You will notice that in all my recipes I call for a tablespoon (at least) of ''bzaar.'' Early on in the blog I described it as the essential Libyan spice mix. It has a little bit of everything from black pepper to coriander power to ginger. As far back as I can remember, my mother always had her bzaar made in Libya. Obviously, it was made in mass quantities and would last till the next Libya trip. What I didn't realize was that the exact mixture of my mother's bzaar was specific to the city we're from in Libya--Gheryan.
Every region, city, or family has a different variation of what is in bzaar but since I make my recipes based on my mothers combination of spices, I think its important that I post a recipe on which spices to combine to get that mixture. I have created a spice mixture that is as near to the original as I could get. I concocted this mix and tried it in my own kitchen and found it to be a great substitute. Its a combination of 5 spices that are easily found at most grocery stores and certainly at an ethnic food store. It hits all the same notes that my mother bzaar does and creates the backbone of Libyan cooking.
- 1 heaping tablespoon of turmeric
- 1 tablespoon of caraway powder
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon 7-spice (If you cant find 7-spice, here is a link to make your own.)