I made a tagine style chicken dish that was very tasty, but the sauce had a subtle but fine gritty mouth feel that I'd like to eliminate the next time I try this.

I haven't experienced this with most cooking before, but my thought is this mouth feel comes from the one of the spices named below, and I'm thinking it may be from the ground cinnamon.

The spices used were: salt, coriander, turmeric, paprika, black pepper, ginger power, cumin, and chili powder. Some dried fruit, added toward the end of cooking, was simmered in a pot of water with sugar and cinnamon.

For what it's worth, all of my spices were pre-ground except for the black pepper and coriander, which I fine ground in a coffee grinder.

Is this gritty mouth feel to be expected? (I think I would have noticed it when eating this sort of dish at a restaurant.) If not, what might I do to fix it?

  • Are you blooming your spices in oil, or adding them directly to the stew? The later could easily be the cause of your problems, but it would help to know the exact steps you are following. Oct 2, 2020 at 3:49
  • I think you're on to something. I never heard of blooming until you mentioned it. I noticed that many of the the tagine recipes (as seen in videos) seemed to call for just piling most of the ingredients into the pan, after sauteing onions and garlic, add the chicken, then top with spices, then add other things. It seemed odd to me and not like I had done with other dishes. But tagine recipes are also new to me, so I just went along with it. I also used a large lidded saute pan instead of a tagine, but I will bet that is not the problem, after giving your question some thought.
    – Jim
    Oct 2, 2020 at 4:04
  • 1
    Please edit and give us the step by step method you used. How and when did you add the spices? Are the spices relatively fresh, or old?
    – GdD
    Oct 2, 2020 at 6:50


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