Dukkah is an Egyptian blend of nuts and spices that is easy to make and adds a wonderful crunch and flavor to so many things. Whether you dip bread in it, use it to top eggs or salads, it’s a delicious addition.
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I first came across dukkah many years ago and remember really liking it, but I then saw less of it for a while so kind of forgot about it. Since moving to Australia, I’ve started seeing it on the menu in lots of places. For whatever reason, it’s seeing a popularity surge here.
Having tried dishes with this tasty mix sprinkled on top a couple times, I’ve been reminded how delicious it is. So, it didn’t take me long to make some and add it to our pantry. It’s really easy to make, keeps well and great to have on hand to perk up many a dish.
What is in dukkah?
Dukkah is an Egyptian blend of toasted nuts and seeds. The exact blend can vary quite a lot, although most traditional recipes will at least include hazelnuts and sesame seeds. Almonds are also popular, while others use pistachios or pine nuts. The spices can vary as well, but fennel seeds, cumin and coriander seeds are all commonly included.
Essentially all you do is crush all of the ingredients enough to make them relatively fine, but not so fine it’s a powder. It should still have a bit of texture. But the key step you shouldn’t skip is toasting the nuts and whole seeds to bring out their flavor.
In most cases, when you buy whole hazelnuts they will still have a slight ‘skin’ on them (no shell, but the inner layer around the nut). After you toast them, this will usually become loose so rub it off with a dry dish towel or your fingers before you put the nuts in the food processor.
Traditionally, everything would have been crushed by hand with a pestle and mortar, but a food processor makes things a lot easier and quicker. Just make sure you don’t over-process everything. You want them broken into relatively small pieces, but not a powder, as I say.
How do you use this nutty mixture?
This condiment is great for lots of dishes. Traditionally, you dip bread in it, either just as it is or after dipping in oil first. You can also use it to top egg, avocado toast, a salad and more. It’s also something you can use to make a crust on meats instead of breadcrumbs.
If you store the mixture in an airtight jar, it will keep well for a good month, or really much longer. Just be aware that as with any spices, their flavor will fade over time so it’s worth using this sooner rather than later.
With such wonderful flavors, and being so versatile, though, you’ll soon be adding dukkah to everything and anything. This nut-based condiment is easy and adds that special something, so whizz some up and enjoy.
Try these other condiments to add flavor to your meal:
- Chimichurri sauce (a South American sauce combining herbs, chili, vinegar and oil)
- Rhubarb chutney
- Chermoula sauce (a North African mix of herbs, cumin, garlic and oil)
- Plus see more side dishes in the archives.
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts 35g
- 2 tbsp blanched almonds 22g
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds 15g
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp coriander ideally seeds, if not ground
- 1/2 tsp cumin ideally seeds, if not ground
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Place the hazelnuts and almonds in a dry skillet/frying pan over a medium heat and toast for a few minutes until gently browned on both sides and smelling 'nutty'.
- If the hazelnuts still have their inner skin on them (the dark colored paper-thin coating), rub this off with a towel before putting all of the nuts in a food processor. Pulse the nuts a few times until well chopped but still with some texture – you don't want a powder.
- Toast the sesame seeds and whole spices, if you are able to use whole spices (fennel, cumin and coriander seeds) in the same skillet for a minute or two until lightly toasted and smelling aromatic. Add these in with the nuts and pulse three or four times to gently break them and mix.
- Add the salt and pepper, as well as any spices you are using as powder if you didn't have whole seeds, and pulse once or twice to mix. Store in an airtight jar at cool room temperature until needed (see above for ideas).
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline’s Cooking Amazon store.