What’s Mexican cooking? Yes, you answered it right. It is also about spicing up the recipes with mixed flavors. There are major spices that when added to Mexican recipes make a complete dish. These are:
- Baharat (a sweet, resinous and warm herb)
- Za'atar (dried red berries of the Staghorn Sumac)
- Harissa (dried chilly, soaked with olive oil)
- Quatre Epices (cinnamon and allspices also called garam masala)
- Berbere (tempered dried chilies)
- Ras El Hamout
The following Are The 6 Herbs That Could Be Added To The Mexican Cooking:
Cilantro has a double personality. During its early vegetative state, it is known as Cilantro, and its leaves are used for seasoning the Mexican dishes.
But when grown up, its seeds assume the name of 'coriander.' These seeds are ground to be used in pickles, curries, stews and soups. It has a distinct cooling and refreshing taste.
It is a freshgreen spice and is grown in kitchen gardens. Since it resembles parsley, it is also known as Chinese parsley. It is an annual plant. It is a must-to-be-added herb in any Mexican Cooking. It can be dried and frozen for longer use
Oregano is a flowering plant, belonging to the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is a perennial herb that grows from 20 to 80 cm.
The leaves are one to 4cm long and are opposite. The flowers are 3 to 4 mm and purple in color.
It is also called Wild Marjoram. It is an important medicinal and culinary herb, which has been in use for more than thousand years.
It's unique, pleasant smell comes from the combined contents of chemicals like:
It possesses anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. But the Mexican oregano required for therecipe is a small shrub, which is in fact pseudo-oregano.
Thymes are Mediterranean plants. They are woody perennials, semi-green or evergreen. They are anupright small shrub, are low-growing and grow in creeping forms. There is a total of 400 varieties of thymes.
The culinary thyme, known as Thymus Vulgaris is common thyme. So, what does thyme look like? Most of them look similar.
The active ingredient Thymol, the essential oil gives the flavor. The citrus comes due to the Neral and Geranial.
The best varieties of culinary thyme are narrow-leaf French, Lemon Thyme, Broadleaf English and e-of thyme. When frozen, thymegives pronounced flavor to the Mexican cooking.
Use the sprigs of fresh thyme while roasting meats and poultry. Six average sprigs yield about a tablespoon of leaves. You can even just chop the leaves and add to the whole recipe.
If you crush the leaves lightly, volatile flavored oils will be released. You can keep the fresh thymein therefrigerator for about a week.
You can use Thyme in the Mexican recipes such as Beef Post Roast, Sautee Asparagus with Lemon and Thyme, Chicken Breast Marengo, Broccoli Mash, Classic Ratatouille Recipe.
It is a cooling leafy herb and flavors perfectly in salsa or other richly-flavored dishes. It is often used to garnish or decorate your served plates and adds freshness.
It is added at the end of the cooking. It is, however, a little bitter. The plants can be grown in full or partial shade. Parsley may be either flat-leaf (Italian) or curly (Moss)
Mint has the botanical name Mentha: Peppermint or Piperita. These herbal plants are hardy perennial and grow quickly and densely and may sometimes become a nuisance.
You can grow the plant it in a confined space such as a container or even between the paved areas. The branches grow upward.
There are five kinds of mint leaves; namely:
- Apple mint
- Ginger mint
- Orange mint
These can be used in Mexican cooking of desserts, meats, and salads.
Majorana has gray-green leaves and is sometimes confused with Oregano. In fact, all Majorana are oreganos, but all oregano is not majoranas.
Oregano is the genus, and sweet marjoram or Origanum majorana is the one variety of over 50 types of Oregano.
Sweet Marjoram tastes minty and citrus, with a pinch of spice. The leaves are added at the end of the cooking as otherwise, it loses its delicate flavor. It can be added in dressings, salads, eggs and mushroom sauces.
In Mexican cooking, it can be best utilized for thick vegetable soups, fish, beef, chicken, pasta, game, meat loaf, and sausages. It also flavors bean, beet and tomato dishes.
Other Spices to Consider
Herb to spice up beans such as Rajas Chilies assumes a special mention in Mexican cooking. Besides all the herbal ingredients used in Mexican cooking, the one that needs worth mentioning is rajas chilies.
These are popularly known as “Bhut Jolokia” and are the unparalleled and hottest chili in the world.
It contains 1,001,304 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). To make it heat free, it has to be diluted1 million times. The ordinary green chili that most Indians use has 15,000 to 40,000 SHU.
With the addition of the Mexican, Cooking becomes tasty, decorative, mouth-watering, eye-teasing, medicinal, pure, and organic.
Aren’t all the above herbs interesting? Yes, you must try them in some manner or the other. You may use this to make a unique recipe of your own!