Have you Tried Berbere?
Berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend you should try!
This spice blend is a tradition originating from Ethiopia. The name “berbere” comes from the Berber people associated with the region in Northern Africa where Ethiopia resides. Berbere serves as the backbone of Ethiopian cooking and may be found in nearly every kitchen there. This classic spice is also used in the national dish of Ethiopia called “Doro wat,” a type of stew using chicken, and “Siga wat” using beef as the primary ingredient.
Berbere has a very spicy profile with a wholesome blend of spices herbs, and so on. One unique thing about this spice is that no two mixes are the same. That’s right, the flavor and consistency of Berbere can vary widely depending on where in Ethiopia you are and which family is cooking. That’s largely due in part because different regions have more restricted access and must use alternative ingredients while others may be less restricted.
Berbere is also used to add flavor to a wide variety of foods from meat, to vegetables and even legumes. This complex spice typically denotes a spicy, sweet, and citrus profile, which leads to a highly unique and interesting flavor combination. Many households also combine the spice with red wine and oil, which produces a paste known as “awaze.” This paste is then served as ketchup like a condiment, which is used to dip other foods into.
What is berbere?
With the background out of the way, you’re probably wondering, what is berbere? Berbere is made from a wide range of ingredients ranging from over a dozen herbs, spices, and blends. Most commonly, however, the blend consists of chili peppers, fenugreek, ginger, allspice, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and lesser-known varieties like long pepper and ajwain. All of this complexity leads to a flavor that is spicy yet tolerable. The heat of this spice is somewhat evened out by the sweetness of the cinnamon and citrusy flavors. So, you can expect a spicy, sweet, and earthy taste overall.
Berbere is most commonly cooked into sauteed onions at the start of the cooking process. This helps release the flavor profile into the onions. However, you can also put dashes of this spice over the meat like fish or even fresh fruit. If you opt to make the awaze, then it can be used as a dipping sauce as well. Dig in and enjoy!
See our blend here.
In Indian culture, it is a rare occurrence not to use garam masala when preparing dishes. It can be used with other seasonings or just alone. In the Northern part of India this mixture of seasonings is usually powdery. In contrast, in the Southern India it is made into a paste using water, coconut milk, or vinegar.
The seasoning comes from a blend of ground spices prevalent in Indian cooking, from soups to lentil dishes. The terms garam and masala means “hot” and “spices” respectively. So the name of this Indian blend of spices translates loosely to “warming spices.” As the translation suggests, this blend of spices serves the purpose of heating or warming the body and boosting the rate of metabolism.
Varieties of the Ingredients in the Spice
Before cooking with this spice, understand that its recipe tends to vary. The ingredients used for blending differ from one region to another because of individual taste and preference of a chef.
In the northern Indian region this ground spices blend usually only employs the use of black pepper as the hot element and mostly puts more effort into having sweet, aromatic spices. Cook with this northern blend if you want the spicing to be more mild.
In Southern India, the spice is much hotter because they use red chilies as part of the ingredients.
Cooking with this spice has been around for generations and its origin is thought to be in Northern India. Northern India has colder seasons so it is understandable why the use of warming spices is more widespread there. At present, the use of the seasonings blend is spread throughout India.
What is used to make the blend of garam masala?
Often the ground spices mixture is comprised of:
• Black pepper
Other ingredients that may also be used for the different varieties or recipes of the seasoning blend include dried red chilies, fenugreek, turmeric, tamarind, mustard seeds, etc.
To sum it up
When a person uses garam masala, it helps enhance the flavors of dishes and reduces the amount of other seasonings used. Adding it to your vegetables, chicken, rice, baked potatoes, even as simple as in your mayonnaise to liven up a sandwich can do wonders for you. The different ingredients used in the spice come with different health benefits including improving digestion and metabolism and increasing body temperature. Use this spice blend today to realize the many benefits.
Here is a link to buy our blend.
What are the Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric, in addition to being a popular spice used in many cuisines around the world, is also a staple ingredient in many supplements, as it has been scientifically proven to help with a multitude of ailments. Turmeric is derived from a chemical, Curcumin, which is a fat-soluble chemical that you can take as a daily vitamin. Turmeric is believed to help ward off dementia, relieve heart problems, and reduce general inflammation in the body. Keep reading to know the health benefits associated with turmeric and what it actually is.
How Do People Usually Ingest It?
Turmeric as a spice can be added to give flavor and an orange tinge to many savory dishes, including omelets or pasta dishes. It may also be steeped in hot water to produce a soothing, antioxidant-rich tea-like drink. The root chemical, Curcumin may be purchased at a regular supplement store, or even at some drug stores. You can take the recommended dosage (a capsule or two) with a full meal, as this chemical is fat-soluble, so just taking it with water will not do much for you.
Where is Turmeric Usually Found?
Those who love their food to be brightly colored and packing a ton of flavor probably know that turmeric is a spice that originated in India. It is a staple of the cuisine in that part of the world, and wild turmeric grows on plantations along the mainland of India and several Indian Ocean islands. It was in Indian medicine that turmeric made its emergence and people began to really learn what it is and its great health benefits. They saw that tea made from steeping the spice resulted in greater health and vitality.
With an Indian restaurant in just about every community, you have every reason to ask “What is turmeric?” Once you realize how it can be used to add color, flavor and a few health benefits to every meal, you will be sure to keep it in your kitchen. Add turmeric to your favorite dishes or brew some tea and see how this antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spice can help you.
See our Turmeric here.
The Mango Mukwas Yogurt Sauce is fragrant, sweet Indian yogurt dip or raita. Traditionally, raitas are used as a mild sauce or side dish to mellow down spicy dishes, and to improve digestion. “Mukwas” is the traditional after-dinner breath-freshening mix, and makes a special addition to this raita.