Here are a few blends you have heard of but never knew how to use.
Using the right spice blend can mean the difference between an authentic tasting dish and one that’s just okay. Find these spice blends in your local markets, specialty markets and online at penzeys.com or kalustyans.com (make sure you verify kosher certification before purchasing). And if you don’t want to buy them, here are the essential ingredients in each mixture. They take the ordinary dishes and make them extraordinary plus they make everyday cooking so easy because they liven up regular roasted chicken, rice or vegetables. Just use the spice blend with some olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and roast. Delicious and easy.
Za’atar: Classic middle Eastern blend that includes sesame seeds oreganzo or thyme and sumac. I like to sprinkle it on chicken or fish and add lots of lemon, garlic and olive oil.
Try Grilled Chicken with Za’atar and Lemon or Zaatar Salmon.
Ras-el-hanout: Blend of cardomom, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric and coriander. It’s a North African blend and is amazing sprinkled on lamb before grilling or roasting, adds warm flavor to rice pilaf or couscous and delicious added to cholent.
Dukka: This Egyptian ground spice and nut blend includes hazelnuts, cumin, caraway, sesame, coriander and mint. Sprinkle on challah, or roasted vegetables.
Vadouvan: This French-Indian blend is used as a substitute for curry in anything from soup, to chicken or meat. It includes onion, shallots, garlic, cumin and curry.
Baharat: A blend of black pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and cardomom. Season beef or soups with this warm blend.