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Za'atar Spice - Food Gypsy

Za’atar Spice – Middle Eastern Flavour for Your Pantry

Za’atar is to Middle Eastern cooking what Herbs du Provenance is to Southern French cooking.   A spice blend so versatile and so pungent, it’s used on meats, vegetables, in rice dishes and (my favourite) Za’atar bread.

A savory addition to your pantry, try it on lamb chops next time you’re grilling with just a bit of olive oil.  Za’atar also makes a wicked marinade for tougher cuts.  Also an optional ingredient in our Heart Healthy Muhammara Roasted Red Pepper Dip recipe, it adds a warmth that gives added dimension to the tanginess of red pepper.

So simple you can make it yourself with the right combinations of spices, or just pick up a jar pre-mixed at your local Middle Eastern specialty store.

Za’atar Spice Recipe

Total Time: 5 minutes
Yield: half a cup

1/4 cup sumac
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon coarse salt


Pulse roasted sesame seeds in food processor, lightly or mash with mortar & pastel.  You just want to break them up a but, not crate a paste.    Add sumac, thyme, marjoram, oregano and salt and pulse  or mash to mix well, until combined and fragrant.

Seal za’atar mixture in a glass jar, plastic zip bag or appropriate airtight container and store in a cool, dark place.  If stored properly, your za’atar will last up to six months.  Use in place of salt and lower your salt intake in a jiffy.

Cori Horton

Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer and recipe blogger. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.

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