One of my favourite spice blends ever is definitely za’atar. It brings so many dishes to the next level! When making delicious middle-eastern recipes such as hummus fatteh, hummus, or manakeesh, I wouldn’t want to miss it. It is my spice glass that empties the quickest and always needs a refill. Luckily, it’s a spice mix that is easy, quick and cheap to make at home! Making it at home also lets you customise your za’atar blend to your personal preference. It’s fun to make and will have your kitchen smell incredibly herby-delicious in no time. Let’s get into this za’atar recipe, my fellow spice addicts!
What is Za’atar:
Za’atar is a middle-eastern spice blend found in lots of dishes across the Levante region. Depending on the region, household and personal preference, there can be differences in the recipe of the za’atar mix. Some people like marjoram or cumin in their za’atar, but I prefer keeping it basic!
Ingredients for this Za’atar Recipe:
- Dried Oregano
- Dried Thyme
- Sesame Seeds
Traditionally, za’atar is prepared with Origanum Syriacum, a middle-eastern species of oregano. It’s quite hard to get your hands on this herb around here, and to my standards, it works perfectly fine to use regular oregano instead. In my opinion, the za’atar needs to strike a balance of herby flavours from oregano and thyme, a deep nutty flavour from toasted sesame, and some tang of sumac cutting through! This balance will depend on your individual preference. I love my za’atar when keeping all ratios equal, but feel free to play around with these until you find your own dream za’atar recipe!
Simple and Quick Za’atar Recipe:
The process of making the za’atar itself is beautifully simple. It consists of crushing your spices to your desired consistency, toasting the sesame seeds, and bringing everything together.
Toasting the Spices:
Heat a pan to medium heat and add the sesame seeds to it. Toast the sesame seeds while frequently tossing them around. Keep a close eye. You want to be careful with the heat and adjust it if needed, as the sesame can burn quickly. This process should take around 5 minutes.
While the seeds are toasting, I add the thyme and oregano to a pestle and crush them with a mortar until they reach a desired consistency. I am looking to break up the dried thyme into smaller pieces. We don’t want a powder but a rough ground of these herbs. I like a more uniform blend when combined with the sesame and sumac.
Once the sesame seeds reach a uniform, light golden colour, I kill the heat. Add the sumac and spices to the pan, and toss everything together. The residual heat will give these spices a nice, gentle toast, leaving you with an amazingly-smelling kitchen.
And that’s all there is to it. Let the spice blend cool to room temperature before transferring it into a jar. I hope you enjoyed this za’atar recipe!
Some Recipes you can use your Homemade Za’atar Spice Blend on:
- Beautifully crispy Manakish topped with olive oil and za’atar!
- Use it in your delicious hummus fatteh for breakfast.
- Bring your hummus to the next level.
- Use it to make the most addictive fried pita chips!
- Add it to your avocado toast with olive oil, za’atar and pickles
- Mix it with virgin olive oil, and dip it!
But the za’atar magic doesn’t stop there. You can try adding it to so many delicious dishes! Let me know in the comments what you came up with! I am always looking for new inspirations!
Some more Delicious Middle-Eastern Recipe Inspirations:
- Homemade muhammara never stops to amaze me.
- Creamy baba ganoush is just one of the best dips ever!
- Fattoush is such a satisfying salad to have.
- Stuffed dates make an easy but satisfying snack!
- Fresh tabbouleh can’t miss on a meze platter.
- Tangy and sweet harak osbao is such a comfort food.
- Ful medames is so simple to make but delicious.
Homemade Za’atar RecipeCourse: SpicesCuisine: LevantineDifficulty: Easy
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried thyme
2 tbsp sumac powder
- Heat a pan on medium heat and add the sesame seeds to it. Toast the sesame seeds while frequently tossing them around. This process should take around 5 minutes.
- Add the thyme and oregano to a pestle and crush them with a mortar until they reach a desired consistency. I like to ground to bits similar to the size of the sesame seeds.
- Once the sesame seeds reach a uniform, light golden colour, kill the heat. Add the sumac and spices to the pan, and toss everything together. Toss them around and toast them with the remaining heat.
- Allow to cool to room temperature, before storing them in a jar or glass of your choice.