Indigenous Ingredients | Thyme

Wild thyme is a creeping plant whereas garden thyme is a thick bushy plant. Lemon thyme is a thin slender plant.

Associated with the fairy world in folklore, in food thyme will enhance the flavour of olive oil and has a reputation as a super seasoning in fish, meat, poultry and vegetable dishes.

Used in salads, soups, stews and stuffings, thyme is a member of the French bouquet garni family.

Native to the Mediterranean basin, thyme is one of the famous Provençal herbs and a legendary herb in Crete, where thyme honey is an artisanal product.


Associated with Andalusian cooking when the Arabs ruled the region, thyme is an ingredient in the meat dish called Sa’tariyya.

  • 1 kg beef, cubed small
  • 450 g onions, whole
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 45 g pine nuts, whole
  • 30 g almonds, whole
  • 15 g black pepper, coarse ground
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cloves, ground
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • Vinegar, splash
  • Water for fennel

Blend the fennel with water to make a thin soup.

Pour into a large pot, add the beef followed by the nuts, thyme, soy sauce and seasonings.

Cook uncovered over a gentle heat for 120 minutes.

Add a splash of vinegar when the liquid has evaporated.

Place the egg yolks on top of the meat, leave them to cook.

Combine some black pepper with cloves.

Serve the meat sprinkled with the clove-pepper mixture and one egg yolk per diner.