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Old 09-22-2008, 01:59 PM   #1
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ISO: Middle Eastern Spice Mixes

I attemped arshad5555's 8 vegetable roasted chicken last night and was trying to get a middle eastern flavor to it.

It was basically 4 bone-in chicken breasts with assorted roasted veggies (carrot, onion, celery, new potatoes, radish, green pepper). I used salt, black pepper, coriander seed (smashed), rosemary and thyme. It came out pretty good but still was a little too basic.

What are some good middle eastern spice mixes? Arshad5555 said to prepare in Indian/Pakistani style. What's that mean?

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Old 09-22-2008, 02:25 PM   #2
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Cumin and curry are the ones that come to mind but you can go here to read up on their traditional culinary spices and sauces. Indian and Pakistani Culinary Ingredients
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:47 PM   #3
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While Indian and Middle Eastern foods share some spices I still think they are very different in flavor and the way the proportion of spices used.

Indian food uses a lot more pungent spices (mustard, fenugreek, corrainder, chili powder, turmeric etc.) while Middle eastern uses milder ones.

I would suggest that if you are making a Middle Eastern dish you need to have the following spices ready:

Cumin
Cinnamon
Cardamom
Cloves
Nutmeg
Allspice
Aniseed - like dill seed
Sumac (it's a bark of a tree and it's powdered and added for a citrus flavor)
You can use turmeric, chili powder and corrainder but I don't think most middle eastern dishes natively use this. Most places I have eaten at use paprika.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:50 PM   #4
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za'atar is probably my favorite.

But also conside ras el hanout, advieh or harissa, though its more heat than spice. Recipes abound on the 'net.

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Old 09-22-2008, 03:08 PM   #5
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Cool thanks. I'm pretty sure I have everything except the sumac and fenugreek. I'll check out some on-line retailers for those.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:33 AM   #6
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You might want to try a "Tandori" spice blend, it works great for a mid-eastern taste. I like Penzey's blend and it's available on line.
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:49 AM   #7
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There's also Asofotida. Its strong, you only use 1/8 tsp in a recipe that serves about 6+ portions.
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:58 PM   #8
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Using dried fruits to sweeten is popular. Try pulsating some raisins/currants, possibly apricots or figs.
Also using different brands/types of oils will produce different flavors... some subtle, some not so much.
Nuts also are very popular.
Oh, anise and caraway seeds. Poppy as well.
All of this can be used as a spice in effect.
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Old 09-24-2008, 08:56 AM   #9
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I'm going to grill a whole chicken using ras el hanout this weekend. Maybe some long grain wild rice with mandarin slices and chive.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeekinz View Post
I'm going to grill a whole chicken using ras el hanout this weekend. Maybe some long grain wild rice with mandarin slices and chive.
Well I tried that spice mix on a whole butterflied chicken that I grilled. It smelled good when I made it but couldn't taste anything after it was cooked. I used quite a bit on both sides, maybe I should have pan or oven roasted instead?

I used this recipe except for the white pepper.
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