Foodie pop quiz: What spice has one unusual name, is spelled at least five different ways, can be either savory or sweet but never both, and could hold healthful powers? The answer is HAWIAJ.
Hawaij – pronounced ha-WHY-idge – is an ancient spice mixture found in every Yemenite’s household, and you’ll probably be hearing more about it before too long. That’s because people are discovering delicious ways to incorporate this exotic blend into everything from coffee and desserts to stews and condiments.
There are actually two distinct varieties of hawaij, each with its own flavor profile. One is traditionally used in coffees and the other is usually used to season soups. Yemeni immigrants brought these blends to Israel, and today hawaij (alternately spelled hawaj, hawaij, hawayji, or hawayej) is a staple of Israeli cuisine.
Pereg Natural Foods (pereg-gourmet.com), a leading producer of premium, all-natural spices and spice blends, invites home cooks to explore hawaij and imagine how it can transform everyday menu items into something new and extraordinary.
Pereg Hawaij Blend for Soup is an aromatic mixture of cumin, turmeric, black pepper, cardamom, and cloves.
· Use it instead of bouillon cubes or consommé powder to season meat-based or vegetable soups.
· Try it as a rub for lamb, grilled chicken or fish.
· Add a healthy pinch to slow-cooker stews.
· Toss it with some olive oil on vegetables to roast – it’s great with potatoes, broccoli, kale, carrots, or beets.
· Mix it with a fruity olive oil for a quick salad dressing or as a delicate dipping sauce for crusty bread.
· Spice up chicken with a coat of Hawaij and Pereg Fine Panko Japanese-style bread.
Pereg Hawaij Blend for Coffee is a homey mixture of ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.
· Add a warm and earthy layer of depth to any coffee (recipe below), tea, or even hot cocoa.
· Boost up your batter – replace traditional spices with hawaij in your favorite pancakes, waffles, muffins, breads, cakes, and other baked desserts.
· Turn an ordinary smoothie into an intriguing treat.
· Sprinkle on baked apples or poached pears.
· Infuse into rice pudding.
Healthy Hawaij – Hawaij’s components pack a powerhouse of healthful properties. WebMD and a multitude of other experts cite cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, and turmeric as outstanding sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial nutrients. So when you boost the flavor of your favorite dish with hawaij, you might also be fighting inflammation, aiding digestion, lowering blood sugar, fending off free radicals, and perhaps even preventing cancer and Alzheimer’s!
Hawaij Coffee Recipe
Prepare Hawaij coffee as you would Turkish coffee.
½ tsp. Pereg Hawaij for Coffee spice
1 heaping tsp. finely ground coffee
Bring water and sugar to a boil in a pot or ibrik (small Turkish coffee pot).
Remove from heat and add coffee and Hawaij mix.
Return pot to heat and allow the coffee to come to a boil, while stirring. Remove from heat when the coffee foams.
Pour into cup or glass.
Hawaij for Soup Recipe (Courtesy Perfect Flavors, Naomi Nachman)
2 pounds beef bones
12 cups water
4 chicken leg quarters
3 small onions, diced
6 small carrots, diced
6 stalks celery, diced
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons Pereg Natural Foods Hawaij for soup
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Place beef bones into a net bag. Place into a large pot.
Add water; bring to a boil. Skim off the scum that rises to the top of the soup.
Place chicken into a second net bag; add to pot. Return to a boil; skim the scum again.
Add vegetables and salt. Cover; bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 2 hours.
Add hawaij and chickpeas; cook for 30 minutes.
Remove net bags from soup; discard beef bones. Pull chicken from its bones; return chicken to soup, discarding bones. Ladle soup into bowls.
ABOUT PEREG NATURAL FOODS
Pereg was established in 1906, and is based in Clifton, NJ. They first became known for their vast variety of pure and natural spices and spice blends, more than 60 in all, from traditional favorites to exotics from around the culinary world.
Today Pereg produces an array of all-natural products that includes ancient grains and ancient grain blends, gluten free pasta, couscous, rice, gluten-free cereal and much more. Pereg Natural Foods products are available at select retailers throughout the US and Canada, and on their website, www.pereg-gourmet.com.
Pereg manufactures all its products from start to finish, controlling the quality from the sourcing until the product is packed and ready for the consumer. All Pereg products are kosher certified by both the Orthodox Union (OU) and CRC, are dairy and lactose-free as well as all natural, with no additives or preservatives. Many products are also certified gluten-free and non-GMO.
Follow Pereg Natural Foods on Facebook.com/peregnatural, Twitter @pereggourmet and Instagram @peregnatural.