Za’atar is a Middle Eastern herb blend very popular in Arab cuisine.

To make it at home is easy but as usual there are many variations depending whether you have visited Armenia, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia or Turkey.

It’s very versatile and can be used with meat, vegetables, rice and bread. Add it to hummus or cream cheese. It takes 5 minutes to prepare and will have a shelf life of several months when stored in an airtight jar in a cool, dark place.

This is my Andaluz version

3 tablespoons sumac*
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds, ground
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

Grind the sesame seeds in a pestle and mortar then mix with the remaining ingredients.

*Sumac is a versatile Middle Eastern spice made from dried berries of the sumac bush, it adds a zingy lemony flavour. If you cannot source sumac then try with lemon pepper seasoning or finely grate lemon zest and spread on a sheet then let dry at room temperature for 24 – 48 hours. Place in a pestle and mortar and grind to a powder.

pestle and mortar