There is a wide variety of African spice blends that create the regional flavors of African cuisine. Some of these spices are rubbed into meat before stewing or roasting, others are sautéed with vegetables while still others are sprinkled over fish before boiling.
Most African spices are formed after mixing a group of traditional blends. African families have personal favorites that become the essence of their home cooking with time. Families collect and mix spice blends to come up with their private recipes.
Measurements of these blends vary in flavor and intensity depending on how old they are and also where they come from. There are several African spice merchants who create custom blends usually from herbs and spices that are freshly ground and roasted.
Whole spices give powerful flavors but to get the best flavors you can lightly roast them in a dry hot frying pan before grinding them. African climate and especially that of Spice Islands is conducive for the production of herbs and spices.
Some of the hottest peppery African dishes come from Ethiopia which was and still remains a source of a variety of spices. Most of these African spices do not only add a pleasant aroma to African dishes but are also beneficial to one’s physical health.
African barbecues and garden parties are not barbecues without spices. The starting ingredients of these barbecues are mostly the same but the difference is the finishing part which is the most important part. This is topping up with spices which make the dish better and tastier.
There is a wide variety of African spices to choose from so no African chef has an excuse of not making the very best African dish. Some of the most common African spices are cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, Garlic, black peppercorns, curry powder, turmeric, pilau mix, Melegueta pepper – West African (substitute use cardamom) etc.
Remember the spices are what give your food a unique taste. Artemisia is one African herb that you should always add to your food for its health benefits.
It adds the required antioxidant activity in your body and research shows that it prevents cancer and combats heat stress and malaria which is very prevalent in Africa.
Most Africans sprinkle cinnamon in hot chocolate, tea and coffee and still use it in food dishes. There are several other African spices that make African food irresistible, however the one’s mentioned above, are the spices which are most commonly used.