A Guide To Spices In Arabic Culinary Cooking

spices widely used in arabic cuisine

There is no other spice that brings such a wide range of flavor than the original spices from the Arabic lands. Here, I am going to discuss the popular spices used in the cuisine of the two countries.

Clove is the most commonly used spice in Arabic and Persian cuisines. The clove is mainly used for flavoring and as a main ingredient in a number of dishes. This spice is very aromatic and goes well with a variety of foods. This is the main spice which is commonly used in preparations of Rizvi, Fesli, and other types of cuisine based on rice.

Ashwagandha Or Asafetida

A blender filled with food

Ashwagandha or Asafetida is mostly used as a condiment. This herb is rich in vitamin C and iron. It enhances the taste of the food and maintains the health of the body. This herb is also known as Indian ginseng. It is mostly used in India and in Pakistan to relieve coughs and colds and to fight virus and bacterial infection. It is also used as an anti fungal and anti bacterial agent.


A person sitting on a wooden surface

Ginger is another very popular and powerful spice. It is mainly found in the north east of the country but is grown in many parts of the world. This spice helps to add freshness to the food and brings about an authentic flavor. This spice can be added at the end of the recipe, along with the dry fruits, to make the dish delicious.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is also added in a large number of dishes. It adds a unique flavor to the dish, which is also known as “marrakeshi”. This is one of the most commonly used spices, in north east. Lemon is not only good for cooking but is also used to get rid of bad tastes.

Anise Seeds

Anise seeds are also widely used in the dishes. These seeds have a unique bitter taste, which is known to boost up the energy level in the body. The digestion process is improved and at the same time the body benefits from improved health. This spice can be added to any dish keeping in mind its type and purpose. Anise is especially used in dishes that need to have a cooling effect on the body.


Garlic is one of the most widely used spices in Arabic cuisine. The best way to cook with garlic is in soups and stews. It can be added in salads too. The reason for using it in salads is its ability to act as a good digestive aid. Turmeric is another spice commonly used in Arabic cuisine.

Ground Ginger And Cumin

Ground ginger and cumin are also used to help improve the taste of the dish. These spices when combined together to make an amazing tasting dish. There are many spices that are commonly used in Arabic food and the above mentioned are some of the important ones.

In fact there are so many spices that can be used in Arabic cuisine that it is almost impossible to mention them all. The spices that are commonly used are cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, coriander seeds, mace, aniseed, fennel seeds, anise oil and nutmeg. Most of these spices are used to make both salty and sweet dishes. Every type of dish in Arabic cuisine will be flavored with these spices and this will help the customers get used to such spices.

Coriander Seeds, Mints And Carawa

There are different types of spices used for different types of dishes. Spices such as coriander seeds, mints and caraway are used for tomato based sauces while mint leaves are used for fish or chicken dishes. Fennel seeds are usually used to flavor yogurt. Aniseeds such as anise, cardamom, fenugreek leaves and cinnamon are commonly used as a flavoring agent in yogurt and butter.

Cloves And Garlic

Cloves and garlic are both used to season meals. Garlic and cloves both have strong flavors that go well with any type of dish. They can be used with meat or fish and even with dessert. Although spices such as these are widely used in the cuisine, some spices are not used all throughout the country. These include black peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and Turmeric.

Final Words

Some spices are more popular in certain areas than in others. For instance, most people would not be able to make a traditional dish with cinnamon unless they live in a dusty rural village. But since these ingredients are so widely available you can certainly find recipes using them. You may be surprised by some of the ingredients that you will find. And once you start to experiment with new ingredients you will certainly find that your palate is transformed and you will enjoy cooking with new and interesting spices.

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