Annatto Spice Blend

This spice blend conjures up the sunny flavors of the Yucatán. You'll need to track down annatto seeds (aka achiote), which provide the blend's vibrant color and flavor. Use it to flavor rice (add 1 tsp. for each 1 cup dry rice), sprinkle on chicken or pork cutlets before cooking, or make Yucatán-Style Pulled Pork (Cochinita Pibil; see Associated Recipes).

Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 mins
1 cup


  • 2 ¼ teaspoons coriander seeds

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons cumin seeds

  • 1 ½ teaspoons whole allspice berries

  • 1 ½ teaspoons whole black peppercorns

  • 6 whole cloves

  • ½ cup annatto (achiote) seeds or 2/3 cup ground annatto

  • 4 ½ tablespoons dried Mexican oregano


  1. Toast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, allspice, peppercorns and cloves in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely, about 5 minutes.

  2. Combine the toasted spices with annatto seeds and oregano. Grind in batches in a spice grinder until super-fine. (If using ground annatto, grind the coriander mixture and oregano until super-fine and combine with 2/3 cup ground annatto.)

To make ahead

Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 months.


Spice grinder


Annatto is a rusty-red seed with a nutty and mildly peppery taste. Used for its color as much as its flavor in many Latin American dishes, it comes from the annatto (achiote) tree, native to Central and South America. Buy the seeds (whole or ground) online or in Latin markets.

Associated Recipe

Yucatán-Style Pulled Pork (Cochinita Pibil)

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

8 Calories
0g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 36
Serving Size 3/4 cup (1-tsp. serving)
Calories 8
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 0g 1%
Total Fat 0g 0%
Vitamin A 8IU 0%
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Folate 1mcg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 1mg 4%
Magnesium 2mg 0%
Potassium 8mg 0%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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