Lebanese 7 spices, aka sabaa baharat, is a blend of seven ground spices: black pepper, white pepper, allspice, ground cloves, nutmeg, cumin, and cinnamon.
This mixture of different spices is a staple in all of our kitchens in the Levant region. It's commonly used in Lebanese cooking, like in baked kibbeh, fasolia, chicken shish tawook, Lebanese chicken and rice, and kafta kabobs.
Aromatic, unique, and flavorful, a teaspoon of it is often enough to add a touch of magic to a wide array of traditional Lebanese dishes.
If you like making your own homemade spice blends, check out this homemade taco seasoning that's great for ground beef tacos or taco salad.
What I Love About This Recipe
This homemade spice blend is so easy to make! I know a lot of people who live abroad can't find Lebanese seven spice seasoning in local grocery stores. With this recipe, you'll no longer need to look for ready-made packs.
With a few basic herbs and easy-to-find spices, you'll be on your way to making your own jar. Also, this popular spice blend is used in a lot of Middle Eastern cuisine.
Make this Lebanese spice blend with the following spices:
- Black and white pepper: Adds a touch of heat to the blend and elevates its flavor.
- Allspice: Balances everything out and is the base of the Lebanese seven spice blend.
- Ground cloves: Creates an incredible aroma and depth of flavor.
- Nutmeg: Binds the aromatics together.
- Cumin: A little goes a long way here, but this is an essential part of the blend.
- Cinnamon: Wraps the blend up with a bit of delicious sweetness.
How To Make Lebanese 7 Spice
Using a measuring spoon, measure out the different ground spices.
Mix the individual spices together.
Using a funnel, pour the ground spice blend into a spice jar. Label the airtight jar with the contents and date.
Tips and Tricks
- I mix all the spices really well in a large bowl and then funnel them into a jar. This makes sure the spice mixes well.
- Buy high quality fresh spices for the most aromatic flavor.
- If you want to make this spicier, add a bit more black and white peppers in there. If you prefer a milder version add more cinnamon and nutmeg to the allspice base.
- Always label your jar with the contents and date. I can't stress this enough. It's so easy to completely forget what's in a glass jar.
Variations and Substitutions
If using whole spices, grind them using a spice grinder prior to mixing. It's easier to make this spice blend with pre-ground spices.
Can You Substitute Allspice For Seven Spice?
My teta says: Never do that. The Lebanese seven spices blend is way more diverse and flavorful than allspice by itself so unless you're in a pinch, try to avoid substituting seven-spice in a recipe that calls for using it.
Store this spice recipe in an airtight container for up to twelve months in a cool dry pantry or spice cabinet. Do not refrigerate or freeze the spice mix because moisture affects the texture and flavor of the spices mix.
- A glass spice jar: Make sure you use glass rather than plastic or other kinds of containers to store your blend. This helps to preserve the flavors for the longest period of time.
- Funnel: Use this to put the spices in your jar (especially if you're using one with a narrow top)
- Measuring spoons: It's important to measure out the exact amount of each spice to ensure the blend doesn't turn out too sweet or spicy.
Lebanese Seven Spice Uses
Use this Middle Eastern spice blend in Lebanese recipes from chicken shish tawook to fasolia lima bean stew and even baked kibbeh bil sanieh. I also often add a bit of olive oil to it and use it as a spice rub for baked fish or grilled meat dishes. Sometimes I use it in homemade tomato sauce because of its incredible flavor.
My teta sprinkles a little in salad dressings and adds a teaspoon to every ground beef recipe she makes. She uses it when making stuffed zucchini (kousa mahshi), soups, and in the stuffing of her famous sambousek.
Case in point? Lebanese 7 spice blend is super versatile. Add some authentic Middle Eastern flavor to any dish you're making. I recommend that you get adventurous and experiment with it.
Make different variations of Lebanese 7 spices by changing the ratio of spices. Increase or decrease the amount of one of the seven spices to add your own personal touch.
A lot of people often get confused over whether baharat is the same as the Lebanese 7 spice blend. They're actually not. Baharat literally translates into spices, so in the Arab world, we use it when referring to any kind of spice. Sabaa baharat is what we use to label the Lebanese seven-spice blend.
Lebanese seven spice is a blend of seven ground spices: black pepper, white pepper, allspice, ground clove, nutmeg, cumin, and cinnamon.
You can substitute a blend of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and black pepper.
Lebanese seven spice, za'atar, and sumac are common dry spices used in Lebanese cuisine.
Recipes With Lebanese 7 Spice
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Lebanese 7 Spices Blend (Sabaa Baharat)
- 3 tablespoons allspice
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons ground cloves
- 3 tablespoons ground cumin
- 3 tablespoons nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons white pepper
- Mix all the spices in a glass bowl.
- Use a funnel to pour the blend into a glass spice jar.
- Label and store in a cool and dry place for up to 6 months.
- Store in an airtight glass container.