In our Spice Companion episode, Lynne Rossetto Kasper talked with spice master Lior Lev Sercarz about three unique spices included in his tome Spice Companion. Below you'll find addition information from Spice Companion on uses for ajowan, amchoor, and urfa. All three spices are available via the website for Sercarz's spice shop La Boiteî.
Origin: Native to South India. Cultivated in India, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
Baghaar (method of seasoning by frying spices in oil) - India
Chaat masala (spice blend) - India and Pakistan
Berbere (spice blend) - Ethiopia and Eritrea
Parathas (flatbread) - Southwestern Asia
Pakoras (fritters) - Southwestern Asia and Gujarat
Note: Toasting recommended
Spice Pairings: caraway, chile flakes, cumin, fennel, turmeric
1. Add whole ajowan seeds to your favorite pancake recipe and serve with whipped feta cheese for brunch
2. Season thinly sliced cucumber with whole ajowan seeds, white vinegar, and course salt for a quick pickle
3. Simmer peeled garlic cloves in milk until tender, season with whole ajowan, and purée until smooth for a condiment
Origin: Native to and cultivated in India
Authentic to India
Chaat masala (spice blend)
Potato pakora (fritters)
Samosa (savory baked or fried pastry)
Spice Pairings: basic, dried garlic, ginger, orange peel, turmeric
1. Peel and chop 1 ripe mango and purée in a blender with 2 pinches of amchoor and a splash of hot sauce. Use as a sauce for meats and fish.
2. Stir ground amchoor and shredded chicken into simmering coconut milk and chicken stock for a quick Asian-inspired soup.
3. Mix 2 pinches of amchoor with 2 chopped reip avocados, chopped cilantro, and sliced scallions, season with salt, and serve as a dip or spread.
Origin: Native to South and Central America and later the Turkish town of Urfa. Cultivated in Turkey.
Authentic to Turkey
Smoky eggplant dip
Çig köfte (raw meatballs)
Orange barbecue sauce
Spice Pairings: garlic, onion, orange peel, oregano, rose
Heat Index: Light to medium
1. Sprinkle crushed Urfa chile on thinly sliced fresh sea scallops and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice for a quick carpaccio
2. For a different take on fritters, add crushed Urfa chile to sautéed kale or collard greens and add bread crumbs, eggs, and ricotta cheese before frying.
3. Combine crushed Urfa chile with melted dark chocolate and drizzle over vanilla ice cream, then top with Urfa-spiced nuts.
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