Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Greetings from the bazaar: Bokharat

The souqs of Middle East North Africa are full of spice blends out of which ras el hanout has already made an appearance here on the blog. One of my favourites is blend that goes by the name of bokharat, or 7 spices (a.k.a. 7 epicés as its' known in the French-speaking parts of the world) . Though as you might have already noticed, it's actually a mix of 8 spices. If even basic mathematics are too much for them it's hardly wonder the concept of peace is so difficult...


The make-up differs from one country to another. When living in Tunisia, I became a fan of their version which is redder in colour and beautifully fragrant, courtesy of ground rose petals they use. Definitely worth a try, too!



There are two ways of making your own. You can get a package holiday to, say, Egypt, fall in love with a scuba instructor, learn Arabic, move to the countryside to his family's smallhold, grown your own spices, roast them over open flame, then grind them using your heirloom pestle and mortar and then sell your blend in the local bazaar.


Or you can grab the needed spices at your local supermarket and put together your own mix. Entirely up to you!


Oui, oui - I can do languages, me!


Bokharat spice blend:

2 tbsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
1 tbsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg (or allspice)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom

Combine the ingredients and store in an air-tight jar. Makes for a great foodie gift too, now that the festive season is upon us...

This versatile blend can be used for Moroccan köftes, cabbage rolls with a Middle Eastern twist... or in sambousek - another Middle Eastern treat you're in for next!







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ANYONE FOR SECONDS?



      




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