Thursday, August 25, 2011

North African Spice Mixes

Fresh from our short tour of the flavors of the Riviera, our next stop on the spice mix tour takes us across the Mediterranean to coastal North Africa. If you missed the first two installments in this homemade herb and spice mix series, you can always go back to visit Europe and the northern Mediterranean coast.

As always, you want a good spice mill and spice jars to blend these for yourself.

Moroccan Mix
2 tsp grated nutmeg
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Grind to a fine powder.

This distinctive mix is excellent in meat and/or vegetable stews, served with rice or couscous. I wonder if Bogey used this in Casablanca?

Harissa (dry)
1 tsp caraway seed
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
4 tsp red pepper flakes

Grind to a fine powder

Harissa is actually a spicy chili sauce hailing from Tunisia. This dry spice variation is excellent. It adds a unique flavor, as well as a nice amount of heat, to any dish.

Next time, we’ll visit India and Asia for a blast of flavors from Shanghai China, through India, to Indonesia. Stay tuned flavor lovers …

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