Za’atar Spice Mix

Middle Eastern spice mix used as a seasoning and a condiment to add savouriness. Made from finely ground marjoram, oregano, thyme, sesame seeds and sumac.

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mix made from dried herbs, toasted sesame seeds and salt. Typically it is made using a blend of thyme, oregano and marjoram, to which sumac is commonly added to lend a tart and citrusy note. Other spices such as cumin or fennel seeds may also be added. Sprinkled over food, it is used as a seasoning for meat, vegetables and dips. It can also be mixed with olive oil to create a delicious dip.

cooking time
8 tablespoons / 120 ml
Za’atar Spice Mix


  • 6 parts dried marjoram (2 tablespoons)
  • 6 parts dried oregano (2 tablespoons)
  • 6 parts dried thyme (2 tablespoons)
  • 3 parts sesame seeds (1 tablespoon)
  • ⅔ part ground sumac (2 teaspoons)
  • ⅓ salt (1 teaspoon)


  1. Heat a small, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and dry fry for 1 – 2 minutes, or until they release a fragrant aroma and are just lightly browned. Turn off the heat when done.
  2. Tip the remaining ingredients into a spice grinder and grind until finely ground (if you do not have a spice grinder, then use a pestle and mortar or the small bowl of a food processor). Add the toasted sesame seeds and briefly pulse, retaining some of the texture, rather than reducing to a fine powder.
  3. Tip the mix into a clean and dry jam jar / airtight container. Seal, and give the jar a good shake until evenly mixed. Store in a cool, dark cupboard. Use within a month for full potency.

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