This little-known hero of a Middle Eastern spice blend is a powerhouse in flavor. "Baharat" is Arabic for spices and is a term used to describe a spice blend, similar to "masala" which is Hindi for spice. Baharat Spice Blend is used in the Middle East and places like Turkey as an all-purpose spice blend.
While the exact ingredients can vary from region to region, think of it like a pumpkin spice blend that also has coriander and black pepper to give it a savory flavor while keeping the warm notes of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. It is excellent for seasoning meat, chicken, fish, and vegetables.
SPICE + LEAF Baharat Spice Blend is delicious for roasting veggies like carrots, cauliflower, or zucchini and excellent on a baked salmon, but my favorite recipe is a pan-cooked Pomegranate Chicken. Check out the recipe below!
Baharat Spiced Pomegranate Chicken
By Debbie Kornberg
The basics of this dish were taught to me by my friend Manijeh. Her Persian style of cooking has had a great influence on me. I played around with the dish and decided to add a little Baharat spice to give it some earthy fall flavors reminiscent of Pumpkin Spice with a savory and tart twist.
1 cut-up chicken with bone (skin optional)
2 + 1 Tbsp. SPICE + LEAF Premium Olive Oil
1 cut up onion, diced
1.5 tsp. ground turmeric
¼ tsp. ground cumin
½ cup pomegranate molasses
1 Tbsp. Honey
Optional: Pomegranate Seeds are in season, use to decorate on top after the chicken is prepared
¼ cup fresh mint to decorate after the chicken is prepared
1. Wash the pieces of chicken and pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Using a large frying pan, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil on medium heat. Then add diced onions. Saute for two minutes then add turmeric, Baharat spice, and cumin on medium heat. Continue to sauté for a few minutes.
3. Remove spiced onions from the pan and place in a bowl. Set aside.
4. Add another Tbsp. of olive oil. Turn the stove back onto high heat and place chicken in pan. You will want to get a little sear on the chicken until they are lightly browned on both sides.
5. After chicken has a good sear on both sides, add back spiced onions into pan. Place around the chicken.
6. In a bowl, mix the honey with the pomegranate molasses and pour it over the chicken, making sure all of the pieces are brushed with the sauce. Pour a little water in and cover the pan. Turn the flame down to medium-low heat and cook for about 30 to 45 minutes. Chicken should be checked often as it does not have a lot of liquid, add water as needed. Check the chicken with a fork or thermometer to determine if it is fully cooked. The temperature should read at 165 degrees when fully cooked.
7. On a platter, arrange cut-up chicken, pour the leftover sauce over it, and add the pomegranate seeds and mint to decorate. Enjoy!