Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC
Baharat Spice Blend
This fabulous blend of toasted sweet spices with chilies and black pepper has many versions, spanning Southern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. This version is most popular in the Levant. Include dried mint and it swings Turkish. Add a few dried rosebuds and it skews Moroccan. Substitute hotter or fewer mild chilies, based on your own predilections. Use Baharat in stews and sauces and your dishes will spring to life. It is best to make spice blends in small batches as their flavor and nutritional punch degrade quickly with exposure to heat and light.
Prep time 15 minutes
Makes about 2/3 cup
4 to 6 mild dried Kashmiri or Aleppo peppers, or to taste
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon green cardamom seeds
1 large Ceylon cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon allspice berries
Large pinch saffron filaments
1½ tablespoons sweet or smoked paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground dried ginger
Heat a medium skillet for 3 minutes over a medium flame. Add all the ingredients, except the paprika, nutmeg and ginger. Roast the spices and peppers for barely a minute, with your nose poised above the pan. Once it becomes fragrant but before there is any hint of smoke, remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour onto a plate to halt cooking. Burned spices are acrid and bitter so do not overcook.
Cool for a minute, then grind in a spice grinder. Store Baharat in a jar in the fridge for up to a month or freeze up to 3 months.
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