Cajun spice blends, also known as blackening spices, are used on a variety of dishes from seafood to chicken or potatoes. Depending on the manufacturer, Cajun spice mixes contain a variety of spices most often including cayenne pepper, black pepper, onion, garlic and chili powder. Some mixes contain salt, as some cooks like to have the salt in Cajun seasoning some add it separately. If a recipe calls for Cajun spice blend, substitute your own blend or other similar spice blends.
If Cajun spice is not available in your supermarket, or you simply don't have it at home make your own Cajun spice blend easily using common spices. Mix 1 tbsp. each of cumin and paprika, 2 tsp. each of garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper, and 1 tsp. each of dried thyme and sweet basil. To make it more spicy, add cayenne pepper. Blend all the spices together until it is a uniform color.
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Chili powder is many times substituted for Cajun spice because it also provides a smoky, spicy flavor. Most chili powders contain cumin, oregano, garlic powder and cayenne. These ingredients are often in Cajun seasoning as well.
Creole seasoning is used widely in Louisiana. Like chili powder, Creole seasoning is very similar to Cajun seasoning and contains many of the same ingredients. Creole seasoning usually contains onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried sweet basil, dried thyme, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne, celery seed and paprika. Creole spice blend can also be used as a blackening spice.