Here is my take on a Baharat spice blend. Baharat is an Arabic word meaning simply “spices”. Usually made without salt, this blend comes directly from Middle Eastern countries and is used for seasoning and cooking many types of foods.
The Baharat spice blend is mainly used for meat, rice and soups. This spice blend has a rather earthy flavor with hints of sweetness. It is not a spicy mix. Like all other spice blends, it is truly forgiving and can be easily customized to your liking.
Why making your own Baharat spice mix
There are many reasons to make your own no salt spice mix. Here are the main ones :
- It takes less than 5 minutes to do it yourself.
- You can customize it as you want.
- It’s possible omit or replace the spices you don’t like.
- You know exactly what’s in it.
The main issue with prefabricated spice blends is the sodium content. Many of them contain salt, some much more than others.
In addition, many spice blends displayed without salt contain potassium chloride, an additive to avoid. Mixtures may also contain other additives such as monosodium glutamate, industrial sugars or preservatives.
In this recipe, there is none of this. So you are sure to get a healthy and low sodium spice blend.
Spices to make a Baharat spice blend
There is no specific or traditional recipe for making a Baharat spice blend. I did a lot of research to find a real traditional blend, or at least more information about it but frankly I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t conflicting.
Ultimately, everyone has his own blend, and it varies enormously depending on the country, the available spices and mostly the cook who created the recipe.
So for my recipe, I created my own mix by tasting different variations of it over and over. In the end, I liked the one I made, but that doesn’t mean you will like this exact blend.
So here is a list of all the spices that are commonly used to make Baharat according to Wikipedia if you wish to modify it. These are the usual whole spices, but you can use their ground counterpart like I did.
- Black peppercorns
- Cardamom seeds
- Cinnamon (Cassia)
- Coriander seeds
- Cumin seeds
How to make your own low sodium Baharat
There are many ways to make your own low sodium Baharat spice blend. In this recipe, I’m using already ground spices, so it’s as easy and quick as it gets. You just need to get the right amounts, adjust to taste, combine and use!
If you want to get more flavor, you can try grinding whole spices yourself with a spice grinder. This will give more flavor and the whole spices are easier to store, so you will have fresher ground spices.
Toasting the spices
This is the most complex way, but it is said to create a blend of Baharat with more aroma and depth. Be aware that you will need to toast whole spices, not ground spices.
Variations for the Baharat spice mix
The main difference with Turkish Baharat blend is the addition of mint. This herb can bring a whole new experience to your kitchen.
The Tunisian variant is also very different. In Tunisia, they use dried rose petals in their mixture. If you can get dried rose petals, you should try it!
Spicy Baharat blend
Ultimately, it’s your mix. Baharat wasn’t meant to be spicy, but if that’s what you like, why not tweak it a bit? If you want to make it spicy, you can easily add cayenne pepper.
Any type of ground pepper should go well in this mixture too. Just make sure you don’t overpower the overall flavor by adding too much. Add little by little at a time like 1/8 teaspoon or 1/4 teaspoon.
Smoky Baharat blend
If you want to add a sweeter and smokier aroma to your spice mix, you should try using smoked paprika. Simply trade the same amount of paprika for smoked paprika!
How to use your Baharat spice blend
This mixture can be used as a dry rub for grilling meat. I tried this on beef and it was great. It really changed the taste of meat without overpowering it. It’s also great for tofu!
This spice blend can be used to make your own Baharat marinade. Simply combine oil, lemon juice or vinegar and Baharat spice blend to create a truly tasty and unique marinade.
Simply mix your vegetable with oil combined with this Baharat spice blend and give your roasted vegetables a new twist!
You can also use it as is or combine it with your mayonnaise, hummus, rice, etc. I tried it with a cranberry-edamame-couscous salad and it was surprisingly good!
The storage of your low sodium Baharat spice blend will depend on the spices you use to prepare it. It will keep much longer if you use fresh spices. It may also keep longer if you use fresh whole spices.
As a general rule, ground spices bought at the grocery store can keep their full potential up to a year, but 6 months is a safer bet.
They will not be unusable after that time, but they will probably have lost some of their fragrances and flavors. Once they’re tasteless and lumpy, they’re useless and adding more won’t help.
Cool, dry and dark place
The best way to store spices is to store them in a cool, dry place in a tightly closed container. Also, avoid exposing them unnecessarily to direct light, spices and herbs are photosensitive, some more than others.
Heat and moisture
Heat and humidity can greatly affect your spices. In addition to keeping them in a cool and dry place, you must avoid at all costs dumping them directly into your food, especially while you are cooking.
I’m the first culprit to have this bad habit, but it’s something everyone should pay attention to. Throwing spices directly over your food from the spice container can expose them to a lot of moisture (steam) and heat, two things that can deteriorate spices considerably.
Recipes using this Baharat spice mix
Here is a list of all the recipes I made that use this no salt Baharat spice blend spice blend:
If you like this spice blend
If you like this spice blend, be sure to check out my other salt free and kidney friendly spice blends:
Baharat Spice Blend
Blend with allspice
- 1½ tbsp paprika (9 parts)
- 1 tbsp allspice (6 parts)
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon (6 parts)
- 1 tbsp ground coriander seeds (6 parts)
- ½ tbsp ground black pepper (3 parts)
- 2 tsp ground cloves (4 parts)
- 2 tsp ground cumin seeds (4 parts)
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg (1 part)
- Just mix all the spices thoroughly. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry pantry. This spice blend can be stored for up to 6 months, depending on the age of the spices used.
For informational purposes only. Nutrition data is primarily calculated from the USDA National Database. Values may vary from accuracy of measurements, brands, nutritional data and more. All measurements are metric (1 cup = 250ml). Readers are encouraged to make their own calculations.