Some weeks ago, my neighbour gave me a wonderful gift of some fragrant zaatar (or za’tar) and olive oil. Zaatar is a very Middle Eastern flavour, and is a blend of herbs (thyme), sesame seeds and salt. Other than dipping some bread into the zaatar and olive oil (which tasted delicious), and sprinkling some zaatar over hummus (gorgeous!), I didn’t really know what else I could do with it. I asked the nice ladies from aMuslima.com if they had any ideas, and they have been kind enough to send me some tried and tested zaatar recipes
The first recipe has been sent to us by UmmZaytun, and is a family recipe handed down to her by her mom-in-law.
“Zataar has some very unique properties – some have said it makes you smart and some say it makes you healthy”, says UmmZaytun. “This recipe handed down to me by my late mother-in-law (may Allah forgive her) is to help you relax and be healthy. It is usually taken if you aren’t feeling so well, or it can be taken to relax you or members of your family.”
Zaatar Milk (serves 2)
2 cups of milk (or soy, almond, lactaid milks are also fine)
2 table spoons of zataar
2 table spoons of honey (or more if you like it sweet. You can also replace with sugar if honey isn’t available)
1 table spoon crushed dry mint
**you can add other dry ingredients such as other types of dry mint, thyme – depends on if you like the flavor.
1. Place all of the ingredients in a small pot.
2. Simmer on low heat until almost to boiling point.
**Don’t walk away from the pot because it will boil over! 🙂
3. To serve: strain the milk and pour into cups. Enjoy & relax!
Our second Zaatar recipe today has been sent in by Qathrun Nada Djamil. Pizza is a family favourite in many households. Why not try this Middle Eastern version of pizza using zaatar. A great recipe to make with your kids over the summer holidays, and for Iftaar during Ramadan.
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tbsp milk powder
2 tablespoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
Half cup oil
A pinch of salt
Half cup warm water
Cup of zaatar and half cup of olive oil, mixed together
1. Combine flour, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in salt. Make a well in the center. Add water and oil.
2. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture until well combined, then use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in the prepared bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place to rise for 30 minutes.
3. Flatten the dough and cut it in round circle (cutter circle shape).
4. Take 1 tea spoon of zaatar and olive oil and brush it (topping it) over the circle of dough.
5. Place it on a baking tray and bake them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Ready to serve… You can eat hot or cold.
Do you have any recipes you’d like to share with us? Drop us an email and yours may be published on Jeddah Blog in a future blog post.