za’atar {middle eastern spice blend} & accompanying recipes

{homemade zatar} via chevrons & éclairs

As most of you know, I specialized my international relations education in Middle East and Central Asia. Since then, I’ve tried my hand at understanding every aspect of the culture. Anthropologically, I wanted to understand the role of women, tribal communities and various religious communities. I studied the language and became advanced enough to study the prose, which is exceptionally beautiful. And of course with the politics and history classes peaked my curiosity for understanding ingredients variations. Did you know spice preferences differed from country-to-country all over the Middle East? It fascinated me to learn the spice preferences in Egypt, similar to India, were influenced by the British occupation as they used the Suez Canal to transport spices from India to the West. So that is when I decided to understand variations of za’atar. Though they differ quite dramatically, this one is unique to a Palestinian home.

Very similar to that of Italian seasoning, za’atar has a more woodsy aroma making it ideal for root vegetables and meats and pairs well with softer cheese like ricotta. And so, a recipe on how you can make za’atar at home and a few of my favorite recipes that I frequent.

{za'atar recipes} via chevrons & éclairs

{recipes with za’atar}

za’atar roasted carrot salad with cashew lebneh, avocado and frisée salad via the first mess
za’atar pizza with dukkah lebneh and purple onions via my name is yeh
sweet potato soup with za’atar oil via yum sugar
quinoa chickpea burgers with za’atar spice and creamy tahini via choosing raw
sweet potato fries with za’atar and lebneh via the roaming kitchen
croissants sprinkled with za’atar via dishes from my kitchen

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{second image via cannelle vanille x instagram}

  • I haven’t heard about it before!!! Time for research! 😀

    Diana P. | Cups & Roses

  • Is za’atar a spice? My mum is Persian & often uses saffron, curry, cumin, & turmeric. :] // itsCarmen.com ☼ ☯

    • It is a spice and herb blend! OH! Persian cooking is very similar to north Indian and I’m in love with that combination. Especially adding saffron to spiced dishes. Do share any recipes you may have 🙂 x

  • Tanvi

    I love za’atar! I often use it as a base instead of a spread or sauce. Turns out great on a pizza too. My mouth is watering just writing this 😛

    ∞ tanvii.com ∞

    • AH! On pizza sounds divine, with melted feta and tomato? YES please. Tanvi, I’m starving and just finished lunch 🙂 x

  • Posts like this make me love your blog, Supal! My dad loves za’atar to the bones! Random thing- my family runs a business of arabic food products (not sure how to translate that) and za’atar is probably the most popular thing, you wouldn’t believe how much everyone loves it here. It’s nice to see people becoming interested in such unique flavors like this. Thanks for sharing, dear X

    | http://www.noirettediary.com |

    • AH! How incredible. Your family is lucky I don’t live closer, I would be over eating all your food everyday. Za’atar is so healthy and delicious. Whilst being in London, where za’atar and peri-peri are very popular, it makes me appreciate the delicacies of unique flavor combinations. Hoping to introduce my American friends and readers to that stuff. 🙂 x

      • We’d love to have you eating here every day of course! 🙂 X