baharat : lebanese spice blend

Baharat: Lebanese Seven Spices

My recipe for beata't tdamata (eggs fried in tomato) calls for a mixture of black pepper, cumin, and paprika. This Lebanese baharat ("baharat" simply means spices in Arabic, but often refers to a spice blend) is just a slightly more complicated version of that combination. The added warm notes of coriander, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg give the blend a lovely well-rounded flavor. Think of it as Lebanese garam masala.

Baharat: Lebanese Seven Spices

A spice blend is the kind of thing that you make in a big batch and use over the course of a several months to a year (it will last closer to a year if stored in a sealed glass or stainless steel container). While it takes a small amount of effort up front, you'll reap the benefits for a long time. This spice blend works perfectly with beata't tdamata, hummus, labneh, falafel, potato chop, salad dressings, marinades, dry rubs, lentil soup, or anything else that needs a little extra something. If I'm cooking with this spice blend (as opposed to sprinkling it on something right before serving), I usually temper it in oil over low heat for about 1 to 2 minutes, which gives it a toastier flavor.

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Ratios

  • 12 parts ground black pepper

  • 12 parts ground paprika

  • 12 parts ground cumin seeds

  • 12 parts ground coriander seeds

  • 6 parts ground cloves

  • 2 parts ground cinnamon

  • 1 parts ground nutmeg

  • 1 part ground cardamom (green cardamom pods)

For just over 1 cup of spice blend

  • 1/4 cup ground black pepper (3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns)

  • 1/4 cup ground paprika

  • 1/4 cup ground cumin seeds (1/4 cup whole cumin seeds)

  • 1/4 cup ground coriander seeds (1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds)

  • 2 tablespoons ground cloves (2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons whole cloves)

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (2 1/2 inch cinnamon stick)

  • 1 teaspoons ground nutmeg (1 small nutmeg)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (8 to 9 cardamom pods)

If using ground spices, simply combine. If using whole spices, combine whole spices in a mortar and pestle, spice grinder, or very clean coffee grinder until powdered, then mix with the ground ones.

Baharat: Lebanese Seven Spices