The exquisite spices of Arabia are delectable and exotic. You will come across many wonderful spices in the Middle East. They add memorable tastes to dishes. Arab cuisine has many different spices you will come across while making these dishes. Some of them are familiar and used in most of the other cuisines as well, such as cinnamon and cardamom. But there are some that are very unique and used only in Arab cuisine. Each and every spice has its own benefits, flavor, and taste. For instance, some dishes look completely pale without certain spices.
Arab spices come in a wide variety. If you love cooking, you must know the names of many of these spices already. However, there are few spices that find special use in the dishes of the Middle East. For example, most Arab dishes contain zaatar and sumac. But, that’s not all. Many Arab dishes also make use of some very common spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, and cumin. The familiar nutmeg is also common in Arab dishes and recipes.
Middle Eastern Spices
Let’s look into some of the spices that are commonly used in Middle Eastern dishes.
This is a spice that is prepared using sesame seeds, sumac, and wild thyme. This is consumed as a paste along with other dishes or it can be combined with olive oil and flatbread. This goes well with salads and it can be served along with chicken as a seasoning.
Sumac is a type of flower. If you are wondering, how this is a spice, well, the answer is here. In order to create sumac spice you will grind the flower into powder. The powder is reddish-purple in color. This can be added to fattoush, a very popular dish in the Middle East. By adding this spice you create a lemony taste. Sometimes, this spice is used to garnish hummus.
This is one of the favorite spices for people of the Middle East. Lentil soup, ful medames, falafel, all these dishes use cumin. Moreover, carrot and fava beans dishes need cumin as well.
Cardamom is a really common spice. And thus, in the Middle East you will find cardamom in most dishes. Chicken Mandy, a popular dish in the Middle East, contains cardamom. It is one of the most loved dishes! Arabic coffee contains cardamom as well. Moreover, cardamom finds its place in Chai Karak in Qatar and UAE too. Muhalabiyah contains cardamom. If you are wondering what this is, it is one of the most popular desserts in this part of the world.
This is another unique and flavored spice. This comes with a warm and spicy aroma along with the best flavor. The best part is that nutmeg is common for both savory and sweet cooking. Maamool consists of nutmeg, and it is an absolutely fantastic dessert. It is something you must taste!
Rice dishes mostly contain turmeric. It is one of the signatures of these dishes. The widespread use of turmeric is due to the color and the unique flavor it offers. Many fish and rice dishes contain turmeric. Even desserts include turmeric.
This goes well with desserts such as meghli. If you ever check out a Middle Eastern kitchen, you will certainly find this there. Caraway is quite popular, needless to say.
Along with all these, cinnamon is one more extremely popular spice. Chicken recipes mostly have cinnamon as a key flavoring. It goes well with chicken and adds the best flavor and aroma. Moghrabiya is one of the dishes that require cinnamon. This can be utilized for salep drink and cinnamon can bring the best flavor to it.