The One Thousand and One Nights Chest is perfect for anyone looking to explore Middle Eastern cuisine. This Chest contains spices that are hard to find in most supermarkets and make any Ottolenghi recipe attainable.
Black Garlic “Umami and Sweet”
Black Garlic is an ingredient that’s very new to cooking in the West, however, has been used in Asia for a long time. Listed as one of Ottolenghi’s 10 essential ingredients in his book flavour, Black Garlic has a very unique texture and flavour. Umami is also a fairly new concept in the West as a flavour, and joins sweetness, sourness, bitterness and saltiness as one of our basic tastes – the savoury, meaty flavour you find in many broths and stews would be a good way of outlining Umami as a concept. Its texture is best described as chewy with a curious sweetness and earthiness to its flavour profile. This is a very versatile ingredient that can uplift dishes in so many ways, for example if you infuse it as an oil, turned it into an aioli, or added into a paste, Black Garlic offers so much and is a really exciting ingredient.
Aleppo Chilli Flakes “Mild and Sweet”
A coarsely ground chilli that originates from Turkey. Aleppo chilli flakes are far less hot than normal chilli flakes and are great if you want to add a gentle and somewhat sweet heat to your dishes. You’ll find this as a staple if you are cooking any Ottolenghi recipe. About a 3/10 in terms of heat offered.
Urfa Chilli Flakes “Sweet and Smoky”
Another Ottolenghi favourite. They have a unique smoky punch and are different from most chillies in colour being a very deep crimson and so make a lovely garnish over salads or oily fish. 4/10 in heat but offers a sweeter complexity than Aleppo chilli flakes.
Fennel Seeds “Liquorish and refreshing”
Fennel seeds will give an aniseed type flavour into your dish. It’s far less powerful than Star Anise, but more versatile – similar to Coriander Seeds it will bring a level of freshness. It will add a Chinese flavour to your stir fries, whilst also working extremely well with oily fish and fatty dishes such as burgers and meatballs. This is as the fennel cuts through the fats and helps to cleanse your palette and uplift the dish.
Nigella Seeds “Peppery and Nutty”
Nigella seeds have a nutty, mildly peppery taste with a slight cumin edge to them. If you’ve ever had naan bread from a takeaway once you’ve tasted nigella seeds you’ll instantly recognise the flavour they impart to the Naan! Sprinkle over breads, stir into rice and grain dishes and add to pickles. Toasting the seeds really enhances their flavours.
Sumac “Citrusy and Fruity”
One of the key parts of the Za’atar spice mix, sumac has a gentle lemony, fruity flavour. In Middle Eastern Cuisine it is often used as a souring agent in place of lemons. Sumac can be a fantastic addition to all sorts of dishes, my personal favourite combination is with fish and can also add a delicious sharp tang to vegetables.
Webley’s Freshly Ground Bahārāt “Earthy and Smoky”
Thought to have originated in North Africa, Bahārāt is a spice blend widely used in Arab cuisine. Our blend contains Black pepper, Corainder Seeds, Paprika, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Cumin, Cloves, Cinnamon and Sumac. This is more of an aromatic blend and wouldn’t be considered ‘spicy’ at all and works well in a variety of dishes. This blend is great as a dry or wet marinade, I particularly enjoy using it when using it as a dry rub for fish! Also works well to spice up yoghurt if you are wet marinading.
Webley’s Freshly Ground Ras-el-Hanout “Earthy and Sweet”
Ras-el-Hanout is a spice blend that not to many people have heard of, however it is extremely popular in Moroccan and North African cuisine. The name literally translates to “top of the shelf” as it supposedly a blend of all the best spices in a spice shop. It’s extremely difficult to find an authentic Ras-el-Hanout recipe as there are hundreds and no one way agreed to make it, it may contain as few as 10 ingredients and as many as 80. However its core ingredients no matter the variation seem to be Rose Petals, Nutmeg and Black Pepper. I add Allspice, Cinnamon, Paprika and Fennel Seeds and Lavendar to this mix. This is a great blend to put through cous-cous or give body to meat such as lamb, goat and game.
Webley’s Freshly Ground Rose Harissa “Harissa is a traditional blend originating from North Africa. Another ingredient popularised by Yotam Ottolenghi, our Rose Harissa comes in a powdered form, however easily has the ability to be turned into a paste! Say goodbye to hunting down that Belazu Rose Harissa for weeks! Turn your Rose Harissa into a paste by mixing one Tbsp of it with a tsp of olive oil and ½ tsp of tomato puree and a squeeze of lemon juice! This is great as a marinate or rub for all sorts of different types of meat or as a sauce
Webley’s Freshly Ground Za’atar “Sharp and Citrusy”
Za’atar quite literally translate to “Thyme” in Arabic. This is as the mix is composed of a blend of Thyme, Toasted Sesame Seeds and Sumac (sometimes people also add Oregano). Za’atar is an amazing blend which has become extremely fashionable recently thanks to Yotam Ottolenghi. It’s perfect for all your dips such as hummus and tahini and fantastic with feta cheese and goats cheese.