January 12, 2019

4 Fabulous Middle Eastern Spice Blends

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Bring the Mid East flair into your kitchen in just a few dashes with these 4 exquisite Middle Eastern spices. 

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4 Fabulous Middle Eastern Spice Blends

Did you know that many popular Indian spices were in fact brought into the subcontinent by the Persians?

Spices like cumin, coriander, pepper, cardamom, cloves are common Middle Eastern spices used in everyday cooking.

One of the best and unique quality of the spices used in Middle Eastern food is that they can be used for making multiple dishes.

That is a single Middle Eastern spice blend can be used to make rice, chicken, stews, marinate and rubs without the need to buy multiple spices or blends.

Below is a list of few common and widely used  Middle Eastern Spice blends that you can add to many dishes and bring the exotic delicacies to your table in just a pinch.


Advieh Spice Blend Uses - International Spice Blends

What is Advieh Spice Blend – An aromatic mix of warm and floral spices makes this Persian spice a must have in any Persian kitchen. Advieh simply means “Spice” in Persian.

Its a subtle mild spice with multiple uses to make some amazing flavourful dishes.

Popular Region – Persia

Taste – More aromatic and fragrant and subtly sweet as opposed to spicy.

Uses – Can be used in rice dishes, meat, chicken or lentils stews, grilled or roasted vegetables, and even rice puddings.

Can also be used as a seasoning for eggs or used as a marinade or dry rub for meats.

Typical Ingredients – Dried rose petals, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cumin, Nutmeg, Peppercorn,


International Spice blend - Baharat Seasoning Uses

What is Baharat Seasoning – An all-purpose seasoning used extensively in the Middle East, especially in Turkish Cuisine.

The word “baharat” literally translates to”spices” in Arabic and is a blend of several spices.

An aromatic spice blend without any heat, it adds a little zest to any dish be it soups, lentils, rice. meat or fish.

Popular Region – Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Turkey

Taste – More aromatic and fragrant with a smoky undertone. It is subtly sweet as opposed to spicy.

Uses – It can be used as a seasoning for beef, lamb, chicken, seafood, and vegetables.

Goes very well with rice and lentils dishes. Can also be used as a dry rub or marinade. Use as a condiment for soups, broths, dipping oil.

Typical Ingredients – Black peppercorns, toasted coriander, toasted cumin, allspice, sweet paprika, green cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg.


Zaatar sesoning uses- International spice blends

What is  Za’atar – An ancient blend of spices which may have its origin linked back to Biblical times.

A multipurpose, aromatic spice blend, its usage is unlimited in many Middle Eastern cuisines.

Each region or household make their own versions of the blend but few spices such as sumac, oregano and sesame seeds are mostly the standard spices used.

Popular Region – Egypt, Palestine, Israel

Taste – Non-spicy and aromatic with subtle earthy and citrus undertones, with just a hint of nuttiness.

Uses – Use to sprinkle over breads, flavour up dips such as hummus, yoghurt etc.

It can be used as a seasoning for beef, lamb, chicken, seafood, and vegetables. Can also be used as a dry rub or marinade. Popularly used to season olive oil.

Typical Ingredients – Sumac, thyme, salt, hulled sesame seeds

Hawaij or Yemen hawayil

Hawaij Coffee spice blend uses

What is Hawaij Spice Mix – The word “hawaij” simply means “mixture,” and is used to make a blend of spices.

There are two different versions of hawaij that is used in the Yemeni kitchen. One is a savoury hawaij spice blend used for soups and stews, while the second aromatic blend is used for coffee and baking.

Be sure of which one you buy as the one used for soups may have turmeric, onion powder and cumin while the baking version uses aromatic spices.

Popular Region – Yemen, Israel

Taste – Non-spicy, aromatic and earthy.

Uses – Savoury Hawaij can be used for chicken soup, meat stews, beans and vegetable dishes.

Baking or Hawaij for coffee is used to make coffee, milk-based drinks, cakes biscuits and other desserts.

Typical Ingredients – Sumac, thyme, salt, hulled sesame seeds

Where to Buy Middle Eastern Spices and Blends?

It is not hard to find these popular spice blends nowadays.

Apart from large supermarket that stores international spice range, you can buy these spices from a local ethnic store or online.

My recommended online spice stores for buying these spices is Raw Spice bar.

Their spices are freshly blended with swift efficient delivery services.


If you are interested in buying any of the spices, there is a direct link on the spice images above.

To Conclude

Middle Eastern spice blends are mostly nutty and aromatic.

There is less use of chillies or paprika in the popular spice blends.

Aromatic spices and herbs such as sumac, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg and thyme are some of the most used Middle Eastern spices for making blends.

If you wish to bring a flavourful aroma to your dishes without heat then these spices will surely add the zing to your meal.

Have you been to any Middle Eastern spice bazaars and tried spices that you have enjoyed?

Would love to hear your experience.

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