A day too cold to venture outside and lots of dried herbs around the kitchen necessitated creativity and the desire to make something wonderful. Za’atar was the result.

This wonderful old world North African spice mix is a jewel in my kitchen. It is used extensively across North Africa and the Middle East.  Perfect for dips with a little olive oil and seasoning for everything from meats to baked vegetables, it adds a zesty tanginess. Oh, and did I mention the aroma? It is quite simply the scent of heaven. A rich, warm, comforting scent that will fill the space just by opening the lid. For me it evokes the same homely feeling that baking bread and nutmeg has in a home – the sense that something truly wonderful is occurring in the kitchen. It’ll make friends and family kick shoes off and hang around a while in the anticipation that they maybe able to taste something delicious.

Za'atar

Sesame seeds, sumac, cumin and herbs you can grow in the garden oregano and marjoram make this powerfully aromatic delicious seasoning herb mix. Quick and easy to make.

Za'atar

  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe
Za'atar
Makes around 1/3 cup

1 heaped tbsp sesame seeds
4 heaped tbsp dried oregano
2 heaped tbsp dried marjoram
1 tbsp ground sumac
2 tsp sea salt
4 tsp toasted cumin seeds

How to make

Toast sesame and cumin separately in a pan on a high heat for a couple of minutes. Put all ingredients except sesame seeds in a pestle and mortar and grind until finely mixed. Add sesame seeds and mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.

I made these ones a few months back.  Today's are all gone already :-)  Lovely with a hummus dip too.

I made these ones a few months back. Today’s are all gone already 🙂 Lovely with a hummus dip too.

 

Recipe ideas: Baked Za’atar Eggplant Wedges

Cut eggplant into wedges and place on a wire rack. Mix around 1/2 cup of flour (try buckwheat flour for gluten free alternative) with 2 eggs in a bowl. In another dish mix Za’atar, cayenne pepper and breadcrumbs. Dip the eggplant into the batter mixture and then into the Za’atar breadcrumb spice mix. Place on the wire try and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden and crispy. Create a dip of Za’atar and olive oil to drizzle. Salivate then eat! Enjoy.x.

See how to grow Oregano here.

(A “shout out” to my fellow blogger Zeina at Poem & Dish who I think of everytime I use Za’atar, check out her lovely blog filled with delicious Middle Eastern recipes)

5 Responses

  1. Sarah @ The Bookshelf Pirate

    I am going to be leaving this blog post open up in my tabs until I can get my lazy butt into the kitchen to make some of this. My room-mate brought back a canister of fresh za’atar after some travels and I used up almost the last scoop on some chickpeas this week. It’s just so tasty. But I never imagined it would be quite so easy to make! Thanks so much for posting such a manageable recipe for a seasoning that’s quickly becoming a staple for our household. Now I won’t have to use it so sparingly for fear of running out.

    Reply
  2. Poem and Dish

    Thank you so much Lorraine for the shout out 🙂

    Za’atar is definitely one of my favourite spices, and I bring it back in kilos every time I go back home lol

    I make mine the traditional Lebanese way, which is simply oregano, toasted sesame seeds , sumac and a bit of salt. I like your additional spices. In Syria and Jordan they tend to add many other spices to theirs, and each blend is different, some become more like dukkah. It is all delicious. XX

    Reply
    • LorraineGardens

      Ooh, I love that there are differences! Dukkah? Maybe we’ve found our recipe?? Would you be happy to write a post on this, would love to publish it! Send me a note on email and we can have a chat.x.

      Reply

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