Friday, March 17, 2006

Lamb cutlets with Baharat

It’s always fun finding a new spice blend that you’ve never heard of before. Which if you are a denizen of blogs, food mags, associated cooking columns, food and cooking TV, and have a gazillion recipe books, is a fairly rare and exciting thing. I’ve heard mention of this in the last week in various places and publications, so I decided to check out Baharat.

It’s an Arabic spice blend that comes generally from the Persian Gulf area and has varations that include the cuisines of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Tunisia. Baharat means "spice" in Arabic, derived from the word bahar (pepper) so it’s a mixed spice that’s based on black pepper and usually allspice. It can include paprika, coriander seeds, cassia bark (or cinnamon), sumac, nutmeg, cumin seed, or cardamom seed. In more exotic versions it can also contain dried rose petals and dried lemon/lime.

So here’s the version I put together, based on what I had in my pantry:

2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
3 teaspoons of cumin seeds
2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
2 teaspoons of cardamom seeds
2 whole star anise

Grind this to a powder in a spice mill and add to it:

2 tbsp hot or sweet paprika (depending on your preference, or use ½ & ½ )
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg.

Mix well and store in an airtight jar. You can either mix it with a little oil to form a paste or rub it on dry to cuts of meat – I used lamb on this occasion, but it would also go well with chicken thighs or beef, grilled or BBQ’ed. You can also use it to spice up ground meat dishes, couscous, tagines, vegetables & vegetable stuffing, and egg dishes.

4 Comments:

Anonymous helen said...

Looks and sounds so tasty! I'll have to try this one soon.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Reb said...

It's a little different - quite an earthy flavour which it really nice with lamb!

8:22 AM  
Blogger Ange said...

Sounds like a great blend, had not heard of that one myself until now

12:23 PM  
Blogger Reb said...

recipes and food lit never cease to amaze me, Ange!

7:27 AM  

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