Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mix that is very versatile in its use. Rub it over veggies, chicken, beef, or fish, or sprinkle over hummus, labneh, or baba ganoush, it takes the taste of any dish to another level. Here is how to make it at home.
About This Recipe
Za’atar is a herb mix that is very popular when it comes to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.
Due to the use of so many flavourful spices, the taste of Za’atar can be tangy, herbal, nutty, and toasty at the same time.
This flavourful mix is used in many of the recipes as the ingredient or even to just sprinkle on top to enhance the taste of a dish.
The recipe and the proportion of ingredients vary from region to region and each house have their own secret method to make it. I am sharing the one which I learned from a Middle Eastern restaurant owner in India.
Za’atar is a delicious and inviting blend of 6 ingredients that includes Sumac, Dried Thyme, Sesame Seeds, Dried Oregano, Sea Salt, and Dried Marjoram.
Most of the ingredients are easily available in the market, but if you can’t find them you can search for it online.
This Za’atar is,
- Full of flavour
- Easy to make
- Perfect to enhance the taste of simple dishes
Ingredients to be used
To make Za’atar, you will need very few ingredients.
White Sesame Seeds – I have used white sesame seeds. You can use either Unhulled or Hulled. I prefer using unhulled in my cooking as they are healthier than the hulled ones.
In this, sesame seeds are dry roasted before adding with other ingredients.
Other Spices – You will also need dried thyme, oregano, and marjoram. If you can’t find marjoram, you can increase the quantity of oregano.
Sumac is a very important ingredient added in Za’atar so do not skip it.
Step By Step Recipe
Dry roast sesame seeds till slightly browned.
Mix all the ingredients in a blender and blend to make a smooth powder.
Store Za’atar in an airtight container for up to 15 days.
Za’atar is traditionally sprinkled on a fresh homemade Bread or Pita along with a drizzle of olive oil. Or you can mix it with olive oil and dunk your bread in the oil.
You can even sprinkle it on your plain and flavoured Hummus, Baba Ganoush or Labneh.
Za’atar spice mix can also add this spice to the marination of vegetables and meat.
Sprinkle it on any dish you like, to enhance the taste instantly just like I made Za’atar Pita Chips.
I also like to make Za’atar tea or even sprinkle this spice mix on my homemade chips and crackers.
You can also sprinkle it on your Pizza, Manoushe, Fatayer, Croissant, Halloumi, and Salads.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sumac is another Mediterranean spice that is made with deep red berries that are grounded into a coarse powder.
It is a versatile spice that adds a tangy lemony flavor to the dish but is comparatively less tart than the lemon juice. It is the ingredient that gives Za’atar a unique flavor.
Za’atar and Oregano are completely different! Oregano is one of the ingredients used to make this Middle Eastern Za’atar.
Store Za’atar in an airtight glass jar for upto 3 months in a cool and dry place. Though it stays for long, I try and make it fresh as it will just gradually loose its aroma and taste over time.
So if you want the fresh and bomb taste of Za’atar in your dishes, try and make it fresh.
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- ¼ cup Sumac
- 3 tbsp Dried Thyme
- 2 tbsp Sesame Seeds
- 2 tbsp Dried Oregano
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Marjoram
- Dry roast sesame seeds till slightly browned.
- Mix all the ingredients in a blender and blend to make a smooth powder.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 15 days.