Baharat (Lebanese 7 Spice)


“Baharat” is simply the Arabic word for spice, and can refer to an amalgam of spices such as my recipe I’m putting up today. Variations can be seen all across the Middle East, not just from region to region, but home to home.

My recipe is quite representative of a Lebanese style and in fact this spice blend is often also referred to as “Lebanese 7 Spice.” (Because I use both black and white pepper though, perhaps mine is technically 8-Spice. Or perhaps not! 🤷)

I developed my baharat over a few years of trial and error; in particular I would whip up this blend for kafta kebab, one of my all-time favorite foods. Although you can certainly tweak this recipe in any way you see fit (and I offer some ideas and substitutions below), I feel the ratios are perfect for kafta.

This blend is also great as a dry rub for chicken, beef, and fish. It can be used as a topping for hummus and other spreads instead of the common hummus topping spices like cumin, paprika, and sumac. It’s also excellent added to simple marinades for more depth of flavor, as well as added to soups and stews.

The most robust flavor will be from grounding your own whole spices at the time of mixing, but you can still get great results from using pre-ground spices.

This recipe yields about 45g (enough to season up to 3 lbs. of kafta). You may halve or double the quantities below according to your needs.

You will need:


  • 2 TBSP cumin
  • 4 tsp coriander
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp pepper (I use 2 tsp black pepper and 2 tsp white pepper)
  • 1 TBSP mace (or sub with nutmeg)
  • 2 tsp clove
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • Optional: Add 2 tsp ground fenugreek, ginger powder, and/or cardamom (or use to substitute for clove, allspice, or coriander)


1.) In a bowl, combine the ground spices and mix evenly. Transfer to storage container of choice. Store in a cool, dark location.

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