Once made, these mixtures can be rubbed on meat or fish before cooking, added to soups and stews, sprinkled over roasted vegetables like potatoes, or used as a dip for bread or raw vegetables. You can even sprinkle them over popcorn or use them to coat nuts or chickpeas before toasting.
• Ras el Hanout: Popular in Moroccan cooking, this blend often features cardamom, clove, cinnamon, paprika, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, peppercorn, and turmeric, although every spice seller has his own custom recipe.
→ Recipe: Ras el Hanout at Epicurious
• Berbere: A key ingredient in Ethiopian cuisine that often includes ginger, garlic, fenugreek, chilies, black pepper, cloves, coriander and cardamom.
→ Recipe: Berbere at Epicurious
• Dukkah: An unusual Egyptian mixture that includes pounded nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, such as hazelnuts, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, mint, cumin and coriander.
→ Recipe: Dukkah
• Tunisian Baharat: While Middle Eastern baharat is a blend of several spices, the baharat eaten in North Africa is a simpler blend of cinnamon, dried rose petals and black pepper.
→ Recipe: Tunisian Baharat at CHOW
• Tsire: This West African mixture of ground peanuts and spices is commonly used on grilled meats.
→ Recipe: Tsire at The Chile Foundry
How do you like to use unusual spice blends in your cooking?
(Image: Faith Durand)