Dukkah, or duqqa, (DOO-ka) is an Egyptian mixture of toasted and ground nuts, seeds and spices into which olive oil-dabbed bread is dipped.
Apparently dukkah is all the rage Down Under, and reading about it inspired me to whip up a batch myself. Boy, am I glad I did! As I toasted the ingredients the aromas burst open, filled my kitchen with nutty perfume and transported me back to Egypt. My mother and I visited Egypt in the late 80's and dukkah reminded me of how it smelled: fragrant, earthy and bold.
This tasty mixture makes me want to blacken my eyes with kohl, smudge perfumed oil behind my ears and dance to percussions and lutes on the banks of the Nile!
Use the following recipe as a starting point. You may find, as I did, that you want more or less of a particular spice. I added a bit more mint.
1/2 C hazelnuts
3 T sesame seeds
1/4 C coriander seeds
2 T cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 T black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried mint leaves
1 teaspoon salt
In a very hot skillet (or in a 375 degree oven) dry-toast hazelnuts until golden. Wrap the hot nuts in a kitchen towel and let cool for a few minutes. When they have cooled slightly, rub the nuts vigorously in the towel to loosen and remove the skins. Place peeled nuts in a bowl and allow to further cool.
Put sesame seeds into the skillet and over medium heat toast until lightly golden, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add seeds to the hazelnuts.
In the same pan, toast coriander, cumin and fennel seeds until they begin to color and become fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add all the above ingredients to a food processor (or mortar if you are going to hand grind) and let cool completely. When the mixture has cooled, add the black peppercorns, salt and mint, and pulse (or grind in mortar) until the mixture is coarse.
Serve with olive oil and bread.
Store in a tightly sealed container for up to a month.
Other dukkah uses to inspire you:
- Drizzle a little olive oil over feta and sprinkle with dukkah
- Use as a rub on lamb, chicken or steak
- How about with a little honey on a toasted English muffin?
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