Saturday, 06 March 2021
Local Time In Israel Asia - Jerusalem


(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

Herbs, spices & flavorings commonly used in the Israeli & Middle Eastern kitchen - a picture dictionary.

Hebrew: המטבח הישראלי הים תיכוני - תבלינים


Tonight you might grind a bit of pepper onto your salad or use it to perk up a steak, but did you know pepper was once so valuable that it could be used to pay the rent.  Pepper, along with other spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, and other spices were were used for flavoring food.  They were also used for making perfume, embalming the dead, preserving meat and sprucing up salve recipes in traditional medicine.

Get free Hebrew word sheets delivered directly to your inbox

Aromates, épices et arômes couramment utilisés dans la cuisine israélienne et orientale

These are some that are most popular in the Israeli and Middle Eastern kitchen. The English word is followed by the Hebrew transliteration and then the actual Hebrew word.






Aniseed - Anis - אניס


Baharat - Baharat - בהרט


Basil- Bazilikum - בזיליקום

bay leaves dafna   caraway kimel   carob haruv

Bay leaves- Aley Dafna - עלי דפנה


Caraway - Kimel - קימל


Carob - Haruv - חרוב






 Cardamon - Hel - הל


Cayenne Pepper - Pilpel Harif - פלפל חריף


 Celery- Selery/Karpas - סלרי / כרפס






Chilli - Pilpel Adom/Chili - פלפל אדום


 Chives - Irit - שום העירית


Cinamon - Kinamon - קינמון

cloves   cilantro kusbara   cumin

Cloves - Tzipporen - ציפורן


Coriander / Cilantro - Kusbara - כוסברה


Cumin - Kamun - כמון

 dill    fennel shumar   garlic shum 

Dill - Shamir - שמיר


Fennel - Shumar - שומר


Garlic - Shum - שום

  horseradish hazeret

Ginger - Zingavil - זנגביל


Hawaij - Hawaij - חוויאג׳


Horseradish- Hazeret - חזרת

 lemon verbena    lime   Mace

Lemon verbena - Limonit - לימונית


Lime - Lime - ליים


Mace - Klipat HaMuskatit - קליפת המוסקטית

mint nana    mustard hardal    nigella katzach

Mint - Menta/Nana - נענע


Mustard - Hardal - חרדל


Nigella seeds - Katzach - קצח

nutmeg   oregano    paprika

Nutmeg - Egoz Muskat - אגוז מוסקט


Oregano - Oregano - אורגנו


Paprika - Paprika - פפריקה

 pepper   parsley    pimento pilpel angli

Pepper - Pilpel - פלפל


Parsley - Petroziliya - פטרוזיליה


Pimento (Allspice)- Pilpel Angli - פלפל אנגלי

 rosemary    saffron    sage

Rosemary- Rozmarin - רוזמרין


Saffron - Zafran - זעפרן


Sage - Marva - מרווה

salt melach   sorrel     sumac

Salt - Melach - מלח


Sorrel - Hamtzitz - חמציץ


Sumac - Sumak - סומאק

 thyme   turmeric    vanilla

Thyme - Temin - טימין


Turmeric - Kurkum - כורכום


Vanilla - Vanil - וניל



Zaatar - Zatar - זעתר


Top Tip

Fresh herbs are plentiful in the markets.  Parsley, coriander, mint and others are sold in large bunches often for only one shekel on Friday afternoons.  There is nothing to beat the flavor of fresh herbs, but for the most part, we land up throwing most of the bunch out after a few days.  We've found a way to store them.  Take your herbs, rinse them off under the tap, you can cut of the stalks if you want, place and store them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. When needed, take a bit from the freezer.  They chop easily when frozen and you can add them to your food during cooking.  Obviously this technique is not appropriate for decorating a plate of food or where fresh herbs are called for but they are fine in soups and stews.  

Best time to buy fresh garlic

Shakshouka and boerekas are popular Israeli foods.  Enjoy them with limonana and malt beer

Follow the train of  the humble chickpea to delicious hummous

Traditional, kosher recipes for the Jewish holidays

Take a virtual tour through Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market