Have you ever come across a dish calling for Baharat spice, but realized you don’t have it in your pantry? Don’t worry.
You can easily recreate the flavor by substituting it with other spices.
In this article, we will tell you what Baharat is and provide the 5 best substitutes for this unique spice blend.
So if you’re looking to cook something exotic yet familiar, read on.
What’s Baharat Spice?
Baharat, which means “spice” in Arabic, is a Middle Eastern spice blend commonly used in Mediterranean and regional cuisine such as Lebanese, Turkish, and Egyptian.
The exact mix of spices varies according to region and recipe, but a typical Baharat includes a combination of black pepper, cumin/coriander seed, paprika/cayenne pepper, nutmeg/cardamom/clove and allspice.
This spice blend adds complexity to Middle Eastern dishes such as stews, roasted meats and vegetables.
How do you use Baharat spice blend? It’s most commonly added at the beginning of cooking for just enough time to release the aromas of the spices before other ingredients are added.
However it can also be used in marinades for grilling or roasting with vegetables.
When using Baharat in marinades for these recipes it’s best to plan ahead as the spices need time to deposit their flavors into the food before getting cooked.
Additionally when making your own Baharat blend from scratch we recommend toasting each individual ground powder separately before blending them together which enhances their aroma when they release while cooking – this is something that some Middle Eastern family recipes have been doing for centuries.
5 Best Baharat Spice Substitutes to Consider
While it can be found in Middle Eastern markets or on the internet, if you don’t have any on hand there are several great substitutes that can be used to achieve a similar flavor.
The 5 best substitutes for Baharat spice are as follows:
1 – Ras el Hanout
Ras el hanout is a special blend of spices considered to be the king of all spice mixes.
Usually made up of over 10 types of spices, it has an exotic flavor and aroma, with a hint of sweetness and smokiness.
It usually contains spices such as cardamom, cloves, cumin, ginger, sweet and smoked paprika, nutmeg, turmeric, saffron strands and more.
If you’re looking for something that resembles baharat spice but with the added smokiness of ras el hanout then this is the perfect substitute.
2 – Garam Masala
Garam masala is a fragrant blend of ground spices used in Indian and Pakistani cuisines.
It typically includes cumin, coriander, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and cloves.
Depending on the recipe or individual preferences, other spices such as fennel seeds or bay leaves may also be included.
Although it is commonly used in Indian cooking and shared many common ingredients with baharat spice check that you’re aware of any difference in ratios of flavors that would make one a better substitute for the other.
For example garam masala usually has more black pepper than baharat which gives it a stronger flavor so adjust accordingly when using this substitute.
3 – Tikka Masala
Tikka masala is a blend of spices mixing together garam masala and other spices, such as cumin, garlic, turmeric, coriander, ginger and chili.
This warm and intense blend adds flavor to meat dishes like chicken or lamb tikka kebabs.
When making Tikka Masala as a Baharat Spice substitute, use equal parts cumin, coriander and garam masala to replicate the warm flavor of traditional Baharat Spice.
This blend may also be enhanced with small amounts of black pepper and ginger to achieve the desired intensity.
4 – Tandoori Masala
Tandoori Masala is a popular Indian spice blend that can be used as a substitute for Baharat Spice.
It is usually made from ground coriander, cumin, nutmeg, black pepper, mace, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and red chilli pepper.
This flavorful blend can be used to add an exotic twist to your dishes.
While it’s not an exact replacement for Baharat Spice, it does bring many of the same elements and can be used in place of Baharat when you need a quick substitution.
5 – Berbere
Berbere is an Ethiopian spice mix that is used in many dishes and is similar to the Baharat spice, although it has its own flavor profile.
Berbere combines red pepper flakes, salt, garlic, ginger, allspice, coriander and fenugreek.
It has a smoky flavor and can add a bit of heat to any dish.
It’s great sprinkled over vegetables or as a rub on chicken or fish.
You can also add it to soups and stews for extra flavor.
Just remember to use sparingly because the heat from the pepper flakes can be overwhelming if you use too much.
In conclusion, if you’re looking to get an authentic flavor in your dish, Baharat Spice is a great addition.
If, however, this isn’t available for you, then a combination of paprika, cumin, coriander, allspice and black pepper will be a good substitute to bring the same flavors to your recipe.
Keep in mind that depending on the region from which the dish originates, adjusting some ingredients may be necessary.
Experiment with small amounts of these spices until you get just the right flavor and enjoy.