Tag Archives: Za’atar

Tempeh With Sumac And Zatar


Having lived in Indonesia I love tempeh and it works really well with the Middle Eastern flavours of sumac and zatar. I needs to be fried a little with the spices before popping it in the oven for a final roasting.

You could use a firm tofu here but just stir fry it in the pan without the baking in the oven.

Serves 2.


200g tempeh

50ml oil

1 small red onion, sliced finely

1 garlic clove, sliced finely

2 teaspoons sumac

3 teaspoons zatar

1 small capsicum, sliced into strips

a few thin slices of lime

salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

In an oven proof pan, heat the oil gently.

Add the onion and cook slowly until the onion is soft, add the garlic, sumac and two teaspoons of zatar and cook for one minute until fragrant.

Turn the heat up to high and add the tempeh, cook for one minute stirring well.

Add the capsicum and stir through.

Top with the lime slices.

Pop the pan into the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the capsicum is beginning to colour.

Baked Chickpeas With Zatar, Sumac And Nigella


These are little nuggets of flavour!

We have these as part of a mezze meal and if there are any leftovers I roughly crush them with a fork and spread them on flat breads with a little extra olive oil drizzled over the top.

Serves 6.


250g dried chickpeas

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons sumac

2 tablespoons zatar

2 tablespoons nigella (koolanji) seeds

salt and pepper


Soak the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl of water.

The following day, rinse well and pour into a large pan filled with water, bring to the boil and simmer gently until the chickpeas are cooked, it can take 1-2 hours depending on your peas.

Once cooked, drain and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Comine all of the ingredients and spread out on a baking sheet, bake for 15-20 minutes until the chickpeas are crispy.

Sumac and Lemon Slow Roast Lamb


I love lamb cooked this way, falling off the bone with loads of flavour.

As a little cheat, I like to throw some potatoes and carrots into the pan for the last 3 hours. These gives me a gluten free option, while everyone else has flat breads I have potatoes and salad and the leftover potatoes and all of the carrots and onions are used the following day to make Cornish Pasties with the leftover meat and pan juices.

Serves 8 plus leftovers.


3kg leg of lamb

2 tablespoons sumac

1 tablespoon zatar

1 teaspoon chilli powder

6 garlic cloves

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

salt and pepper

2 onions, peeled and cut into 1cm rings


Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Centigrade.

In a mortar crush the garlic with salt and then add sumac, zatar, chilli, pepper,lemon juice and oil.

Take the lamb leg and slash deep cuts all over it, 2-4cm deep.

Spread the marinade all over the lamb, pushing it into the slashes and covering the ends.

Spread the onion over a roasting tin, top with the lamb.

Scrunch a piece of baking parchment in water, spread over the top of the meat.

Top the parchment with tin foil and seal well.

Pop in the oven and roast slowly for 8 hours.

Lamb and Feta Sausage Rolls


Sausage rolls are so handy to have in the freezer, ready for quick dinners or school lunch boxes.

The puff pastry sheets here come with a thin layer of plastic between each sheet, once I have made the rolls I leave them whole and then re wrap them in this plastic before freezing so I can pull out just one roll if necessary when frozen. Once defrosted, brush with egg and sprinkle a little Za’atar over the top and cut to size before baking.

Makes 16 large sausage rolls and 36 mini rolls.


1kg minced lamb

120g fresh breadcrumbs

400g feta

2 teaspoons sumac

2 tablespoons Za’atar, plus extra

salt and freshly ground pepper

4 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted

1 egg, beaten


Combine the lamb, breadcrumbs, feta, sumac,  Za’atar, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Lay out the pastry sheets.

Divide the meat into eight portions, form each portion into a long sausage, the length of your pastry sheet.

Lay one sausage at the top of the sheet and the other at the bottom, repeat with the remaining sausages.

Take a sharp knife and cut the pastry sheet in half. Brush the pastry with egg and roll the pastry to encase the sausage. Repeat with the remaining pastry.

Place the roll, sealed edge down, on a chopping board, brush with egg and sprinkle a little Za’atar over the top, cut into whatever size you like.

Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25-30mins until golden and cooked through.

Red Quinoa Salad with Middle Eastern Influences


I first started cooking with quinoa a few years ago and always made the same salad, this salad is a huge leap from my previous efforts but we all love it and the flavours really pack a punch!

Leftovers are still lovely and zesty the next day and are super in wraps and pittas. I have also used leftovers to stuff large portobello mushrooms, delicious!

Serves 10.


2 cups red quinoa, cooked as per instructions and cooled completely

2 red onions, very finely sliced

10 Roma tomatoes, deseeded and cut into small cubes

2 lemons, zest of one and juice of both

2 teaspoons sumac

4 tablespoons Za’atar

50mls olive oil

salt  and pepper to taste


Cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions, allow to cool.

Cut the onion up very finely and then set aside in a bowl of water for 10-20 mins.

Dry the onion and assemble the salad.

In a large bowl combine the cooled quinoa, onion, tomatoes and lemon zest, mix well.

In a small jug, combine the lemon juice and oil.

Pour the dressing over the salad, sprinkle over the sumac and 3 tablespoons of Za’atar, mix well.

Season with salt and pepper and check the seasoning.

Spoon into your serving dish and sprinkle over the remaining Za’atar.


Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon


The combination of sumac, Za’atar and lemon really gets the taste buds tingling!

I serve this with crusty bread and a green salad, simple and delicious.


1.5kg chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces

2 lemons

1 onion, peeled and finely sliced

1 tablespoon sumac

2 tablespoons Za’atar

60mls olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl, pour the juice of 1 lemon.

Take the second lemon, slice finely and add to the bowl.

Add the finely sliced onion, sumac, 1 tablespoon of Za’atar, olive oil and salt and pepper, combine well.

Add the chicken to the bowl and mix really well.

Set aside to marinade for 2-24 hours in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

Place the chicken skin side up in a roasting tin, top with the onion and lemon slices.

Place in the oven and roast for 40mins basting regularly.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a light sprinkling of sumac, lemon wedges and bread to soak up the juices.

Persian Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder


This came about from our Friday  night fast food night challenge.


It actually works very well as fast food because you shove it in the oven and leave it be until it’s time to eat!

The boys love the tangy flavour and the fact that they can eat with their hands, will they ever grow out of that?

Served with pitta, salad and a dressing, normally natural yogurt with some dill and parsley stirred through.

If you are trying this out on children for the first time, maybe think about a little bit of fresh coriander in the salad, it goes beautifully and if they will eat it with this the world is your oyster!

The gluten free option here is to pop some potatoes around the meat to cook in the yummy juice, possibly tastier than the pitta!

Serves six.


2.8kg lamb shoulder, shin attached

2 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons salt flakes

3 tablespoons sumac

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground cumin

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, cut into wedges

1 tablespoon Za’atar


Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade

In a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with the salt.

Add the oil and mix in sumac, cumin and cinnamon.

Mix to a thick brown paste.

Place the shoulder in a roasting tin.

Rub the spice mix all over the meat.

Add the onion wedges to the tin.

Cover with foil and pop in the oven.

Roast for 4-6 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with Za’atar.

Serve warm.