… And Spice and Everything Nice: Turkish Baharat

Remember when I told y’all about the spice blend Ras el Hanout? That was a goodie, for sure.
This time, we’re getting an exotic spice blend from Turkey.

It’s called baharat, which literally means “flowers and seeds” and loosely translates to “herbs and spices.” The term is so pervasive in the Middle East, many Arabic spice shops are simply named baharat.

The spice mix can be used in cooking or served at the table – similar to how Americans use a salt shaker or  Indians use garam masala – to add a kick to the food on a plate just before eating. The Turkish version of baharat includes mint, and that’s the one I tried. I found the recipe in this cookbook Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean, which feeds the imagination and the tummy.


turkishspicemarket[photo by Flickr user Frank Kovalchek]

Turkish Baharat Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander

  • 2 tablespoons dried mint, crumbled between your fingers so it’s very fine

  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano, crumbled between your fingers so it’s very fine

  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

  • 4 bay leaves, crumbled between your fingers so it’s very fine

  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard


Combine all the spices in a small bowl, then store in an air-tight jar. Use with abandon!

Note: The original recipe calls for putting the mint, oregano, and bay leaves in a spice grinder so it’s very, very fine. I didn’t bother; it worked out fine. If I was in a serious cooking mood, I would probably take the time to do it. Totally up to you.


Tasty Ideas

Vegetables: Sauté steamed or raw veggies in coconut oil and add baharat to taste.

Meat: Mix baharat into raw ground beef, lamb, turkey, pork, or chicken and make patties or meatballs.

Creamy Sauce: Mix baharat with coconut milk and use as a marinade for fish and seafood.

Replace the ras el hanout in the recipe for Greens: Creamy & SpicyBut then send ras el hanout flowers so it’s not too heartbroken about being replaced.

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