Friday, December 2, 2011

5 international blends to inspire your blending

The combination of spices can transport you to a different part of the world and give your cooking a never ending adventure. It is traditional blending that identifies a culture, its people and their traditions.
Here a few examples that will surely give your dish an identity and a guideline of combination with other dishes.

Italian blend
4 tbsp dried basil
1tbsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried marjoram
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp garlic flakes (optional)
1 tsp dried rosemary

Australian Native
This mix has a unique profile. It has a distinctive aroma of the Australian bush and is great to marinate tofu and vegetables. It is also suitable to dress raw salads.
4 ½ tsp ground coriander seeds
2 tsp of akudjura (ground bush tomato)
½ tsp wattleseed
½ tsp ground mountain pepperleaf
½ tsp ground native pepperberry
½ tsp ground lemon myrtle leaf

Baharat (Istanbul blend)
When I first came in contact with Baharat, I could not help but have a regression in time and space. The whole middle east flavor was in my palate and it was like each of the spices was giving me an exotic record of merchants, camels and pure sunset in the desert. This mix can be added almost to anything, it is like the same way Indians use garam masala.
61/2 tsp mild paprika
2 tbsp ground cassia
1 tbsp black pepper
41/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander seed
1 tbsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground green cardamom seeds
½ tsp ground nutmeg

Chinese blend
This is a great addition to stir fry vegetables or soups. It has a sweet tangy profile usually used in pork and duck.
2 tsp ground start anise
21/2 ground fennel seeds
1 ½ tsp ground cassia
½ ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground cloves

Sri Lankan Curry blend
This is a wonderful recipe for stews. You can of course adjust the chili power to your taste. Lovely blend for Kapha constitutions.
1/3 cup ground coriander
4 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp ground fennel
4 tsp chili power (adjust to your taste)
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom seeds
1 tsp ground black pepper

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