Baharat, Arabic for “spice”, is a special an all-purpose spice blend widely used in Middle Eastern cuisine. Just a pinch of it adds depth and flavor to sauces, soups, grains, vegetables, stews and meat.
Middle Eastern food is phenomenal. Those of you who have taken the time to explore the various cuisines of the Middle East will agree. I have spoken to many people who say they would love to be able to make authentic Middle Eastern food at home, but are intimidated by some of the recipe ingredients, such as Baharat. What is it? What’s in it? Where can you find it?
Unless you have a Middle Eastern store in your area or order it online, this spice blend can be challenging to find. However, as with any spice blend, it makes such a difference in the flavor outcome of your dish when you make it fresh in your own kitchen anyway, so I’m going to share my recipe for it with you!
Now that you’re equipped with this magical blend, you can make some phenomenal-tasting Middle Eastern food right at home!
Two fantastic and authentic Middle Eastern dishes you can try that call for Baharat:
Koshari (Egyptian Rice, Lentils and Macaroni with Spicy Tomato Chile Sauce), the national dish of Egypt.
Chicken Machboos (Bahraini Spiced Chicken and Rice), the national dish of Bahrain:
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- ½ teaspoon cardamom seeds
- 1½ tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat and dry roast the whole spices/seeds (set aside the paprika, cinnamon and nutmeg) until they become very fragrant, about 3-5 minutes, tossing regularly to prevent scorching. Transfer them to a bowl and allow them to cool completely before grinding them in a spice or coffee grinder along with the paprika, cinnamon and nutmeg. Keep stored in an airtight glass jar.