… And Spice and Everything Nice: Turkish Baharat


What are little strong girls made of?

Sugar and Protein and spice and everything nice badass
that’s what little strong girls are made of.

(And strong boys, too… but they also contain snips and snails and puppy dog tails.)

Remember when I told y’all about the spice blend Ras el Hanout? That was a goodie, for sure. But now I have one that I might like even more.

I know! Think about that for a sec… is your mind blown?

It’s called baharat, which literally means “flowers and seeds” and loosely translates to “herbs and spices.” The term is so pervasive in the Middle East, many Arabic spice shops are simply named baharat.

The spice mix can be used in cooking or served at the table – similar to how Americans use a salt shaker or  Indians use garam masala – to add a kick to the food on a plate just before eating. The Turkish version of baharat includes mint, and that’s the one I tried. I found the recipe in this cookbook Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean, which feeds the imagination and the tummy. More on that book in the coming months as I experiment with the recipes, some dino-chow, some gasp! not.

Look at this gorgeous photo. I MUST go to a spice market somewhere on the planet and see something like this with my own eyes. Baharat by the scoop! Imagine the aroma!

Turkish Baharat

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons dried mint, crumbled between your fingers so it’s very fine
2 tablespoons dried oregano, crumbled between your fingers so it’s very fine
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
4 bay leaves, crumbled between your fingers so it’s very fine
1 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground mustard

Combine all the spices in a small bowl, then store in an air-tight jar. Use with abandon!

Note: The original recipe calls for putting the mint, oregano, and bay leaves in a spice grinder so it’s very, very fine. I didn’t bother; it worked out fine. If I was in a serious cooking mood, I would probably take the time to do it. Totally up to you.

How to use it:

  • Sauté steamed or raw veggies in coconut oil and add baharat to taste.
  • Mix baharat into raw ground beef, lamb, turkey, pork, or chicken and make patties or meatballs.
  • Mix baharat with coconut milk and use as a marinade for fish and seafood.
  • Sprinkle it on hot grilled chicken or steak or a hamburger patty for plate-side zing!
  • Replace the ras el hanout in the recipe for Greens: Creamy & Spicy, but then send ras el hanout flowers so it’s not too heartbroken about being replaced.

Hope you like it! Be sure to post to comments if you find another tasty way to use it!

As always, if you need to build out your spice cabinet, I recommend Penzeys Spices. Good prices, great spices, nice people.

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6 Responses to “… And Spice and Everything Nice: Turkish Baharat”

  1. Katie says:

    that looks great! love the photo.

  2. Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    It's SO good. It hits all the flavors: spicy, smokey, sweet, but not too much fire. Hope you like it!

  3. […] raw, steamed plain, steamed with salt, olive oil, and cumin (try it!), steamed with olive oil and baharat seasoning, and most other ways.  I add it to stews, sauces, chili, pizza, and curries.  If I am dining out […]

  4. Nick Mollberg says:

    If you’ve never been to Turkey, I’d say it should be a major contender.

  5. Carolyn says:

    Finally got around to making and using this and Ooooh Doctor! Fantastic in a turkey burger, and it is an ideal partner for cooked zucchini.

    P.S. I love your new ‘do! It reminds me of Peggy Moffitt :)

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