Tea Spice Rub

Black tea as a base for a spice rub for fish or vegetables is surprisingly versatile.  It’s ideal for grilling or on the barbecue.  The fish needs to be firm like cod or king fish.  Root vegetables are also idle for coating  I have used a High Grown Ceylon black tea for this recipe because it has depth of flavour but is not as strong as the Low Grown black tea.  I will be posting a recipe for tea spice rub using the bold and malty Low Grown Ceylon black tea soon.


3 tablespoons of High Grown Ceylon black tea

2 tablespoons of rice flour

A whole dried chilli

½ teaspoon of turmeric

½ teaspoon of peppercorns

½ teaspoon of dried ginger

½ teaspoon of dried garlic

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

½ teaspoon of coriander

½ teaspoon of ground cumin

½ teaspoon of fennel

1 teaspoon of salt

Zest and juice of 1-2 limes

2 tablespoons of yogurt

Some water may be necessary to bring the rub mix to the right consistency

Oil for grilling or barbecuing

Fish – 4-6 fillets of cod or king fish

Root vegetable – 350g of beetroot/potatoes/carrots/whatever else is in season.  Or a mix of root veg.


Grind all the dry spices, tea and rice flour in a spice grinder.

In a bowl zest and juice the limes, add the yogurt and the tea spice rub and mix well.

If you are using it on fish, place the fillets in the bowl and coat all of the fish well with the mix.  Allow to marinate in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

Brush some oil on the tray if you are grilling it in the oven or the barbecue grill if it’s going to be cooked on it.

Depending on how thick the fillets are, cook on both sides for 4-5 minutes.   You need to make sure its cooked through because the rub is rather dark in colour.

Serve with a green salad.

If you are using it for root vegetables, preheat the oven to 180°C (conventional oven)160°C (gas oven) /350°F/gas mark 4

Par boil the veg and lay out the vegetables on a baking tray, sprinkle the oil and

Spice it Up!

tea spice mix and roast for 15 minutes, turn the tray around and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Great on its own or as a cold salad or with fish or meat.