Sunday, July 3, 2011

Arabic Seven Spice (Baharaat) بهارات

Middle Easterners use a lot of spice in our cooking, now if you're thinking "spicy" as it hot then that's not always the case. I know a lot of people who could not tolerate any heat in their food because they did not grow up with it. Depending on the region of the middle east the spice blends vary, parts of north Africa like Tunisia and Morocco chillies are used in Harissa (a spiced pureed red chilli pepper paste) and upon my visit to Yemen I found that they are addicted to eating a Tabasco type sauces called "Bisbas" and a relish or salsa of fresh chillis, onions, tomatoes and I believe a bit of cumin made fresh at every meal is a staple!

Growing up a few years in Iraq I don't remember much spice in Iraqi cuisine and even our famous "Iraqi Biryani" is nothing like the Indian Biryanis, it is warm and flavourful but there is no heat what so ever.

Turkish cuisine use a lot of ground Aleppo chilli pepper but it is also flavourful with salty and acidic notes that if you add just a touch you can achieve the flavour without the heat.

Here are a few spice blends that you can easily whip up in your kitchen, I assure you it is well worth the effort. I keep a container of arabic seven spice in my freezer at all times so whenever I'm grilling to making meatballs I can add a dash here or there, it's amazing stuff!

Baharat - Arabic Seven Spice
2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Turkish Baharat
2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground mint
1 tbsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
pinch of ground cinnamon

Levant Baharat
1/4 cup black peppercorns
1/4 cup allspice berries

To make a “Lebanese Seven Spices” mix, add the spices shown below in powder form and in equal quantities:

Nutmeg, Ginger, Allspice, Fenugreek, Cloves, Cinnamon, Black pepper

Syrian Baharat
2 tsp allspice
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cloves

Tunisian Baharat
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp dried rose petals
1 tsp black pepper

Kebsa spices (i.e. Gulf baharat)
1 tbsp red pepper
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground loomi (dried lime)
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp saffron threads

I had these tiny meatballs from the previous night (they were fillings for my wonton).

I fried up the meatballs in some oil (or you can use ground beef, cured or raw sausage meat, go crazy!)

Adding some Arabic 7 spice powder. Add some chopped tomatoes (canned is fine) and let it cook until it's a bit roasted in the bottom (the water evaporates)

Season with salt and towards the end crack some eggs in (depending on how many people are eating)

Cover briefly and let it cook but not too much or the centres will get hard, if you like them runny like I do then keep an eye on it and as soon as the whites solidify then take it off the heat and enjoy with a sprinkling of black pepper!

Digg in.


Dreams of cakes said...

I love spices and these are delicious! Thanks for sharing!!

myFudo said...

Thank you so much for listing all the blends and spices, it's really difficult to buy it bottled, but I have some spice jars!

We would love for you to guest post someday = )

Anh said...

amazing stuff! I was looking for this spice mix the other day!

Yasmeen said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely baharat, and showing how easy/useful it is to make it and store at home.

I'm Palestinian and use this stuff daily, in sweet and savory dishes. Found your blog thru a RT on Twitter and really happy I did! :) Following you.

Sophie said...

Thanx for sharing these lovely baharat recipes. I really need a recipe for Arabic All Spice. What ingredients i need to make arabic all spice? Can anyone help? Thx in advance :)

zijanne said...

Why did it take me so long to find you? Beautiful site full of the things I love, these spice blends rock,thank you so much, I lived in the middle east as a child and visited Iran before the Shah came into power... this brings it all back, can't wait to play with the Tunisian version!

Anonymous said...

I've just discovered the Baharaat spice combination while browsing a spice site, and I can't wait to try it in your receipt. I'm wanting to try spices I've never tasted before. Thanks so much for sharing. I've put your page on my favorites.

Anonymous said...

I love that you've taken the trouble to ascertain that the one spice mixture "Baharat" varies from region to region within the Middle East. Even better, you've gone the extra mile and researched the spice mix recipe for each region. Good on ya for ensuring that there is accuracy and veracity in your adventuring!!