International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Zataar (Middle Eastern spice blend)

(Middle Eastern spice blend)

Average: 3.8 (12 votes)

Secret homemade spice mixtures have flavored the food of the Middle East for millenia. Foremost among these is the blend called zaatar. This mix of local herbs, sumac berries and sesame seeds is an all-purpose condiment.

Sprinkle zaatar over bread, vegetables or yogurt. Stir it into olive oil as a spread. Or use it as a rub for meat, poultry or fish. Ground sumac can be found at most Middle Eastern markets.

As with many Arabic words, zaatar has a variety of Romanized spellings, including za'atarza'tarzatarzatrzahatar and satar.

Makes about 1/2 cup


  • Ground sumac berries (see notes) -- 1/4 cup
  • Toasted sesame seeds -- 1/4 cup
  • Dried thyme -- 2 tablespoons
  • Dried oregano -- 2 tablespoons
  • Salt -- 2 teaspoons


  1. Mix all together and store well-sealed in a cool, dark place.

Zaatar Variations

  • Individual zaatar recipes vary widely, especially from region to region. Some common additions include coriander, cumin, fennel, marjoram and caraway.

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