A few years back, my husband was posted at Nigeria and living there as an expat for a year, I had the opportunity to enjoy the most delicious and authentic foods from various cuisines – Moroccan, Italian, Lebanese, French, Chinese and of course I tried the local Nigerian dishes too (Jollof Rice being my favourite). The restaurants were run mostly by expats from these nations who ensured that they provided the authentic flavours of their country/ cuisine; unlike restaurants here in India where the taste is tweaked to suit and appeal the local palate.

We enjoyed all cuisines but we could never get enough of the Lebanese food. Once back in India, I tried Lebanese food here but the flavors were nowhere near what we had there. Lack of availability of ingredients here, ensured that I could never try out those dishes in my kitchen. But that changed a year back when these exotic ingredients became available at a store near my house. The food adventurer in me, always eager to try new cuisines and dishes, could finally put to rest that itch. While in Nigeria, one thing that we always used to order at the Lebanese restaurant was a za’atar topped flat bread served with hummus. I wanted to recreate the flavors of that flat bread so I have deviated slightly from the traditional Lavash toppings of sesame and opted for za’atar instead. These crackers are great for parties (ensure you make a huge batch coz they will be polished off within no time!) or enjoy them while watching your favourite TV show. 
Here is proportion of ingredients I used
1 cup all purpose flour (Maida)
½ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup semolina
½ cup water (for kneading the dough)
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2½ tbsp oil
1 tbsp caster sugar
3-4 tbsp za’atar (the amount depends on your taste)
2 tsp black sesame seeds (optional)
A few table spoons water for moistening the rolled dough



In a mixing bowl, stir together APF, wheat flour, semolina, and salt. Keep aside.
Warm 2-3 tbsp of water (from ½ cup of water required for kneading) and stir in sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over water and leave it undisturbed for 10 minutes or till it becomes frothy.
Pour the oil to the yeast water and add this mix to the flour mix. Bring the dough together adding rest of the water. Add more water, a table spoon at a time, if required. Knead for 5-7 minutes. The dough should be medium soft. Bring together the dough to make a large ball. 
Using just a wee bit of oil, grease the dough ball all around and keep it in a glass bowl to rise/ proofing. Keep it aside for 2 hours or till it doubles in size. Once done, knock the dough back. 
Divide the dough into four equal sized balls and using a little oil, thinly roll out one ball on the kitchen counter. Transfer the rolled dough over parchment paper (you can even roll the dough over the parchment paper). 
Place the parchment paper over a baking sheet. Moisten the rolled dough with a little water and then prick it all over using a fork.
Sprinkle za’atar mix all over and mark the dough with a pizza cutter to the shape and size of your choice. You do not need to separate the crackers at this point. They will separate easily once they are baked. (Marking the rolled dough is optional. You can bake it as a sheet and then break it into shards upon cooling)
Bake at 180-190 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes or till the crackers begin to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool before storing them in an air tight container.
Work in a similar way with the remaining balls of dough.



Note: The time of baking will depend on how thin you have rolled the dough. I had rolled the dough very thin and it took approximately 12 minutes. 



2 medium beets (roasted & finely shredded – or you can blitz it to get a paste)
1 flake garlic, not too large (finely minced)
½ tsp ground roasted cumin
1 tbsp tahini (adjust to taste)
1 tsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped 
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of lemon 
1 tbsp olive oil (adjust to taste) plus extra for drizzling. 

Mix everything together and and serve drizzled with olive oil. 

Note: You can blitz everything together in a food processor or a mixer-grinder to get a smooth paste but I prefer texture in my dips therefore I finely shredded the beets and slightly mashed them with the back of a fork. 

Note: See this post on how to roast the beets. 


Serves 4 – 5 
Thanks for visiting and see you soon again! 


  1. I need to start using that za’atar in my pantry more often. I whine I can’t get some ingredients, and when I do, I don’t take advantage of them! Gorgeous crackers! I love the idea of beets and tahini too! I even a batch of roasted beets in my fridge that need to be eaten soon.

  2. I have never heard about the crackers yet I love what you did for the crispy outcome. The beet too is unheard off but both are perfect, the crackers dipped or spread with the dip.

  3. I just love those dips and those crackers look so crispy.
    Donoo why Indian restaurants spoil the dish :)) .It is really disappointing to get tweaked and sometimes totally different food.

    1. Absolute Meena and in Mumbai finding really good restaurants is quite a task and one has to travel all the way to the main city hub to grab good authentic food.

  4. Gosh, this looks so flavorful! Really good stuff. It’s so nice being able to live in another country for a while – great way to get to know it. Anyway, thanks for this.

  5. Beautiful crackers and gorgeous beetroot dip. I really enjoy Lebanese food too… must try to make it home. I think you mastered these crackers and dip!!

  6. Wow, your crackers look spectacular! As does the beet hummus! How wonderful you were finally able to recreate some old favorites! YUM.

  7. What lovely crackers and with such great bold flavours. Zaatar is a wonderful spice mix and I am sure it adds amazing flavour to these crackers. Nigeria must’ve been so different but so much fun, learning a new culture and enjoying the food, that’s my favourite part!


  8. Agreed, Lebanese food is one of my all-time favorites and it is very hard to come by in Nashville, Tn! Whenever I’m in a city where I can get some good authentic Lebanese food, I do. And this sounds SO good!

  9. wow Nigeria. How are the people here. The Nigerians in Goa are creepy, but I don’t think that they are alike this in their country. Love your zaatar crackers and as it comes I just made a fresh batch of tahini, so will be trying your beetroot dip soon.

  10. These crackers are so beautiful and I bet I’ll munch on them non-stop all day long! That beet root dip is gorgeous! Love that vibrant color.

  11. We were living for 5 years in the Middle East and I do completely agree with you: Lebanesefood is one of the finest the Region has to offer.
    Your Tahini Beetrot dip and the crackers look amazing and I’m sure they taste
    amazing too!

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