Flavours of the Middle East
The spices and herbs that go into the Middle Eastern flavour profile can be found in may other cuisines as well. However, there are a couple that people may not be as familiar with.
A sesame seed paste with a smooth consistency like a much thinner peanut butter. We used it drizzled on our Middle Eastern vegetarian flatbread found here. It is also an ingredient in most hummus. It has a rich sesame taste, kind of like how natural peanut butter only tastes of peanuts. It is great in salad dressing, dips and sauces. When you open the jar the natural oil will often separate so you need to give it a good stir.
A blend of dried herbs, sesame seeds and often sumac (another one of my favourite spices). It is delicious sprinkled on olive oil for dipping bread into or baked on to pita bread to make amazing pita chips. It is also great as a dry rub for any protein, including tofu!
It is red and coarsely ground and has a lemony, tart flavour. I love it on roasted chicken with lemon and rosemary or sprinkled on chunky oven roasted potatoes. I also sprinkle it on roasted cauliflower which gives it an unexpected twist.