indian food on a regular basis. As an adult, it’s one of his favorite things to make at home. I’m a baker, and I love traditional recipes that are updated with exotic and exciting flavors. This month’s recipes were perfect for us!

 RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review - February 2015 Punjabi

Punjabi Garam Masala- .4 oz

According to the information on the spice packet, Garam Masala is the most famous North Indian spice blend, and there are hundreds of ways to prepare it. This one is a blend of coriander, cumin, tej patta, chiles, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, ginger, and nutmeg. You can use it to add complexity and warmth to tikka masala, curries, braised vegetables, or grilled kabobs. 

 RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review - February 2015 Tandoori

Tandoori Spices- .4 oz

This traditional spice mixes coriander, cumin, chiles, turmeric, garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and peppercorns. When used in tandoori-style dishes, it adds a rich, complex character.

The first recipe from Chef Mohan is for Punjabi Chicken Tikka Masala, and the recipe calls for both the Tandoori Spices and the packet of Punjabi Garam Masala. My husband was impressed by the look and smell of both blends and is VERY excited to make the tikka masala.

 RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review - February 2015 Rose

Rose & Chai Spices- .4 oz

This blend combines ginger, black peppercorn, rosebuds, and cardamom to create warming, floral flavors that are then added to an Indian Black Tea. The spices are ground finely so they can be used for cooking and baking.

RawSpiceBar included a recipe for Chai & Rose Nankhatai Cookies. (Traditional Nankhati cookies are a type of Indian shortbread.) I thought this recipe sounded incredible, and I could hardly wait to start making them.

The recipe was really well written and straightforward. I used my stand mixer, but the instructions are written so that the cookies can be made without any special kitchen equipment.

Here’s a photo of the dough:

 RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review - February 2015 Dough

The best part about making these cookies was the smell of them baking. The spicy, floral smell coming from the oven was intoxicating.

After they cooled, I sat down with a cup of tea to try them. They were crisp and incredibly flavorful. The black pepper gave them a subtle spice, while the ginger, black tea, and rose layered together beautifully. I thought they were a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea!

Here’s a photo of my cookies:

 RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review - February 2015 Cookies

Verdict: I really loved this month’s shipment from RawSpiceBar. The spices were vibrant, fragrant, and clearly of very high quality, and I thought the packaging and presentation were top notch. I was also very impressed by the recipes Chef Mohan included and found them to be thoughtfully selected, easy to follow, and delicious. I cook (and bake) on a regular basis and sometimes fall into the rut of making the same dish again and again. I think this is an exciting and inexpensive subscription that can help add variety and inspiration to home cooking. I would definitely recommend it for adventurous cooks looking to try something new!

What did you think of this month’s shipment from RawSpiceBar?

Written by Lindsey Morse

Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker by day and a subscription box junkie by night. She first subscribed to Birchbox in 2013 and her addiction grew when she signed up for Graze, PopSugar, and Knoshy. Her favorite part about being a subscription box addict is discovering new products- especially gourmet goodies, beauty products, and kitchen tools!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. Hola Lindsey! Just received March shipment. Sooo looking forward to your review. I’ve never tried Iranian food before so I find the recipes challenging.

    • Got my March spices too! Excited to hear the review and If you can switch the lamb spice to chicken?

      • I think I will miss out this month because I didn’t subscribe until the 9th. I am going to have to get super creative when I do start receiving packages because I don’t eat meat…

          • Thanks for the suggestion!

    • OMG. I love Iranian food. I wonder if it’s still possible to get this box from them.

  2. I just subscribed to this because it’s so inexpensive and I’m kind of in a rut when it comes to cooking dinner. I thought this would take me outside my comfort zone a bit and help me try new things.

    I am planning to move sometime this year so I asked them if it was easy to change my address. I got really fast responses to my CS e-mail, so I’m happy about that. Plus you can pay with PayPal.

  3. Looks like March will be along the lines of “Seasonal, American, Comfort” since they have added a 3rd chef to their website.

    The other 2 chefs listed include the following specialties: “Native American, Modern, Fusion” and “North Indian, Fusion, Tapas” which relate to “January’s Navajo Spice Box” and “February’s Punjabi Spice Box”.

    • Ha! Obviously my guess re March was WAY off. 🙂

      • I just received my pack yesterday and it was Iranian spices.

  4. I subbed for three months, and now I’m glad I did. I’m looking forward to trying these out. I did reach out to customer service to ask if they will eventually have a “profile” or anything like it for those of us who do not like a lot of “heat” to our food. They replied that it is currently being worked on and that eventually we will be able to specify some things. I’m a little afraid to try this month’s even though I’m excited by them. They are definitely out of my comfort zone, I’m sort of a baby when it comes to heat. But, that’s why I took a chance on this, it’s a way to try out new things without a lot of commitment, and its a good price.

  5. Are the spices reusable or do you use the entire thing in one recipe? I would like to be able to make a few dishes with each pouch to test on different proteins/vegetables/etc.

    • Nevermind, I just read what you wrote about 3 dishes with 8-12 people per serving.

  6. I really enjoyed reading your review. Since my husband and I cook a lot, this can be a hit.

    Just a few questions. Is the pouch resealable? It looks like the recipe make a large portion, so in case we decide to use only half of the spices. Also, do you find the included recipes to be beginner/intermediate/advanced level? How about the easiness of obtaining other ingredients in the recipe? I visited their website and saw more recipes.

    Just want to get a feel of easiness in using them. From your review the spices look fresh and of good quality.

    • Hi Kay!

      Yes, the pouches are resealable.

      I thought both of the recipes were very easy to follow. I would say they were beginner/intermediate level. This is my first shipment, though, so I can’t speak about recipes from previous months. I *think* the featured chef writes the recipe, so there my be some variation in difficulty level from month to month- I’m really not sure.

      The ingredients were easy to source. (Again, I can only speak about the ingredients called for in this month’s recipes.) My local grocery had everything I needed for the chicken and the cookies.

      I hope that helps!

      • Thank you Lindsay for the quick response! It helped! I hope you get to do more reviews of this sub.

        It is nice to see additional reviewers here to catch up ever growing number of boxes. It is inspiring to see that you took pictures of cookies you baked. I think you will be great to do more foodie boxes!

  7. This looks SO perfect for my girlfriend — she handles the cooking, I burn everything but buffalo chicken lol. She loves new spices and adventurous blends! I signed us up for a three month sub, and we’ll see how we like it.

    I love the price, too! I hope that March’s spices are as amazing looking as January and February’s look like they were!

  8. Love your detailed review! This sounds like a great subscription and the price is great! I am definitely going to sign up!

  9. Did the 6 month sub because this sounds awesome, but did anyone find it odd they charge tax?

    I live in Oregon (we have no sales tax) but was still charged a 2$ “tax”.

    • Lauren, I just signed up and while on the page, did a live chat with them. I asked about the $2 tax since I read your comment and they said that they needed to fix that. I guess it’s wrong in general? They refunded me the $2. You should contact them regarding that!

      • LisaM – thank you! I’ll contact them now

      • Thank you so much for your information!
        I could get $2 refund!

  10. This looks really cool, I might get my Mom a 6 month subscription for her birthday!!

  11. Thank you so much for the detailed review (and coupon code). This looks like a fun and useful sub! Love that it is relatively inexpensive. Seems like good value for the cost too. I just got it for my husband as his birthday is next month.

  12. Great review! Made me sign up. I’m bummed I missed this month’s box, Indian food is my favorite!

  13. Just signed up. I’m a sucker for lovely packaging. And the concept is so interesting.

    Just an fyi, I live chatted with them and they said they almost always have a vegetarian recipe on their blog for the months spices.

  14. Very interesting review, thank you! I think I will sign up for this.

    • I am signing up too. Thanks for the great review!

  15. I wish I wasnt moving out of the country, this looks like a great sub for a great price! Love it!

  16. Love this! Thank you for the review. I just bought six months for me and also for a friend who lives far away. We are going to cook and compare each month.

  17. I think it’s so cool that you actually made the cookies! I am so impressed by this subscription and I never would have known about it if it wasn’t for your review! I don’t usually subscribe to things in advance, but I went ahead and purchased the 6 months. I mean, even if they send garlic powder, it will still go to use. Plus, I love having smaller quantities of spice blends, because it will encourage me to be brave and try new things without having a lot left over that won’t be as fresh.

  18. Thanks for the review. (And I really wish I could taste those cookies!) I’m a bit of a spice geek/snob so I was definitely excited to read about this subscription. I love the simple but informative curation and the seeming quality of the product. Just signed up for their 6-month option; hope the future send outs are as good/appealing as this one.

  19. I love this! Do you have any idea if their spices are gluten free? If so I would definitely try them out!

    • Hi Elbee! According to their website, all spices are 100% gluten free. 🙂

      • Awesome! Thanks! Loved the review, and I could alter any recipes that contain gluten, so I think I’ll try it! I always worry about spices at the store, you never know unless you call and ask, but this would be a nice way for me to try a lot of spices and not worry about it being dangerous for my celiac disease!

  20. If I love a recipe how can I get more spices to cook it again in the future?

    • I wondered the same thing, JanMarie. I just reached out to their customer service to find out, and it seems that they’re currently working on setting up a way to re-order. Should be up and running in the next few weeks. 🙂

  21. Ooh, I love this! I’m definitely going to check this out! Thanks!

  22. I am so into cooking, tasting and enjoying the different favors of a variety of foods, countries, traditions and this spice box seems to add a new twist to it all. So, you talked me into it! I ordered for three months to try it out and if it keeps on working it will go on! Love it!!!

  23. I absolutely love cooking and baking and I’m always looking to shake things up in the kitchen. New spice blends could be just the thing to make my meals even more interesting, and at this price I don’t think I can turn it down. Thanks for the review Lindsey, I’m really looking forward to seeing you review more food-related subs!

  24. Hi Lindsay! I really enjoyed your review and I can’t wait to try out this subscription. I’d really like to start cooking healthier foods for my family and I think trying out new spices will be a great way to get it started! Thanks for an informative and interesting review!

  25. Great review, thanks.

    I bought 3 month subs for four different families as xmas gifts – GREAT gift and a less than $20. And I got a sub for me too. Love it.Plan to try the cookies next weekend…..

  26. wow excellent review! loved that you put the spices straight into use. great job!

  27. Just subscribed! Looks like a fun and grown up version of DIY subs. Plus, I’m always looking for ways to cook chicken without it tasting like chicken… Thanks so much for the helpful review.

  28. Thanks Lindsay for the review. I never heard of this subscription before. How long do spices generally last stored?

    • Hi Stacey! According to the RawSpiceBar website, ground spices will never actually “go bad” but they can lose their flavor. They recommend that if you don’t use them within the first 3 weeks you should transfer them to an airtight container and store them in a cool, dark cabinet. Hope that helps! 🙂

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