An authentic Zaatar spice recipe! Learn how to make this incredible Middle Eastern zaatar seasoning at home. A very fragrant and healthy blend of herbs and seeds. Use it for bread, fish, chicken or yogurt dip. Ready in 10 minutes.
Za’atar recipe has some differences from country to country. This is the recipe of spice mix we use in the UAE. It is savory and earthy and perfect for many dishes.
What is Za atar
Za’atar means wild thyme in Arabic, but they also use it for a spice blend.
It is the most popular Middle Eastern spice mix. Made of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, pistachios, cumin, coriander, fennel and salt. Plus, it is one of the healthiest world’s seasonings. It has a unique taste and packed with so many flavors and textures.
What does zaatar taste like
It is usually herbal (thyme), tangy (sumac), toasty and nutty (toasted sesame seeds). I should say it is bottomless because of its unique taste. It goes pretty well on everything, making boring blank food taste incredible. From focaccia bread to Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken.
The full jar disappears in a blink. If I were in a situation where I could buy only one spice blend, I would definitely chose zaatar.
How to make zaatar
Even though you can buy zaatar from any shop in the Middle East, it is always fun to experiment with ingredients and proportions to find a perfect blend. To make it, you will need:
- Dried thyme – You can use a combination of thyme, majoram and oregano.
- Sumac- provides a tangy taste and citrus flavor.
- Pistachios – Use any nuts on hand.
- Coriander seeds- Make sure to toast seeds before grinding for stronger flavor.
- Cumin seeds
- Toasted sesame seeds- Toast them to enhance their nutty flavor.
- Fennel seeds- They add a flavor similar to licorice-like anise seeds.
- Olive oil- Use a good quality virgin olive oil.
- Red Chili flakes- It is absolutely optional. Add flakes only if you love spicy food.
Can you use pre-ground cumin, fennel and coriander? Yes, but they might not be as flavorful as fresh ground seeds. Especially if you buy pre-ground seeds in the store, there is a chance they have already lost their flavors by the time of purchase.
Toast the cumin, thyme, fennel and coriander. Simply put them in a cold pan and start heating it over low medium heat. As the pan heats they will become fragrant. Remove from the stove and transfer to a plate. Otherwise they will continue cooking and will burn.
Grind all the ingredients except sesame seeds, salt and chili flakes in a food processor. Then mix everything together. Store in an airtight container.
How to use zaatar
Zaatar is very versatile and can be used in many ways.
- As a rub for any roast like Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken.
- Mix it with olive oil and spread on bread or pizza. Bake and enjoy! My favorite go to’s.
- Use for salads or veggies like roasted asparagus or steamed broccoli.
- Use as a marinade.
Love the Middle Eastern Cuisine? Try these!
Kunafa- easy and amazingly delicious dessert
Hummus- an authentic hummus recipe
Kibbeh -Middle Eastern meat croquettes
Fattoush- a vibrant and healthy salad with pita bread chips and pomegranate dressing
If you make this zaatar blend mix be sure to leave a comment or give this recipe a rating!Print
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