We ask Sami for his all-time favourite spices and how he likes to use them.
“This features heavily in my cooking, giving a sharp and citrusy burst of flavour to all sorts of chicken, seafood and vegetable dishes”.
“I find it hard to eat any hummus-type spread without a sprinkle of this Egyptian aromatic seed and nut mixture. It’s also great on leafy salads or roasted veg”.
“There is no one exact version of baharat – the word means “spices” in Arabic and everyone has their own recipe – but it’s a warm spice mix of ground black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cinnamon, cloves, allspice , cumin, cardamom and nutmeg which I love”.
“This is the taste of my childhood. It’s a blend of sumac, sesame seeds, thyme and hyssop which can be sprinkled on hummus, labneh, fried eggs or roast meat. It’s lovely also mixed with some olive oil to brush over warm pitta bread, fresh from the oven”.
“I love the taste and look of this – it’s a medium strength chilli with a sweet aroma whose burgundy colour looks magic when sprinkled on top of poached or fried eggs or when added to melted butter to finish off a dish”.
“Like the Aleppo flakes, these both taste great and look stunning. They have a sharpness which pairs well with sweet roasted vegetables and look brilliant sprinkled on top of white rice or couscous”.
This spice has a flavour character that is like a really mellow combination of clove, cinnamon and nutmeg which I love to add to slow-cooked lamb or meatballs”.
“It’s not all ouzo and raki, you know! This is a really distinctive spice, close friend to fennel and liquorice, which is a really interesting addition to all sorts of sweet cakes and cookies. It’s also wonderful toasted, lightly crushed and sprinkled on a salad of confit trout, golden beetroot and ricotta”.
“This is also one of Yotam’s favourites. It’s a versatile spice with lots of things going on at once: it’s floral but pungent, fruity but citrusy. It brings something very special to a range of dishes, from a delicate set milk pudding to a robust tray of roasted root veg”.