Bzar (Emirati Spice Mix)

  • Serves

    makes 1 1/4 Cups

This garam masala—like spice is a common Emirati flavoring: It's often blended with clarified butter or simply sprinkled into soups, stews, and other dishes. This recipe first appeared in our August/September issue along with Anissa Helou's story Breaking the Fast


  • ¼ cups black peppercorns
  • ¼ cumin seeds
  • ¼ cups coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. green cardamom pods
  • 3 dried chiles de arbol, stemmed
  • 2 sticks cinnamon, broken in half
  • 1 whole nutmeg, broken into pieces
  • 1½ Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. ground turmeric


Step 1

Working with one spice at a time, grind peppercorns, cumin, coriander, cloves, cardamom, chiles, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a spice grinder until finely ground; transfer to a bowl and stir in ginger and turmeric. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 year.

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