Za’atar, it’s ultimate happiness for me. If I just put a little bit on my tongue, I am instantly filled with pure joy. At once I am back on the boulevard of Beyrouth, where back in the days we were strolling with the family. On the boulevard I tasted za’atar for the first time. They sold breads that you could carry like a handbag. If you would tear a bit loose then the smell of za’atar would come your way. Unforgettable, addictive. On the picture that moment is captured…
Za’atar is actually a combination of herbs. Every country in the Middle-East has its own interpretation. To me the Lebanese is the one, the only one. It is combination of sesame seed, sumak and wilde thyme.
You need 250 ml of dried wild thyme, 125 ml of sumac, 125 ml of sesame seeds, salt.
Bring the thyme, sumac and the salt together in a food processor.
Then roast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan. Make sure they do not burn.
Add the sesame seeds to the other herbs and you’re all set.
Lebanese eat their za’atar preferably at breakfast. Sometimes I am in the same mood, but most of the time I prefer having it on my hummus or with bread and olive oil.
The best is to heat it just prior before using to release all these fantastic flavours. You can keep it for a long time in a closed pot.