In a dry skillet set over medium heat; saute the cumin, coriander, cardamon, peppercorns, cinnamon and cloves. Toast until they have turned several shad3ers darker and give off a sweet smokey smell; about 10 minutes. Be patient and do not try to use a hot skillet to speed up the process or you will have burned spices, not toasted spices. Allow to cool.
Transfer the mixture to a spice mill or coffee grinder (work in batches if necessary); grind into a powder. Stir in the nutmeg and saffron (if using). Use immediately or store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Keep for about 3 months. Makes about 1/2 cup.