Za’atar Onion Rings


One of the main reasons I could never move to the countryside is because I seriously couldn’t bear to be too far from the ethnic shops and grocers I’ve grown up with in the smoke. I’m constantly amazed at the comedy prices supermarkets slap onto exotic ingredients like those miniature packets of okra, tiny bags of rootless coriander leaves, pickled lemons and tahini. But then, I am lucky enough to live near a Moroccan butchers where I can scoop up big bottles of pomegranate molasses, decorative tins of harissa and home made packages of nutty, herb flecked za’tar at about an eighth of the price. It’s always nice when you can make dishes that don’t ultimately taste of rip off.

I wanted to try something more exciting with my za’atar than just dipping it in bread and these onion rings were the answer. Hot and crunchy with the fluffiest of fillings; we gingerly ate them dipped straight from the pan into cold, creamy yoghurt speckled with garlic, mint, cumin and salt.

serves 2


1 large onion, sliced into rings and separated

100g rice flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

8 tbsp. za’atar

1 egg

250-300ml milk

a dinner plate sprinkled with panko breadcrumbs

oil for frying

parmesan cheese, finely grated

a wire rack placed over some foil/kitchen roll


  • heat the oil
  • mix the flour, baking powder, za’atar and salt in a small bowl and dip the onion rings in this mixture until well coated. Set aside.
  • Crack the egg and whisk the milk into the remaining flour mixture in the small bowl and dip the floured onion rings into the batter, coating well. Place on the wire rack to drain.
  • combine the panko crumbs and Parmesan in a shallow platter coat each ring thoroughly. Tap off any excess.
  • deep fry the rings in small batches for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle over a little more za’atar and serve immediately.


  1. Mmm onion rings are one of my favourite things ever! Never had za’atar, and that’s because you’re right – anything remotely ethnic or exciting or exotic just doesn’t exist in the countryside! Do you know if I’d be able to buy za’atar on Brick Lane or anywhere in the E1/E2 area? I quite fancy making these.

  2. gastrogeek

    alright Pheebz lovely to hear from you! How’sit going? Let’s have that coffee soon please! They might sell it in Taj stores maybe? You can also make your own pretty easily if you can get your hands on some sumac by blending said sumac with dried thyme, dried oregano, toasted sesame seeds and salt (there are loads of recipes on the internet)

  3. I shall try Taj stores, and if not, I don’t mind exploring.

    How are things with you? Coffee would be lovely! I need to get a horrendous essay out the way, but the week after that, should be good.

    Btw watched your walnut video the other day – love it! Particularly the soundtrack/cameo appearance by one bubby boy 🙂

  4. gastrogeek

    ha! Yeah he’s super kawaii and also teething with a vengeance poor thing…all good with us, give me a shout when you’re free,good luck with the essay! ps if you find yourself anywhere near edgeware road/Matble Arch you should easily be able to track some down

  5. Oh I have a few big bags of za’atar left from my trip to Lebanon, which are fast approaching the point of USE NOW USE NOW KLAXON ALERT. Thanks for idea. x

  6. oohhhhh, that looks lush. I adore onion rings and yours look loads better than the ones trotted out in restaurants.

    • gastrogeek

      why thanks SL! They were pretty special. I’ve heard za’atar makes an excellent coating for fried chicken too.

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