Spice up your recipes with Emirati Bzar spice!

Updated: Jun 10, 2020

Bzar is a spice blend that is unique to Emiratis. It is a main ingredient in many of the most recognizable Emirati traditional flavors. Bzar is made at home and each family has its own secret recipe. However, there are certain core ingredients are common to every recipe and that makes Bzar spice recognizable in taste. In order to capture the essence of Emirati dishes, Bzar spice is a must-have in the pantry. The recipe that is used here is taken from Alexandra von Haan’s book, Culinary Magic of Emirates.

I love to use this spice in cholent. And its great on chicken and meat! Give it a try.

Makes 1-1.5 kgs


Core ingredients: Additional ingredients:

1 cup cumin seeds 1/4 dried chilli peppers

1 cup black peppercorns 1/2 cup dried onion flakes

1 cup coriander seeds 1/2 cup paprika powder

1 cup turmeric powder 1/2 cup garlic cloves

1 cup cinnamon sticks broken into pieces

5 nutmeg seeds, broken into pieces

1/4 cup saffron threads


Dry roast all the whole spices in an oven or over low heat until golden brown and fragrant. You may need to toss the spices occasionally to avoid them burning.

When ready, remove from the oven and add paprika powder and turmeric powder.

Leave the spices to rest and cool for 30 minutes.

Grind the spices using a spice grinder.

Store in an airtight container.

Can be kept for up to one year.

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