Step Up Your Game in the Kitchen with Two Classic Easy-to-Make Mideast Spices: Baharat & Hawaij
Baharat & Hawaij are two of the most popular spices in the entire Middle East. These unique and flavorful spice mixes are used in everything from meat to fish to coffee. And the best part of these mixes? You can probably make them at home right now with ingredients found in your spice cabinet!
Baharat, which translates literally from Arabic to mean “spices” is found throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East in several different variations. Often used to season lamb, fish, chicken, beef, and soup, it can also be served on the side as a topping. Traditional Baharat includes these seven spices:
- Black Peppercorns
- Coriander Seeds
- Cumin Seeds
- Paprika (or Allspice)
Variations can include the following ingredients: Cardamom Seeds, Cassia Bark, Ginger, Dried Red Chili Peppers, Turmeric, Saffron. The Turkish version of Baharat contains quite a bit of mint, while Tunisian Baharat usually includes a mixture comprised solely of dried rosebuds, black pepper and ground cinnamon. OK, so let’s make Baharat!
IsraeliRecipe.com Baharat Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooks in: 5 minutes
Ready in: 10 minutes
- 4 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons cloves
- 4 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons paprika (or Allspice)
Place a skillet on your stove top and heat to medium. Dry roast the peppercorns, cumin, coriander and cardamom seeds and cloves. After about 3 minutes on the stovetop, transfer to a cooling bowl and then grind in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder together with the rest of your ingredients. Transfer to a used spice jar or plastic airtight container. We will add some recipes with baharat to the website soon. In the meantime, use it as a rub on any meat or fish, even in rice this spice makes for a great taste.
Hawaij is a fantastic Yemenite spice mix which usually consists of some combination of ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, coriander or turmeric. The basic mixture is used in soups, stews, curry-style dishes, rice and veggie dishes. The multi-use spice can serve even as a barbecue rub. Hawaij is also used in tea and those variations usually omit ginger (though my wife insists fresh ginger cures all colds)! The mixture for coffee is made from anise seeds, fennel seeds, ginger and cardamom. OK, so let’s make Hawaij!
IsraeliRecipe.com Hawaij Recipe
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cooks in: 10 minutes
Ready in: 12 minutes
- 1/2 cup ground black pepper (fresh if possible)
- 2 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 2 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 cup ground cumin
- 4 tablespoons turmeric
Place a skillet on your stove top and heat to low. Combine the cardamom, coriander, cumin and turmeric. Toast and stir often for 10 minutes and make sure not to burn the mixture. Remove from heat and mix in your the black pepper. Transfer to a used spice jar or plastic airtight container. Use in soup, such as our Yemenite Vegetable Soup, or as a rub on any meat or fish dish.
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