Za'atar Homemade Spices

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A bowl of homemade za'atar spices in a mortar with a small spoon on a marble table.

Za’atar is a blend of spices from the Middle East. Combined with olive oil, it is used as a universal condiment, or just to dress meats and vegetables before or after roasting. The best part? Making your own homemade za'atar is a breeze and comes with the benefit of customizing the recipe to your specific tastes. Woody, earthy and highly aromatic, this za'atar recipe has a unique, spicy flavor profile unlike any other spice!

A bowl of homemade za'atar spices in a small bowl on a marble table.

Za'atar! This all-earth combination of spices from the Middle East is incredibly aromatic and pairs well with a wide range of foods, from grilled protein to fish, grilled vegetables, soup garnishes and more. Once you know how to make this unique combination of cumin, coriander, sumac, thyme, and sesame seeds, you'll want to have a jar hidden at all times.

My favorite way to use this za'atar recipe is with homemade hummus, or even better? Cauliflower hummus. What? Roasted Walnut Cauliflower is a delightful tasty companion to za'atar spice, so this za'atar cauliflower hummus is simply out of this delicious world.

Homemade Za'atar sprinkled on hummus.

There are over a million uses for this flavorful and flavorful spice blend (scroll down for some real recipes!), And so many recipe variations. Some use sumac, others do not. Some use fresh herbs, others use dried ones. That's all to say that this particular mix is ​​one that I * personally * love and find the most versatile. Feel free to tinker with proportions to find one that's perfect for * you *.

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Za’atar recipe notes

I like to make my own za'atar to have complete control over the final flavor and to know that the herbs and spices are as fresh as possible. When I get fresh spices, I go to my local cooperative. It offers bulk spice containers labeled with the storage date, plus I can buy the exact quantity required and there's no need for waste – the latter is especially useful for a spice like sumac, which I don't use regularly. Whole Foods and Mom's Organic Market have similar bulk spice options.

Whole coriander and cumin seeds in a mortar to make homemade za'atar.

Start with equal portions of whole cumin and coriander seeds.

Whole cumin and coriander seeds ground with a pestle in a homemade za'atar mortar.

They toast in a skillet until golden and fragrant, then grind with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.

Ground cumin and coriander seeds with sumac, salt and fresh thyme in a mortar to make homemade za'atar.

Add fresh thyme, kosher salt, and sumac, and regrind with mortar until all ingredients are approximately the same size.

A recipe for homemade za'atar spices in a small bowl with a spoon on a marble table.

Finally, add a combination of roasted black and white sesame seeds and stir everything together. See this bowl of flavor and texture!

How to use homemade Za'atar

As I mentioned earlier, my favorite way to use this homemade za'atar recipe is over fresh hummus (either regular or low carb paleo hummus) with a drizzle of olive oil, but there are plenty of ways to use this versatile spice blend. Here are some easy, healthy, tried and true recipes from other food bloggers on the web:

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Za'atar Homemade Spices

I like to make this homemade za'atar recipe, rather than buying it pre-made, so I have complete control over the final flavor and know that the herbs and spices are as fresh as possible. Freshness is flavor! When shopping for fresh spices, head to a store with bulk spice containers labeled with the storage date to ensure freshness and buy the exact amount you'll need.

Course: Seasoning

Cuisine: Gluten Free, Grain Free, Middle Eastern, Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole30

Preparation time: 5 minutes.

Cook time: 8 minutes.

Total time: 13 minutes

Servings: 16

Calories: 11kcal

Recommended equipment

  • Mortar and pestle

  • Airtight jar

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add whole cumin and coriander seeds and toast, stirring frequently, until seeds are golden and very fragrant, 3-4 minutes.

  • Transfer the cumin and coriander seeds to a mortar, then crush with a pestle until the seeds are pulverized.
  • Add fresh thyme, sumac, and sea salt to the mortar. Grind with the mortar hand until all the ingredients are approximately the same size.

  • Return the skillet to medium heat. Add sesame seeds to skillet and roast, stirring frequently, until seeds are golden brown, 2-3 minutes.

  • Add sesame seeds to cumin, coriander, thyme, sumac, and salt. Stir to incorporate. Use it immediately or let it cool down completely and then save it. Fresh, homemade za'atar can be stored in an airtight container with a lid in your pantry for up to 2 months.

Notes

This recipe makes about half a cup of za'atar spices. A serving size represents about half a tablespoon.

Nutritional information

Calories: 11kcal (1%)

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