Za’atar Rice – Middle Eastern Delight

Like I said in the About MilesBitesandSoul section, I’ve grown up on a variety of food, but travelling has exposed me to even more varieties. In this case though, I can’t thank Rahul enough for introducing me to this Magic Spice of Arabia (ok, I may be getting carried away here :P)

Since I’ve tasted it, Za’atar has been my go to spice for a lot of recipe enhancements.

But making a whole dish based on Za’atar was an experiment for me! Which thankfully turned out amazing. I’ve got a bunch of different people who have never tasted Za’atar and a few who know the taste to try out this dish. The results are amazing and I’v got people stocking up on Za’atar and how!

Not to forget, how subtle the flavours are. The taste itself doesn’t linger on too much and is light on the palette. Yet it has an aromatic sense the minute it is heated.

Without further ado, let’s have a look at how this recipe goes.

I serve it with my classic Tzatziki Recipe

Serves 2


Basmati Rice: 1 cup
I use Daawat Traditional for this recipe
Mix vegetables: 1& 1/2 cups (carrots, capsicum, peas, corn)
Olive oil: 2-3 tbsps
Garlic: 2 cloves
Za’atar Spice Powder: 4-5 tbsps (You can find Za’atar on amazon)
Fresh mint leaves: 12-15 leaves
Black Pepper powder to taste
Salt to taste


Soak the rice in water for half an hour.

In the meanwhile, cut all your vegetables in one inch cubes. Cook the vegetables to a decent crunch. It should not mash or be over cooked. A little bite adds to the texture of the dish.

Cook the rice. I ensure that the water for the rice is not too much as I don’t want the rice to stick together. Once cooked, cool down the rice.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in the pan and give the vegetables a quick stir in it for 3 mins.

Add minced garlic to this and give it a mix with the vegetables.

Add 1 tsp of black pepper powder.

Now add half the Za’atar  spice powder to the vegetables and mix so as to coat them with spice. Add  mint leaves.

Add the rice to the vegetable mix. Be very careful here as over mixing the rice will result in it sticking together.’Add the rest of the Za’atar and olive oil, now mix well. (you an add more Za’atar if you like at this stage. But  remember to top it up with olive whenever you do as the rice may become dry.)

Warm up the dish and serve on a Sunday afternoon for your family or favourites. You’ll watch it vanishing off the plate 😉

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