Karl’s Lebanese Seven Spices

Adapted from orayeena “The secret for good eastern food. Actually it’s a mix of 8 spices.”

On the Internet many non-Middle Easterners complain about how they can’t get Lebanese 7 spices right. Orayeena let slip why this is so, because there are actually 8 spices in the mix. (Of course there is pepper in it! Why would anyone count the pepper as a spice?).

Karl's Lebanese Seven Spices

Karl’s Lebanese Seven Spices

Being Lebanese, Orayeena’s original recipe was designed for someone who uses Lebanese 7 spice every day. She starts with half a cup of black pepper and half a cup of cumin.  I have converted her proportions to something closer to an amount that an occasional Lebanese cook might use up before it went stale. This recipe makes 7 teaspoons of spice mix, which I decided was just the right amount for my Lebanese Chicken.

Karl’s Lebanese Seven Spices


½ Tbs. black pepper kernels
½ Tbs. cumin
¾ tsp. coriander seeds
¾ tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. cardamom, the seeds of one green cardamom pod
½ Tbs. paprika
¼ tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
¼ tsp. cinnamon


1. Combine pepper, cumin, coriander, cloves and cardamom seeds in a small pan and toast until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Do not burn.

2. Put the toasted spices in a mortar or spice grinder and grind to a fine power.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and blend well.

4. Store in an airtight jar until used.

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Filed under Sauces and Spices

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