This vegetable stew is delicious served with a roast chicken sprinkled with sumac or even a pan fried piece of cod. It is also very good with a simple green salad with crusty bread to mop up the juices.
Baharat is a Middle Eastern spice blend and is available in most supermarkets or online. The basic ingredients include black pepper, coriander, paprika, cardamom, nutmeg, cumin, cloves and cinnamon.Other spices that can be a part of baharat are sumac, saffron, chili peppers, and turmeric. Baharat is a nice combination of both sweet and smoky without any spiciness. While the taste is not overpowering, it is very aromatic, which is why it is best to use a small amount.
If baharat is not readily available, it is simple to make at home. You will need a spice grinder or small coffee grinder (that is no longer used for beans), or a mortar and pestle. Although you can adjust the recipe to your taste, a good ratio to follow is 4 parts black pepper, 4 parts cumin seeds, 3 parts cloves, 3 parts cinnamon, 3 parts coriander seed, 1 part cardamom pods, 3 parts nutmeg, and 6 parts paprika. You can toast the spices in a dry frying pan before grinding and then process the first 6 ingredients until fine; add the nutmeg and paprika and mix until combined. You can also use ground spices to speed up the process. I would just buy it!
Adapted from a recipe by John Gregory Smith