This Lebanese Seven-Spice Baharat is a staple spice mix in Lebanese kitchens. It’s used in marinades, soups, stews, and Lebanese mezze plates.
What is Baharat?
Baharat is a spice mixture often used as seasoning or mixed with fats such as oil or yoghurt for marinades. It’s used in numerous Middle Eastern cuisines. The term “Baharat” quite literally means spices in Arabic.
Exact Baharat recipes vary from region to region and cuisine to cuisine, with Turkish Baharat often including mint. Baharat is called “Sabaa Baharat”, or seven spices in Lebanese cuisine and the wider Levant.
Take a look at the ingredient breakdown in the list below. You’ll soon begin to piece together a flavour profile for the Lebanese seven-spice Baharat; Citrusy and sweet.
Spices used in a Lebanese Seven-Spice Baharat
Black Pepper – Piperine gives black pepper its distinctive heat but is relatively mild compared to any chilli on the Scoville scale.
Cumin – Cumin has a warm flavour with a hint of bitterness. It’s often partnered with coriander, whose citrusy sweetness perfectly counters cumins bitter notes. Cumin’s unique flavour comes from a compound called “cuminaldehyde, ” also found in cinnamon and roast beef.
Cardamon – Cardamom is an aromatic spice with a flavour resembling mint. It also has a citrusy feel, which is reminiscent of fresh lemon. Cardamoms sweetness,
Coriander – Coriander seeds come from the same plant that gives us the coriander leaf. Coriander seed has a sweet citrusy-like flavour that some people compare to dried orange peel.
Cinnamon – Here’s where it gets complicated. There are two types of cinnamon available. There’s true cinnamon which is the dried bark of the cinnamon tree. This bark is then rolled into quills for use. Cassia, however, is sometimes sold as ground cinnamon. They taste similar, if a little different.
Cloves – The flavour of cloves can be pretty overpowering, hence its inclusion here in smaller quantities. Its overall flavour is similar in properties to most spices on the list, sweet, if a little stronger.
Nutmeg – Nutmeg also has a sweet flavour that also has a strong flavour that can easily overpower a dish. It blends well when blended with strong spices such as cinnamon and cumin.
Lebanese Seven-Spice Baharat
- 2 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
- 2 Tbsp Ground Cardamon
- 2 Tbsp Ground Coriander
- 2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp Ground Cloves
- 1 Tbsp Ground Nutmeg
- Mix all the ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Cover tightly and use as required by your chosen recipe.