December 11, 2018

7 African and Meditteranean Spice Blendsto Spice Upp Any Dish

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African and Meditteranean Spice Blends


berbere Spice blend uses - International spice blend

  • What is it – An unusual mix of different flavoured spices all mixed together giving this spice its own individual peppery – sweet taste.
  • Region – Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti.
  • Taste – A blend of hot, sweet and bitter spices gives this African spice blend a perfect balance of flavours!
  • Uses – Mostly used to make stews, soups. Can also be used to make dry rubs for meats, marinates and also as seasoning to most semi-dry veg and non-veg dishes.
  • Typical Ingredients – Paprika, Coriander, Fenugreek, Peppercorn, Allspice, Garlic, Ginger, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Cinnamon


  • What is it – Dukkah means “to pound or to crush” Its a coarsely ground dry spice blend made with spices, seeds, and roasted nuts
  • Region – Egypt, North African and also popular in the Middle East
  • Taste– Tangy, nutty with a fresh herby tone.
  • Uses – Used as a condiment for making dips mixed with olive oil, adding texture and crunch to meat, fish, chicken tofu. Can also be used as a seasoning for fruits, vegetables, rice, lentils etc.
  • Typical Ingredients – Sesame seeds, toasted nuts mixes like Hazelnuts, Almonds, Mint, Thyme, Coriander and Cumin


  • What is it – Most popular found ready-made in jars and pastes, this is the powdered spice version of the hot spicy paste.
  • Region – North Africa, Tunisia and the Middle East
  • Taste– Spicy, hot and smoky
  • Uses – Good for rice dishes, couscous, Arabic mezze or just for seasoning at the table. For making it into a paste simply mix the spice mixture with oil. Can be used to enhance soups, stews, appetizers and main dishes. Use it as a marinade for meat and fish. Add it to other dips like hummus or yogurt to give it a depth of flavour.
  • Typical Ingredients – Chili, cumin, coriander, garlic, paprika, salt.

Ras el Hanout 

  • What is it – Ras el Hanout means “top of the shop” in Arabic, that is its made with the best quality spices in the shop. Its the go-to spice blend for Moroccan cuisine. A versatile, fragrant spice that goes well with literally anything.
  • Region – North Africa and Moroccan
  • Taste– Ras el Hanout is not a spicy spice blend, instead, it has a pungent, warm flavour. Can also have floral note depending on the type of ingredients used.
  • Uses – Used in almost all tagine recipes. Makes an aromatic and fragrant rub for meats and adds flavour to soups and stews. Can also be used as a seasoning for making dips and sauces.
  • Typical Ingredients – Cumin, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cloves, Nutmeg, Mace, Turmeric, Rosebuds


  • What is it – Tabil means “coriander” in Tunisian Arabic. Its a mix of simple spices which makes this an all-purpose spice blend that can be added to many meals and dishes.
  • Region – North Africa and Tunisia
  • Taste– Non- hot spice blend with an aromatic earthy warm flavour.  instead, it has a pungent, warm flavour.
  • Uses -A versatile seasoning that can be sprinkled on any grilled dish be it meat , veg or fish.  Can also be used as an aromatic flavouring for making dips, stews and sauces. Add it to grains and legumes such couscous, rice, beans for added flavour.
  • Typical Ingredients – Coriander, Cumin, Caraway, Chilli, Garlic powder


  • What is it – An vibrant mix of herbs and spices. The name is taken from the Arabic verb ‘Chermel’, which means to rub or marinate something in spices.
  • Region – Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia
  • Taste– This is not a hot spice. It has a garlicky and sweet spicy taste.
  • Uses -The spice mix is popularly used to marinade fish and as a seasoning for seafood. Traditionally Chermoula comes in a paste form made with fresh lemon juice and herbs. You can add the powdered spice blend with lemon juice and make into a marinade for chicken, meat and fish. Can also be used as a dry rub for grilling.
  • Typical Ingredients – Coriander, Cumin, Paprika, Dried Parsley, Dried Coriander leaves

Piri Piri Seasoning

  • What is it – Piri Piri or Peri Peri is a type of spice and an African word for “chilli”. A very popular spice mix with its own regional variations used mainly for grilling. Spicy, fiery and zesty this mix of spices is sure to tickle everyone’s taste buds!
  • Region – Portugal, Brazil and North Africa
  • Taste– Hot and spicy with a hint of tanginess.
  • Uses -Commonly used as a spice rub for chicken and meat. It can also be used as a marinade for fish and seafood.  Try it as a seasoning to spice up your vegetables especially potatoes. You can also make a piri flavoured dip or sauce.
  • Typical Ingredients – Crushed bird eye Chillies, Paprika, Pimiento, Citrus peel, Onion Powder, Bay leaves, Basil

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