Spice Up Your Life!

This recipe is from the internet, not from a vintage cookbook…but making your own spice blends is a seriously old-fashioned pastime (and one that I intend to try more, now that I have a nice new coffee/spice grinder).  Making your own spice blends is fun, thrifty, and a great way to make your house smell awesome.  Spices also make great holiday gifts: I know I already associate cinnamon and nutmeg with this season, so why not send some around!  You can easily toss a few tablespoons in small Ziploc baggies and mail them with cards without increasing your shipping costs too much. The spice mix du jour: Barahat, a Middle Eastern seasoning. I like it even more than the better-known za’atar.

I am also working on my food styling/photographing skills, so please give comments and tips!

Bahārāt (Makes about 3/4 cup)

2 tbsp. black peppercorns
2 tbsp. coriander seeds
2 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. allspice berries
1 tsp. cardamom seeds
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
4 (3-inch) cassia or cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp. ground sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Grind it all up using a mortar and pestle, spice mill, or coffee grinder.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Some ideas for using bahārāt:

  • Toss it in ground lamb for stuffed eggplant
  • Add it to box couscous for extra flavor
  • Use it as a meat rub – for beef, chicken, even tofu
  • Roll zucchini spears in it and broil for 10-12 minutes
  • Cook lentils with it
  • Roast squash and use it place of cinnamon