If you’re planning a romantic dinner in on Valentine’s Day, consider the rose.
But go beyond a dozen on the table. Infuse your meal with their scent to create a gastronomic love letter.
The scent of rose is usually associated with jugs of perfumed lotions, prompting many of us avoid it in the kitchen.
It’s too bad that we’ve missed out. Used sparingly, rose can be a subtle addition to desserts, salads, sides, entrées and cocktails. Create dishes with a soft hint of the prized flower by adding no more than a few drops to your recipes.
Made by boiling rose petals in water then capturing and condensing the steam, rose water has roots in the cuisines of the Middle East, China and northern Africa and India. Many of us have tasted its delicate, transformative flavor in the likes of marzipan and Turkish delight. But you don’t have to make your own. Rosewater is inexpensive and easy to find at international food stores and in the specialty sections of some grocers.
Rose water can enhance nearly any milky drink or dessert. Try it in ice cream and pudding. Add a few drops to whipped cream or panna cotta. It’s also a fresh stand-in for vanilla extract in cakes and pastries.
Enhance your fruit preserves with a little rose water or experiment by adding to cocktails and lemonades. Add a touch to a salad made with melons and berries. Or try it at the center of the table, in a classic Indian rice dish or Moroccan lamb stew.
Great for meat, vegetables, even baked goods. Contains star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, fennel, cassia, and clove
2 whole star anise
2 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorns (or generic peppercorns)
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon fennel
1 cassia or cinnamon stick
Optional sixth spice:
1 teaspoon coriander seed
Other recipes also include:
1/2 teaspoon white pepper and/or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Dukkah-Duqqa, du'ah, do'a, or dukkah -Egyptian condiment/spice mix with a combination of herbs, nuts, and spices.
110g (2/3 cup) hazelnuts
80g (1/2 cup) sesame seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon flaked sea salt (like Maldon brand)
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
Crusty bread, to serve
khmeli suneli is a traditional Georgian spice mix. Popular in the entire Caucasus region. Contains fenugreek seeds and leaves, coriander, savory, and black peppercorns.
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried dill
2 tablespoons dried summer savory
2 tablespoons dried mint
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves
2 teaspoons dried ground marigold petals
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
2 crushed bay leaves
Derived from the word bahar, Baharat means "spice" in Arabic, and literally translates "pepper". Used as an all purpose mix in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine.
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole cloves
½ teaspoon cardamom seeds
1½ tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Considered to as the National Spice of Morocco. It translates "Head of the Shop" or "Best of the Best" The perfect mix to finally try out that Tagine Lamb Recipe.
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
A staple in Persian cuisine, advieh is a combination of spices similar to South Asian mixes—cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, coriander, and cumin—with the notable addition of dried rose petals. Try it in lamb stew or lentil dishes.
A French staple that’s a combination of white or black pepper (or both), cloves, nutmeg, and ginger or cinnamon. Use to spike a coating for salmon or in dishes centered on pork, apples, and chicken.
This spicy blend forms the backbone of many Ethiopian dishes, such as Doro Wat. A classic combination includes coriander, fenugreek, pepper, cardamom, cloves, chiles, and more.
A chile-spice blend that's essential to many Ethiopian dishes:
Garam Masala translates “warm spice mix,” this bronze-colored combination includes cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and mace. Use to build flavor in hot dishes and enhance dressings and marinades, or dust over curried dishes.
Monica Bhide’s Garam Masala from the Seattle Times is a good resource for learning more about a quintessential Indian spice.
The ingredients in curries span hundreds of possible spices, though the one most familiar to us is a combination of coriander, cumin, turmeric, and fenugreek. Use in sauces and to add interest to dips, fries, and tuna or egg salad.
Apply your curry skills with this riff on Madhur Jeffrey's curry from the The Guardian