Spices Mix gives each dish a splash of color and flavor, and any chef worth his or her salt understands how crucial they are.
Mediterranean food is widely regarded as one of the most delectable in the world. This is due in part to the substitution of delicious spices for salt and pepper.
Ras El Hanout
Ras-El-Hanout spice is a staple of North African cuisine. It is a blend of several spices designed to enhance the taste of your dishes. It is most often composed of about ten spices, but traditionally, this composition can go up to about fifty ingredients. However, there are spices that are essential in the manufacture of “Maghreb Curry”, namely: cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, black pepper as well as nutmeg. Also called “head of the grocery store”, the Ras-El-Hanout spice is used in the design of typical Maghreb dishes such as the famous tagine.
Ras-El-Hanout is arguably the most famous spice blend in Moroccan, Algerian, or Tunisian cuisine. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for its design. Everything will depend on your imagination and your fantasy, but above all on the final taste, you want to give it. As mentioned above, there are fundamental spices to its manufacture such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, black pepper, and turmeric, but it is also possible to add other components. In most cases, the grocer adds a non-exhaustive list of spices: saffron, fennel, thyme, paprika, anise, cardamom … It is good to specify that during the composition of Ras-El-Hanout, only powdered spices are used.
Zaatar is a blend of Middle Eastern spices that can’t be missed in Lebanon, Syria, and the entire west coast of the Mediterranean.
In Arabic, “Zaatar” means “thyme”. But more generally, when we speak of Zaatar, it is to evoke a mixture of herbs and spices traditional in the cuisine of the Near East (Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, etc.).
Thyme is of course included in the composition of Zaatar, just like oregano, sesame, sumac, oregano, savory, but also sometimes cumin, coriander, marjoram … Of course, as it happens. it is a mixture, the chosen spices and their proportion vary depending on the person who prepares the Zaatar!
Each country in the Levantine thus has its own recipe, and there are globally 4 types of Zaatar: the Syrian Zaatar, the Palestinian Zaatar, the Jordanian Zaatar, and the Lebanese Zaatar.
You can use Zaatar to season salads or condiments, flavor a pan of vegetables, meats, make marinades, etc. But in the Middle East, Zaatar is most often eaten accompanied by its 2 faithful friends: bread and olive oil!
Baharat which means spices in Arabic is a mixture of spices used in the countries of the Middle East: Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Jordan. It is also found under the name of 7 spices or Arab mixture; baharat generally consists of cumin, black pepper, paprika, nutmeg, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves. However, the mixture may vary from one country, or even from one region to another. It ideally enhances lamb, white meats, beef, sauces, soups … This mixture is very close to Indian Garam Masala, perhaps a little less powerfully peppered, the latter being more full-bodied in turmeric, while Bharat is in paprika, which gives it a redder color.
Of all the spice blends, the “4 épices” is probably the one that is most associated with traditional French cuisine. It’s a smooth, warm, smooth blend that is very easy to use. It’s a French blend of four spices, typically ground black and/or white pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. In French cuisine, it’s typically used to season anything from soups and stews, grilled chicken, and vegetables, and is added to charcuterie such as pâtés, sausage, and terrines.