Middle East Spices


I first read about baharat when I saw a recipe for maqluba i “Jerusalem”. I’ve never use this spice before. This mix of spices consists of very common ingredients and it’s really easy to prepare. It’s widely known in Middle East, Palestine or Turkey.
The name “baharat” means “spice”. I assume that this simple name is because this bled is use in many, many dishes, like salt or black pepper. Everybody knows it. It’s like Polish Vegeta.

Usually baharat is added to meat dishes, roasted vegetables, couscous. It’s very aromatic, rally warming. It goes perfect with rice. And with veggies baharat is just amazing, especially with aubergines and cauliflower.

What is baharat made of?
Of course the ingredients varies from country to country. The most common are: coriander seeds, cardamom pods, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, pepper and nutmeg.
In Turkey they add mint to baharat. You can also fins versions with saffron, paprika or chili. Even with dried lime skins. The possibilities are endless. And here’s the question. Can you try the same baharat twice?

How does it taste?
Prettty spicy with strong aroma. Add to the dish gradually and carefully. It can overwhelmed the dish. Good balance between spicy and mild aroma from cinnamon.

How to use it?
First- maqluba. Then to all kinds of rice an couscous. Roasted veggies, like cauliflower, aubergines, bell peppers. With fresh coriander or parsley leaves. To all oriental dishes.

I recommend use the whole seeds rather than ground spices. The aroma is much better.


(based on Jerusalem)


1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 small cinnamon stick
½ whole cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cardamom pods*
½ whole nutmeg

* use th dark one, badi

Roughly chop cinnamon stick. In grinder or mortar grind all to the powder. Store in sealed jar up to 8 weeks.