Nuts and seeds feature in many dishes throughout the Levant and along the North African coast, from mezze and snacks, to main courses and desserts. With each nut stall or trader come family recipes and spice mixes passed down over generations. In the scented passages of the souk in Damascus I happened upon an ingenious portable nut stall that was a customized bicycle. At the front where a basket would have been was a flat hotplate heated underneath with charcoal. This ensured that the nuts were freshly roasted in small batches. The bike came complete with a sixfoot metal chimney.
– 3 tbsp sunflower oil.
– 1½ cups whole blanched almonds.
– 1 tsp ground cumin.
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
– ½ tsp ground chili powder.
– ½ cup brown sugar.
– juice of ½ lemon.
– salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Step 2: Transfer the nuts to a bowl, and season well with salt and pepper, stirring to mix. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, just to let them dry out. Sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar to taste.
Step 3: Serve warm or at room temperature. They will keep in a clean, dry airtight container for a couple of weeks without spoiling. Grinding and refreshing spices Grinding your own spices from whole pods and seeds is so simple it is worth making this a habit. The reward far outweighs any extra time and effort involved, as freshly ground spices have much better flavor and aroma than store-bought versions do. Invest in an electric coffee grinder or a wooden one that has a small drawer. Grind a batch as small or as large as you want, then sieve to get rid of any tough husks. (Don’t make too large a batch if you are not going to be using it within a relatively short period of time, as it will only become stale.) Store the spice mixture in an airtight glass jar with a tightfitting lid, and use as needed. To refresh ground spices, place the quantity that you want to use in a dry frying pan or skillet, and heat over low-medium heat for a couple of minutes until the spice becomes fragrant.
Note : Lohz Spiced roast almonds