sharing recipes from one generation to the next
Most cultures have a herb or spice mix that has become synonymous with their cuisine. China has a five spice mix, India garam masala and the Middle East has baharat.
Baharat translates literally as spice. Like any traditional recipe there are many variations, but one thing I have found is the spices will shine if you grind and roast them freshly and use them immediately. My advice is make your own.
I have used both these recipes. I prefer the Ottolenghi formula, largely because of the allspice, but I have also included Herbie’s mix from “Spice Notes” so you can see the subtle variations.
Baharat is indispensible in the Middle Eastern kitchen, especially when cooking with lamb. The batch I made today was used in the stuffing for red Romano peppers, but more about that tomorrow.
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 small cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 teaspoon cardamom pods
1/2 whole freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon cassia
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
2 1/2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seed
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Measure the spices. Break the cinnamon/ cassia into small pieces.
Open the cardamom pods, remove the seeds and discard the pods.
Grind the peppercorns, coriander seed, cinnamon/ cassia, cloves, allspice, cumin and cardamom seed in a spice grinder.
My grinder is not very efficient so I finish grinding the spices with a small mortar and pestle.
Grate the nutmeg and add to the the ground spices.
If using Herbies formula, mix in the paprika.
Store in an airtight container and use as quickly as possible.
The flavours will fade fairly rapidly.
Dry roast before using.
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I love using baharat, but only in a powdered form until now, thanks for the inspiration to make my own mix!
Enjoy the difference, you’ll be astounded how lovely a fresh mix is!
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My favorite spice blend! 🙂
I’ve never heard of this! I’m so excited to try it!
I’m sure you’d like it Mimi, it’s a lively, fragrant blend, delicious with sweetly scented savoury dishes.
Beautiful picture. I can almost smell all of those intoxicating spices just looking at it!
Thanks! You’re right spices are intoxicating!
I think Baharat is one of my very favourite spice mixes I have used regulalry for decades. Often made my own, but just as often bought from Herbies. I find it fascinating that you have put the Ottolenghi and Herbies mixes side by side for comparison – I know I shall be trying the Ottolenghi version by the weekend . . . probably with one of my lamb recipes. [Smiling] The O version will make less which will be used up faster . . . it seems to have a more ‘elegant’ appeal to me !!
I had only ever bought baharat from Herbies until recently when I found the jar empty. I pulled his Spice Notes off the shelf and made a batch to his recipe. I still hadn’t bought any and needed baharat again recently and had the Ottolenghi book open so made his formula instead. It is a much fresher, vibrant flavour IMO. I’ll never buy commercial baharat again.
This is unfamiliar territory for me but nonetheless interesting. I’m pinning this and look forward to learning how to use it. I know I can buy it but, as you noted, the flavors fade quickly and ;ve no icea how long that container has sat on the shelf.
Tomorrow’s recipe uses the whole batch of baharat while it’s fresh and fragrant. It’s a harmonious blend of flavours which works beautifully with lamb.
This was an education for me. Is it mainly Arabs who use baharat? I love your photo displaying the spices in a tagine, and the background (oriental rug?).
I’ve heard baharat referred to as Lebanese 7 spice mix, I’ve seen it used in Turkey, but it’s common throughout the Arabic world. Isn’t the tiny tagine cute, a couple of dollars at a discount shop!
Yum… I can almost smell the spices roasting. Amazing photograph! xxx
Thanks, baharat is a really delicious blend!! Great with lamb! Xxx