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  • 5 minutes
  • Makes 2 tablespoons

This aromatic blend of herbs and spices is enjoyed widely across the Middle East. Its tangy flavour goes well with starchy foods like potatoes - try some mashed into your potatoes to serve with a lamb casserole, or with breads. In many towns in the Middle East "man koushi" is standard breakfast fare - warm freshly cooked bread, olive oil and za'atar.


  • 2 tablespoons crushed dried thyme or ¼ cup chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • ¼-½ teaspoon flaky salt


  1. Toss or stir the thyme, sumac, sesame seeds and salt together. If using dried thyme, store the za'atar in an airtight container for a few weeks. If adding fresh thyme, use within 1-2 days.

Cooks Tips

- Sumac is a deep crumson-coloured berry with a tart flavour. In the Middle East it often replaces salt on the table. It is available in the spices section of the supermarket. - Use flaky-style salt in this recipe - it adds texture and looks appealing. - Toasting sesame seeds enhances their flavour. Put them in a small frying pan and stir over a moderate heat until golden.

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