My favourite places to visit when I am traveling are the local souks and markets. I love the bustling of the merchants at their stalls and watching tourists and customers checking out produce and wares. When I was in Israel a few years ago, the huge market of Machane Yehudah in Jerusalem was a favourite sight to visit. Spices, dried fruit, stacks of halavah and sweets and loads more. Of course, all I wanted to bring home were some spices.Below are the three remains of those spices that I bought in Jerusalem and frugally doled them out for special recipes. I must admit that cumin is one of my all-time favourite spices and have bought it everywhere I have traveled. I bought za’atar because it is such a middle-eastern favourite spice blend used in so many recipes (See my post Z is for Za’atar and a linked article, Za’atar – Brain Food? for more information and recipes). And just for fun, Paprika Spice Rub. The vendor told me it was terrific on chicken. So if he said it was great on chicken, I had to try it. I mixed a couple tablespoons of it with some olive oil and smeared it on boneless, skinless chicken breasts to marinate for a few hours before barbequing. My son said it was the best chicken he has ever had! Well, years later, after repeatedly making this chicken recipe, I have run out of this spice blend and scoured the internet to find a similar recipe…and I am now ready to share it with you. A perfect blend of sweet paprika, oregano, ground cumin and coriander, spiced up a notch with some chili powder and kosher salt. The bowl on the left is my original from Machane Yehudah. The bowl on the right is my homemade batch. Believe me, the only difference is the original used a sea salt, a smaller grained salt compared to the kosher salt. The taste is identical.Mix 2 tablespoons of the spice blend with olive oil to make a paste.Marinate boneless, skinless chicken pieces for a few hours or overnight. Barbeque, bake or broil, whatever works for you. My son still says it was the best chicken he has ever eaten. This is the first spice blend I gave him when he moved to his own apartment. Hope you enjoy it as much as he does.
Israeli Chicken Spice Rub
1 ½ tbsp. sweet paprika
1 ½ tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground coriander
½ -1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 ½ tsp. coarse kosher salt
Mix all together. Add a tablespoon or 2 to olive oil to make a paste. Smear over boneless skinless chicken pieces for a few hours or overnight. Bake, barbeque or broil until tender. Enjoy.