Za’atar is a crucial spice blend in the food of the eastern Mediterranean.  In her latest book,  Orient Express, chef Silvena Rowe users Za’atar for a wide variety of her dishesSumac, a crucial ingredient in Za’atar, is sold in a powder form, usually dark red in colour, available from many Middle Eastern stores. It is often used as a replacement for lemon juice as it is also very sour.  Za'taar

4t  sesame seeds
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
4t dried marjoram
4t  ground sumac
1t  sea salt
4t  ground cumin

  1. In a dry pan, toast the sesame seeds on a high heat for one to two minutes.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until finely mixed.
  3. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Makes about 1/2 cup

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – teambuilding cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference. Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.