Has anyone ever made zaatar?

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Assistant Cook
May 26, 2011
When I was in California a few years ago I ate at a Mediterranean resteraunt that had this stuff called zaatar, it's sauce/dip that you use with pita bread. I researched online how to make it myself, and when I tried, it tasted awful and nothing like the stuff from the resteraunt. I recently found a bag of premixed zaatar that you just add olive oil to, I tried that and again was disappointed. I know the basic ingredients (olive oil, sesame seeds, sumac, & thyme) but this just tastes nothing like the kind the resteraunt had, so I'm thinking there is something else you can put in it to make it good. Does anyone in here know a good way to make it?

By the way, if anyone lives in California, the resteraunt I am talking about is in Venice Beach, it's called Gaby's. Does anyone by any chance know what they put in it to make it so good?
Oh thanks Barbara! I didn't think resteraunts actually gave out their recipes but I'll give it a shot, I have nothing to lose! :)
So I did email Gaby's, and somebody replied to me saying they only use a basic recipe no different than the premixed stuff you can buy in most stores. I guess I'll just have to try to find different premixes to experiement with!
Za'atar is really just a spice mix, kind of like poultry seasoning or pumpkin pie spice is. You can make it yourself (the ratios are up to you and I see you already have the main ingredients down). Its not a dip really. Although people often mix it with lots of oil and smear it on pita pre baking. They may have used the za'atar spice mix in their own dip though. Its often served with Labna? Maybe thats what you thought the dip was.
My kid brothers mix.
4 tsp toasted sesame seeds
4 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
4 tsp dried marjoram
4 tsp Sumac
1 tsp sea salt
4 tsp ground cummin
Blitz in a grinder.:)
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