What can I use instead of baharat? We found some of the best replacements for baharat are ras el hanout, garam masala, berbere spice, and tikka masala.
Baharat spices are a collection of warm, slightly spicy, and highly aromatic spices that bring mild heat with paprika. Although we have a few substitutes you can use, remember that these are a collection of spices that vary depending on the region and who is making it. Therefore, although similar, the profiles may have slightly different flavors.
The Best Baharat Substitutes
Ras El Hanout
The closest substitute for Baharat is Ras el Hanout.
Ras el Hanout is a fragrant blend of spices with some common ingredients with Baharat. It can be blended with up to a hundred different spices depending on the area and who makes it.
The common elements are cardamom, cumin, turmeric, paprika, nutmeg, ginger, coriander, and peppercorns.
This blend of spices originated in the middle east and is often found in Moroccan cuisine.
Some blends can be more intense than Baharat, but generally, the flavors are warm and mild. Pungent woody flavors are complimented with the sweetness of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove spices.
Ras el Hanout is a great spice to add depth and flavor to rice and couscous dishes. Pairs well with meat, fish, and poultry and adds warmth to soups and stews
Start with less than you would baharat spices, as some mixes can be spicier.
Garam masala is a similar substitute to Baharat.
Garam masala is a blend of dry roasted ground spices with the same base spices as baharat, adding chili powder instead of paprika and using bay leaves.
Originating in Northern Indian cuisine, it has a typical Indian flair.
The spice blend of garam masala offers a warm note with a slight sweetness. It is a very fragrant spice that adds a little bit more heat.
These ground spices are great for meat and fish and add depth to vegetables and soups.
Due to the use of chilies over the paprika, reduce the quantity you would typically use with baharat spices and add as needed to your liking.
Berbere spice is another alternative that can be used for Baharat spice.
Berbere spice is a mix of common base ingredients with baharat spice with the addition of chili powder and fenugreek.
It’s common to find other spices native to Ethiopia, where berbere spice originated, which is an integral part of Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine.
Its flavors can be described as spicy and earthy, with citrusy notes and sweet undertones to the spice.
This Ethiopian spice is excellent for chicken stews, like the traditional Ethiopian dish Doro wat. It also serves as a condiment made into a paste with wine or vinegar for dipping.
Other great uses for berbere are as a meat rub for grilling.
Berbere is not the hottest spice, but it can pack a bit more heat than baharat, so use it conservatively and add as needed for flavor.
Tikka masala is a helpful substitute in a pinch.
Tikka masala is a blend of aromatic, savory spices originating from India.
The aromatic blend has similar base ingredients to baharat spices. Still, adding green mango powder, which is not traditionally used, seems to be a popular addition that can alter the flavors somewhat.
Earthy flavors mingle with chili bursts, and traces of sweetness softens the robust flavors.
The blend of tikka masala spices is popular with chicken, creating a creamy chicken tikka curry. However, these spices can be used for various dishes, including meat and fish.
It is also great to add depth and flavor to a mix of vegetables which can be enjoyed with flatbread or roti.
This is a mild spice, so you can substitute the same amount of berbere spice as you would for baharat spices.