Easy spiced hot chocolate mix with warming cloves, fragrant cardamom, and lip-tingling ginger. Simply add to hot milk for an indulgent drink.
Do you like to experiment with spices in your cooking? A pinch of this and a shake of that? Hawaij for coffee is a spice blend that goes brilliantly in all sorts of sweet treats.
Less well-known that it’s soup-er cousin hawaij l’marak – ‘hawaij for soup’ – hawaij l’cafe or ‘hawaij for coffee’ is a delicious blend of sweet and fragrant spices that originated in Yemen.
Hawaij simply means “mixture” in Arabic. Yemenite Jews introduced these delicious and traditional spice mixtures to Israel after their mass immigration (Operation Magic Carpet) in 1949/50. Since then, both types of hawaij have been widely adopted in Israel and more recently across the Jewish diaspora. They add a delicious flavour to all kinds of dishes.
Hawaij for coffee
While soup hawaij is now widely available in Jewish and kosher shops around the world, hawaij for coffee remains less well known. This blend of sweet spices, including ginger, cardamon and sometimes anise, is traditionally used to flavour – you guessed it! – coffee.
I first came across it in a spice shop in Tel Aviv’s Levinsky market. However, it’s quite a long way to go for a top up, so since then I’ve learned to blend it myself for cooking and baking.
If you want to make hawaij for coffee, but don’t want to make the hot chocolate mix, simply omit the cocoa and sugar from the recipe below. The hawaij spice mix should be stored in an airtight jar in a cool, dark place.
Yemenite spiced coffee
To make coffee with hawaij, the ground spice mixture is combined with freshly roasted and finely ground coffee, and boiled up repeatedly to make a strong and fragrant brew. Yemenite hawaij coffee is served in small cups without milk. However some coffee shops in Israel and other countries now serve a “Yemenite latte” which combines the strong and flavourful coffee with steamed milk to make a longer drink.
If you like flavoured coffee, give it a try! It’s a bit like a pumpkin spice latte, only less sweet, and more delicious! Maybe I’m biased…
A blend of spices
The spices in hawaij for coffee are:
- and sometimes anise or fennel seeds
The ginger gives it some fiery heat, while the remaining spices add layers of warming flavour and a delicious aroma.
Spiced hot chocolate
This winter, my daughter Kipper and I have been experimenting with spices in our (many!) cups of hot chocolate. From simple cinnamon to the British classic ‘mixed spice’ blend, we’ve been adding a dash here and a shake there every time we whip up a cup.
Far and away our favourite though, is hawaij spiced hot chocolate, which is made with hawaij for coffee. With the heady fragrance of cardamom and cloves, and plenty of lip-tingling ginger, this hawaij spiced hot chocolate is a rich and indulgent winter drink. It turns a comforting cup of cocoa into a warming, delicious and exotic drink that will banish the Winter blues!
I think we all need a bit of that THIS winter!
How to make spiced hot chocolate with hawaij
Hawaij spiced hot chocolate is really very easy to prepare. The recipe below makes about ¾ cup of hawaij hot cocoa mix – enough for around 10 servings. Store the mixture in an airtight container and it will last (in theory!) for a few weeks.
To make yourself a warm and comforting drink, simply add 2 generous teaspoons of the mixture to a cup of hot milk and whisk or mix well, then strain into a mug. That’s it!
I usually have a sneaky cup before bed, when Kipper is already asleep! She enjoys hers as a mid-afternoon treat, ideally with a biscuit or cookie to dunk.
If you’re not about to go to bed, and you like the flavour of coffee with your chocolate, you can also add half a teaspoon of instant coffee to your cup of spiced hot chocolate. The coffee adds another layer of richness and flavour, and is just delicious!
What will I need to make hawaij hot chocolate?
The ingredients are very simple and probably things you have in your pantry!
For the hot chocolate mix you will need:
- cocoa powder
- caster (superfine) sugar
- ground ginger
- cardamom pods
- ground cloves
- ground cinnamon
To make it into a delicious creamy hot drink, you will need milk, or a plant-based milk of your choice – I like oat, but almond or rice milk are great too.
If you really want to overdo it and turn this into a super-indulgent treat, there are a few easy ways! Firstly, adding a square or two of dark chocolate to your cup and letting it melt into the hot chocolate, will make it over-the-top rich and chocolatey.
Secondly, a squirt or dollop of whipped cream or whipped coconut cream on the top makes this super creamy and delicious. A few sprinkles, a shake of cinnamon, or a (vegan) marshmallow or two on the top are all good ideas too!
Finally, this spiced hot chocolate is the perfect medium to dunk a delicious cookie or biscuit! Something spicy like a gingernut or lotus biscuit is wonderful and complements the flavour beautifully. But I also sometimes like to choose a chocolate covered biscuit for maximum melty-chocolate enjoyment.
Next time you feel like experimenting in the kitchen, perhaps you’ll reach for the hawaij for coffee! I’m sure you’ll be hooked after enjoying it in this hot chocolate.
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Hawaij spiced hot chocolate
- 8-10 cardamom pods (approx. 1 tsp ground cardamom)
- 5-6 whole cloves (approx. ¼ tsp ground cloves)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 5 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
- 5 tbsp cocoa powder
To make a cup of hot chocolate
- 225 ml milk or plant-based milk alternative
- Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods. Grind them with the cloves in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and mix all the spices together. (This is your hawaij for coffee spice blend. It can be stored in an airtight jar in a cool, dark place if you don't want to make the hot chocolate mix.)
- Place the sugar, cocoa and spice mixture into a container and mix well. I usually put them in a jar, put the lid on, and shake to mix. Store the spiced hot chocolate mix in an airtight container until ready to use.
To make a cup of hawaij spiced hot chocolate
- Heat the milk or plant-based alternative in a jug in the microwave, or a small pan on the stove, until almost boiling. Remove from the heat.
- Add 2 rounded teaspoonsful of the hot chocolate mix and stir or whisk to combine. Strain into a cup to serve. Enjoy!
Hawaij spiced hot cocoa bombs!
You might like to put this hawaij spiced hot chocolate mix into a hot chocolate bomb, for gift-giving or just as a treat to yourself! If so, Recipes From a Pantry has a great set of instructions for making hot chocolate bombs, including how to how to melt the chocolate using your Instant Pot!
Just make sure you grind your spices really finely before adding the spiced hot chocolate powder to the bombs.
More warming drinks
If you’re in the mood for delicious mood-lifting hot drinks, why not also try this sweet and creamy sahlab, with its spicy, nutty topping.
I’m linking this recipe up with #CookBlogShare.