Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spice Blends: Baharat, Herbes de Provence and more

Today was spice blend refresh day in my kitchen.  From Matt's first experiments with tagines, I have been intrigued by baharat - there are apparently two predominant types of this spice blend: Turkish vs Northern African/Tunisian. The difference is that Turkish baharat recipes are all over the internet and feature cumin and a lot of other spices while Tunisian is basically black pepper, rose petals & cinnamon.  I found a great article on Chow with recipes for both:

Here's a link to the Turkish version I made: whole black peppercorn, whole coriander seed, cassia or cinnamon bark, whole cloves, cumin seed, cardamom seeds, whole nutmeg, ground paprika.

I also put together my favorite version of Herbes de Provence - I love lavender in this blend, though it is not typically something that appears on Southern French cooking - great history on the herb blend on Wiki.

Last but not least, I made up my favorite Za'atar blend - usually sumac, thyme, sesame seeds and salt, but you might include oregano and marjoram.  Wiki offers a great history of za'atar and there are tons of recipes out there - figure out what you like best and enjoy!

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