recipe request: zesty za’tar

I’ll class this as a recipe request, although I’ll honestly note I didn’t make this recipe (only because it’s available here to buy ready). If one day we suddenly stop seeing za’tar in stores, then I’ll put it together myself. So…

This is my third “recipe request” post.

The dish – Za’tar.

The recipe card – below. :)

Serves: many


A good pinch of:

ground sumac, sesame seeds, black onion seeds, salt, ground pepper, breadcrumbs

Equal [mass] portions of:

fresh za’tar (thyme) [1]; [3]

hemp seeds

wheat grains (or ground wheat – wholemeal flour)

uncooked garbanzo beans (hummus) [2]; [3] 


First let’s note some important stuff: if you’re buying the thyme fresh, then buy the velvety one that has a round leaf (pictured).

If you can get your hands on ground hemp seeds, it’d save you grinding them in a coffee grinder. Otherwise, hemp seeds look like this:

First soak the hummus in water overnight. The next day, remove any hummus skin you see floating in the water. Toss the hummus with your hands (while still in the water) to help remove any more skin. Also remove these.

Add into a pot and bring to a boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes on medium-high heat with the lid on.

Drain the hummus beans and pat down with a paper towel.

Place in a large tray and pop under the sun for an entire day.

Check on them at sunset to see if they have dried – they literally need to be completely dried.

Leave under the sun for a second day if they need more time.

When ready, add into a large pan with salt and roast until golden.

Leave aside to cool. Munch some if you want to 😉

Meanwhile, also soak the hemp seeds for a day.

Drain and dry roast with the wheat grains and a pinch of salt. Leave aside to cool.

Next grind the hemp seeds, wheat grains and roasted hummus in a coffee grinder. Leave aside.

If you used flour, then roast it separately so it doesn’t go into the grinder.

If you’ve bought fresh thyme, then make sure you keep water away from them.

Work down the stem using your index finger and thumb to remove the leaves from the stem.

When you have gathered all the leaves, place in a large tray under the sun. You’ll only need to leave these for a day (generally). It is best to do these beside the hummus – but on a separate tray, of course.

Grind the thyme using a pestle and mortar or a coffee grinder if you prefer.

Add it to the ground hummus, wheat and hemp seeds.

Add a few pinches of ground sumac, breadcrumbs, sesame seeds and black onion seeds.

Let’s note: Adding hemp seeds and hummus and the wheat is optional. Of course, they make the za’tar a lot more tastier as you could imagine. There’s one type of Palestinian thyme which is just thyme, sumac, sesame seeds and salt+pepper.

Eat with pita bread and olive oil (dip the bread in the oil, then into the za’tar).


[1] If you can buy dried thyme, it’d save you the drying process. You also would only need 3/4 of the mass of the other ingredients. So eg. if you’re using 1 kg of everything, you only need 750 g of dried thyme.

[2] If you buy it cooked – which I don’t suggest you do, then try draining it, drying it under the sun or in an oven then roasting with salt in a pan.

[3] If your weather is damp and not sunny, put the oven on the lowest temperature possible and try drying the hummus and thyme in it. Be sure not to cook them to charcoal though!


3 thoughts on “recipe request: zesty za’tar

  1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide says:

    Don’t laugh too hard, but I hadn’t heard of this. So I really appreciate the Wiki link. It looks amazing. I enjoy reading your blog, as I hope I’ve told you, because it exposes me to a cuisine I’m not very familiar with. Anyway, this sounds delicious!

    • fatisrecipes says:

      Hehe.. I’m not laughing hard… 😀
      I add this thyme mixture to most of my cooking (especially bbqs) it adds such a great flavour. You can eat with with cheese, chicken, meat, onion……..and pretty much anything else you like to bbq or cook with strong flavour!
      If I were to make the grilled corn you posted, I’d add a bit of thyme to the butter 🙂

  2. chicaandaluza says:

    It sounds wonderful. Unfortunately we can´t get many of the ingredients mentioned here in Southern Spain, so I´m just going to have to ask my next visitors from London to bring me some over as I´m sure I´d love this and use it in lots of my cooking. Thanks for this post!

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