Would love to make my own. I know what is in it but not sure of proportions or substitutes. Tx.
Yes, and it's great. My favorite uses are on a roasting chicken and on pita bread, spread with olive oil & warmed in an oven.
Proportions vary by recipe and by place (Aleppo, Damascus, Beirut, Jordan, Israel).
I like one
* dominated by whole white sesame seeds (raw or toasted), about 1/2 cup
* dried green herb about 2 Tbsp (one or more of oregano, thyme, summer or Mediterranean savory).
* small amount of salt (1-2 tsp)
* small amount of sumac (red, sourish ground spice), about 2 tsp to 2 tbsp, to taste.
1/2 tsp coarse or sea salt
Note: Hyssop, an herb mentioned in the Bible, was/is also recommended. It is available in specialty stores, but I tried it once and found it tasteless.
For more info see
Desertcandy.blogspot.com in 2008 on what is za'atar
foodandwine.com on "best Syrian food unveiled"
Gil Marks, Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, 2010
Please ignore the "1/2 tsp of coarse of sea salt"...meant to edit it out when I revised, but missed it.
Thanks, I've had the Lebanese version and loved it also On olive oiled pita bread, chicken and in Lebanese salad Fatoush.
I think that like any other spice blend zataar is largely open to interpretation. I had many different zataar blends and they are all, how shall I put it, different. The mixtures I like the best (and the one I make) are usually a blend of savory, thyme, oregano, gently toasted sesame and sumac. My absolute minimum that produces really nice zataar is savory, sesame and sumac.