Spice Mixes of Arabia

The most frustrating thing about cooking up a storm is following a recipe that has something that you don't have. We love Nigella, however she is the worst offender. Here are some exotic sounding middle eastern spice recipes, that are easy to mix yourself.

Maroccan Ras El Hanout

Turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, galangal, cardamon, caraway, salt, fennel, cayenne, sweet paprika, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg.

Ras el Hanout, means, "the top of the shelf" (in a shop) being the best that you can buy. It is a subtle like curry blend made from 14 different exotic spices. Use for bbq or seasoning soups and stews.

The composition of ras el hanout differs somewhat from the Baharat spice mix, but they differ more by the types of dishes they are associated with and by region rather than the ingredients in them. Although used by Berber people, it should not be confused with berber spice mix from Ethiopia.



Moroccan Dukkah

Sesame seeds, coriander, almonds, cumin, salt, pepper.

The word is derived from the Arabic for "to pound" since the mixture of spices and nuts are pounded together after being dry roasted to a texture that is neither powdered nor paste-like. The actual composition of the spice mix can vary from family to family, vendor to vendor though there are common ingredients, such as sesame, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper. Reference to a 19th-century text lists marjoram, mint, zaatar and chickpeas as further ingredients that can be used in the mixture. A report from 1978[citation needed] indicates that even further ingredients can be used, such as nigella, millet flour and dried cheese. Some commercial variants include pine nuts, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.


Middle Eastern Za’Atar

Sumac,thyme,oregano,sesame seeds, salt.

A delicious blend of herbs and seeds traditionally used to sprinkle over flat bread which has been brushed with olive oil and lightly toasted. Works well as a BBQ rub and in particular on kangaroo and lamb fillets.

Za'atar is traditionally dried in the sun and mixed with salt, sesame seeds and sumac.[34] It is commonly eaten with pita, which is dipped in olive oil and then za'atar.[34] When the dried herb is moistened with olive oil, the spread is known as za'atar-wu-zayt or zeit ou za'atar (zeit or zayt, meaning "oil" in Arabic and "olive" in Hebrew).[18] This mixture spread on a dough base and baked as a bread, produces manakeesh bi zaatar.[36] In the Middle East, ka'ak (a soft sesame seed bread, known as ka'akh in Hebrew), is sold in bakeries and by street vendors with za'atar to dip into or with a za'atar filling


Tunisian Harissa

Sweet Paprika, chilli pepper, cumin, caraway, mint, garlic, onion, sea salt, brown sugar.

Harissa is sometimes described as "Tunisia's main condiment",[4] even "the national condiment of Tunisia",[5] or at least as "the hallmark of Tunisia's fish and meat dishes".[6] In Tunisia, harissa is used as an ingredient in a meat (goat or lamb) or fish stew with vegetables, and as a flavoring for couscous. It is also used for lablabi, a chickpea soup usually eaten for breakfast. In Algeria, harissa is commonly added to soups, stews, and couscous


Lebanese Baharat

Sweet Paprika, pepper, cumin, coriander, cassia, nutmeg, cardamon.

Bahārāt (Arabic: بهارات‎) is a spice mixture or blend used in Middle Eastern cuisine, especially in the Mashriq area, as well as in Turkish, Iranian, Kurdish and Israeli cuisine. Bahārāt is the Arabic word for 'spices' (the plural form of bahār 'spice'). The mixture of finely ground spices is often used to season lamb, fish, chicken, beef, and soups and may be used as a condiment.

Turkish baharat includes mint as the modal ingredient. In Tunisia, bharat refers to a simple mixture of dried rosebuds and ground cinnamon, often combined with black pepper. In the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, loomi (dried black lime) and saffron may also be used for the kebsa spice mixture (also called "Gulf baharat").

  • 4 parts black pepper
  • 3 parts coriander seeds
  • 3 parts cinnamon
  • 3 parts cloves
  • 4 parts cumin seeds
  • 1 part cardamom pods
  • 3 parts nutmeg
  • 6 parts paprika

The mixture can be rubbed into meat or mixed with olive oil and lime juice to form a marinade.


Posted in Recipes of the Middle East, Recipies.