Posted in Good Food, Recipe

Baharat Spice Blend – a taste of the Middle East

Bahārāt is a wonderfully warming and highly aromatic blend of spices used in Arab cuisine, especially in the Mashriq area, as well as in Turkish and Iranian cuisine. Bahārāt is the Arabic word for ‘spices’ and is not to be confused with the word Bharat, which refers to India. The mixture of finely ground spices is often used to season lamb, fish, chicken, beef, soups and pilafs and I also like to add flavour to a bowl of cous-cous by adding just a little of the spice blend to it. Typical ingredients of baharat may include: allspice, black peppercorns, cardamom seeds, cassia bark, cloves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, nutmeg, dried red chili peppers, paprika, saffron and even sumac.

Other Blends

Turkish baharat includes mint as the main ingredient. In Tunisia, baharat refers to a simple mixture of dried rosebuds and ground cinnamon, often combined with black pepper. In the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, loomi (dried black lime) and saffron may also be used for the kebsa spice mixture (also called “Gulf baharat“).

Here is my own recipe for my uniquely blended Baharat Nine Spice Blend, it goes well with lamb, beef and venison:

  • 15ml red mustard seeds
  • 15ml coriander seeds
  • 15ml fennel seeds
  • 15ml cumin seeds
  • 15ml cardamom seeds
  • 10ml black pepper corns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks ±10cm
  • 30ml dried thyme
  • 30ml dried parsley

Method:

  • Dry fry all the ingredients, except the thyme and parsley, for 2-3 minutes in a pan to allow the oils to release. Allow to cool.
  • Place all the ingredients now in a mortar and ground to a course powder that resembles more breadcrumbs than a fine powder.
  • Store in an airtight container and use as often as you like!

For poultry I have developed another unique blend, my Baharat Smoked Paprika Blend mixed with a little oil and lime juice makes a delicious marinade for chicken. Flame grilled over the braai (the South African word for bbq) makes this recipe a sure winner with everybody. Or try it with duck. The fragrant juniper berries in this blend works just so well with the gamey meat of pheasant.

  • 25ml smoked paprika
  • 15ml coriander seeds
  • 15ml yellow mustard seeds
  • 5 ml cloves
  • 5ml nutmeg
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 5 star anise

Method:

  • Dry fry all the ingredients for 2-3 minutes in a pan to allow the oils to release. Allow to cool.
  • Place all the ingredients now in a mortar and ground to a course powder that resembles more breadcrumbs than a fine powder.
  • Store in an airtight container and use as often as you like!

Spices add so much zest and pazzaz to life and I trust that these two recipes from the Taste Café kitchen will bedazzle you and your guests at your next dinner party!

Advertisements

Author:

Welcome to my two Blogs, each representing the two great passions in my life: Food & Yoga. I started life out as a graphic designer and when I hit my 40's decide to study the culinary arts at Steyn's Culinary School in Pretoria. So as a chef I am a later bloomer. I sell gourmet street food, Paninis, Gourmet Bunny Chow, Bombay Frankies, Bobotie Meat Kebabs and Chai on markets in and around Pretoria. I also offer my services as a private chef or as a caterer. I am a part time yoga teacher with 17 years of doing yoga and 8 years of teaching yoga behind me. I teach Intergal Hatha Yoga and has small classes in Queenswood, Pretoria.

One thought on “Baharat Spice Blend – a taste of the Middle East

At Taste Café we would like to hear what you have to say, go on leave us a message!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s