Za’atar: How To Make This Middle Eastern Spice Blend At Home

In Middle Eastern cooking, the spice blend known as za'atar is an essential ingredient. Similar to how salt enhances the taste of food, za'atar does the same; in fact, it would be a great addition to almost any savoury meal.This spice and herb mixture has been around since the Middle Ages, and it's a staple in every Middle Eastern country. Typical ingredients for za'atar are dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, toasted sesame seeds, and salt. However, there are other versions of this ancient spice mix, and people have different perspectives on the ideal proportions of each component. 

Although it is possible to buy za'atar that has already been prepared, it is very simple to create your own at home. You might be surprised to learn that such a simple blend can deliver such a powerful flavour punch: The sumac imparts a citrus flavour, while the oregano imparts a tiny bitterness, and the marjoram imparts a trace of sweetness; generally speaking, za'atar has a flavour that is both sour and toasted. When you make anything at home, you have the advantage of being able to experiment with different quantities until you discover the "house" blend that works best for you. Bread, dips, meat, vegetables, rice, potatoes, pasta, soups, and dressings are among of the foods that you may sprinkle it on after you have a batch assembled. If you are looking for a savoury dish that does not taste good from adding za'atar, you will almost have a difficult time finding one. 

Here's How To Make At Home


1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds 

1/4 cup ground sumac 

2 tablespoons dried thyme 

2 tablespoons dried marjoram 

2 tablespoons dried oregano 

1 teaspoon coarse salt 


Collect everything you'll need. Use a food processor, spice grinder, mortar and pestle, or other method to ground the sesame seeds. Add the other ingredients to the bowl and stir until combined. Use in your preferred Middle Eastern meal and savour. 

How to Use 

Similarly to how we season a wide range of meals with salt, za'atar is used by Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooks to elevate the flavour of a wide range of dishes. Scrambled eggs, avocado toast, hummus, a salad with cucumbers and tomatoes, and french fries are all part of this combination. The spice blend is combined with olive oil to form a paste that is then smeared over pita bread. Vegetables, pork, and roasted chicken all benefit from its taste.