Za’Atar | A Middle Eastern Herb Blend

Za’Atar is a herb blend made mainly from fresh oregano and is used in middle eastern cooking.

In 1985 I visited Israel and everywhere I looked I could see army personnel. They would walk around in a group of 3, with bullet proof vests and sub machine guns at the ready. This was an expected sight as the country is always in a state of war, whether actively or just waiting for one to happen. In 1991 I saw the same level of army presence in Singapore and as I was travelling alone, I found this of great comfort. In Switzerland, Italy and France you see the army patrolling the streets and frankly, I do not even blink an eyelid when I see this. There is a feeling of safety and security and the police carry some weight, making crime seem impossible. In South Africa, crime is everywhere. It is creeping closer and closer to where I live, with our local shopping mall having been the most recent target of a cash in transit heist. I think it is about time we deploy the army to patrol our streets and shopping centres. They should be armed and ready to shoot and anyone who pulls out a gun should expect to be killed. It is about time that the people in charge of this country took control so that we can feel safe and secure in what to me is still the most beautiful place on earth.

Something else I ‘witnessed’ for the first time in Israel, was the use of the spice blend Za’Atar. I am sure every household has its own recipe, and I used mine to coat some labneh. These middle eastern treats are easy to make at home, and no matter where you live, you will be able to experience the beautiful creamy fresh cheese with this spice blend. I used the left over Za’Atar to season a chicken I was roasting for a family dinner.

Does the army patrol the area where you live?

Labneh Coated In Za’Atar
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Za'Atar

Za'Atar is a herb blend made mainly from fresh oregano and is used in middle eastern cooking.
Recipe Category: Spice Blend
All Rights Reserved: An original recipe from Lavender and Lime

Ingredients

  • 20 mls toasted sesame seeds
  • 60 mls loosely packed fresh oregano leaves
  • 20 mls dried marjoram
  • 25 mls sumac
  • 5 mls salt
  • 10 mls ground cumin
  • 5 mls dried thyme

Method

  • Place all of the ingredients into a spice blender and blitz until smooth
  • Store in a sterilized glass jar and use as needed

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