In most Arab cuisines, you will taste an intensely flavorful spice mixture called baharat which in Arabic simply means spice. This aromatic blend is widely used in recipes in the Arabian Gulf States as a meat rub or marinade. The ingredients can vary according to different regions, but it usually contains warm, hot and sweet spices with resinous herbs. The most common blend includes black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, nutmeg and paprika.
A few fabulous way to use baharat would be to add it to soups, stews and/or sauces. I like using baharat when making rice dishes and sometimes just as a table condiment.
Ideally, if you want to liven up the taste of poultry and lamb, beef and fish then baharat is indispensable as a marinade used with olive oil and lemon juice. In some recipes, baharat is added to the pan with a small amount of butter or olive oil to incorporate the flavors before sauteing is applied. Lentil and pilaf dishes are transformed into culinary works-of-art when baharat is added to the recipe; it can even spruce up plain old meatloaf. If you can grill it, then baharat could be your best spice friend for fabulous tasting barbecues.
In some Middle Eastern countries, like Turkey, baharat is similar to the Arabic versions but often includes mint. Some Turkish chefs like to use this blend as an all-purpose seasoning for meat dishes such as kofte, which is ground meat (or sometimes ground vegetables) formed into round balls and seasoned with onion, herbs, and, you guessed it baharat; it also works wonders with eggplant.
There are many different variations of the baharat blend. At Whole Spice we make our blend using the traditional spices of: Black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ground coriander seed, ground cumin, chile powder, nutmeg and paprika. Consider this distinctive blend is a fantastic way to add a tapestry of flavor to your recipes without any added calories.
Id like to leave you with this delicious Okra and Tomato Sauce recipe for your enjoyment.
Okra with Tomato Sauce - click link