If you’ve been on any of our market and city tours, your trusty Delicious guide probably stopped to show you the ins and outs of their favorite spice vendor. We love showing our Delicious guests the most essential and unique spices found in Israeli kitchens.
Among these spice blends, one of the most beloved surprises is something called ‘hawaij for coffee’ (hawaij le-ka'ffeh in Hebrew). Hawaij is a Yemenite spice blend that most commonly comes in two forms - a savory one (typically used for soups) and a sweeter one used as to sprinkle on black coffee. Hawaij for coffee can vary between vendors’ recipes but typically consists of a mix of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg. This hearty, warm blend is most commonly enjoyed in a strong Turkish coffee, mixed in teaspoonful at a time - hence ‘hawaij for coffee’.
We love it in a strong cup of coffee as much as anyone else, but here at Delicious Israel we love to use it in other goodies, especially baked goods and desserts! Think of it like the Pumpkin Spice Latte mix Israelis were drinking before PSLs were even a thing. We guarantee this will be your new favorite treat, and are thrilled to share our recipe below. This hot chocolate is fantastic on its own, but we can’t imagine anything better than cozying up with a warm mug of this and some homemade halva babka.
Feel free to use your favorite old-school hot chocolate recipe and add hawaij to your liking, as well as any of your favorite goodies like marshmallows, whipped cream or extra cinnamon sticks.
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar (less if you like a less sweet hot chocolate)
1 cup of milky liquid of your choice - milk, cream, almond milk, soy milk
Hawaij for coffee mix (we recommend starting with one teaspoon and adding more to your liking)
Whisk all ingredients together over low-medium heat until incorporated, whisking constantly and taking care not to burn the mixture. Add hawaij for coffee spice blend to your liking - and enjoy!
Photo credit: the Nosher