I'm sure I have said it before, but it irritates me when I read a recipe that includes in its ingredient list a pot, jar, or tub of something industrially processed. It feels like cheating and (unless I'm deliberately choosing to cut corners) I'm looking for the satisfaction of knowing what we taste on our plates has been achieved by design, not by default.
Pre-blended spice mixes feel like cheats too. There is something deeply satisfying about roasting or dry frying seeds, cooling, then grinding and mixing with other ground spices to create fragrant blends that really bring your food to life. In fact, it's an art and a science of which I still know little, but am keen to learn more.
When I made the rich and fabulous Lamb siniya a few days ago, I made a large batch of baharat, a savoury spice mix known as 'Sarit spice' at Honey & Co. Described as having "endless depth & beauty" Sarit Packer's spice mix underscores many of the restaurant's signature dishes, so I knew this would be the perfect mix for steaks accompanied by a simple couscous salad.