Bedouin Spice


USD $9.00

Around Al-Badiya, the desert of the Levant, and the mountains on its fringes, Bedouins created this golden gem of a spice blend. This Bedouin spice was primarily used in the final steps of making fresh ghee from camel or sheep milk, in order to enhance its flavour and extend its shelf-life. But this Bedouin blend then evolved to be used in a multitude of delicious ways, imparting its unique elusive flavour and golden hue to desert roast meats and vegetables, as well as feast-worthy rice pilafs, like the Jordanian Mansaf.

Mansaf is the national dish of Jordan, and there are regional versions of it in the Levant. The Jordanian version is a proud feast of bright yellow rice, adorned in toasted almonds and pine nuts, and smothered in tender lamb cooked in a sauce of jameed; a unique Jordanian dairy product made from balls of yoghurt left to dry out in the sun until rock-hard. After rehydrating jameed, the meat is cooked nice and slow in its creamy liquid. The spiced ghee, and Bedouin Spice, are the main and only flavouring of this golden dish. Such culinary creations, spiced with this iconic blend, exemplify the Bedouins’ strong sense of generosity and hospitality, as they delight in sharing their hearty food with guests weary from desert travel.

Southern Levantine Arabs in cities and villages came upon this blend, and also loved it. They called it “Hwajeh” in Arabic, which means “gathered things”. Levantine “Hwajeh” is also a close relative of Yemeni “Hawayij”; Nomads likely shared the story of this spice blend across the desert of the Arabian peninsula over the winds of time, starting from Yemen in the south until it reached the Levant in the north.

To make Hwajeh, Bedouins or farmers would gather wild plants from their surroundings, and mix them with a few spices of Indian origin, which have traveled across their lands for millennia along the historic silk road. The result was a blend of local flavours with the classic Indian spice bouquet of cardamom, cumin, coriander and turmeric. They would then use their “Hwajeh” to flavour their cooking ghee and other foods.

Our version of this Bedouin Spice is true to the original with a fragrant heart of green cardamom, black pepper, cumin and turmeric. We add our touch of warm clove, smokey black cardamom and intriguing kalonji.

Bring the loving welcome of Levantine hospitality to your kitchen with our unique Bedouin Spice. Great for roasting, grilling, grain pilafs, lentil or chickpea dishes, and cruciferous vegetables.

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