Four flavour sensations … you should have in your pantryFour flavour sensations … you should have in your pantry


Four flavour sensations … you should have in your pantry2.jpg

Most of us juggling family and work, as well as just the usual day to day stuff, will have a repertoire of recipes that we use for meals. Often they are quick and easy, and use just a handful of ingredients which is great for getting dinner on the table fast, but not so great for variety and excitement in your meals. If you’re bored of having the same meals on rotation, you should try these four flavour sensations that can transform even the most basic of ingredients into something special.

Tahini – A key ingredient in hummus, tahini is also a staple in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Made from ground sesame seeds, it has a savoury, nutty flavour that works well in both sweet and savoury dishes. Try adding some to mashed potato, whisking it into a sauce with Greek yoghurt, garlic, parsley, coriander and lemon juice, or add some to biscuit or brownie batter.

Harissa – With a fragrant, peppery, smoky, garlicky flavour and a decent kick of heat, harissa hails from Tunisia and is commonly used in Middle Eastern and North African cooking. Made from roasted peppers, chilli, and spices including cumin, coriander and ground caraway harissa paste can be sued in marinades, dips, dressings, soups, stews and casseroles. Try some with eggs, brush it over meat, chicken or vegetables before grilling on the barbecue or make a sauce with harissa and yoghurt.

Ras el hanout – This complex spice blend is popular in Moroccan cuisine. Some versions of Ras el hanout are spicy while others have no heat at all. It is made with more than 20 different spices. It is excellent for marinades or rubbing onto meat and is traditionally used in tagines and stews.

Za’atar – Another Middle Eastern spice blend that can be used in a multitude of ways, Za’atar features sumac mixed with sesame seeds, coriander, oregano, thyme, cumin and salt. Add it to chicken before roasting, curries, sprinkle it over fish, or use as a rub for beef or lamb.

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