Egyptian Dukka (Dukkah)

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Dukka duo with olive oil Egyptian Dukka (Dukkah)

Chef Ana Sortun is one of the most inventive and adventurous chefs in Boston. What she does at Oleana and Sofra with spices, herbs, fruit, chiles, and nuts is incomparable. Each dish is a revelation of taste, texture, and color–even a simple dish, such as Spiced Carrot Puree & Dukkah. Who knew that chopped almonds, coconut, coriander, cumin, sesame seeds, and black pepper could taste so amazing—with carrots?

Nuts Egyptian Dukka (Dukkah)

Let’s just say that when I got back to Portland after a whirlwind tasting tour of Boston this past Fall, I went to work to create Dukka, an intriguing and versatile Egyptian nut and spice mixture. The great thing about this spicy blend, besides its ease, is its wide latitude. If you toast, mince, and throw together some combination of the following key ingredients, you will have Dukka.

Grilling dukka spices Egyptian Dukka (Dukkah)

Key Ingredients

 

  • Nuts: Hazelnuts*, peanuts*, almonds, pistachios, macadamias, walnuts, and/or pecans, toasted (* skinned)
  • Coconut: Unsweetened, dried, flaked coconut, lightly toasted
  • Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and/or sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • Primary Whole Spices: Coriander, cumin, fennel
  • Secondary Whole Spices: Caraway, nigella, cinnamon, and/or cloves
  • Secondary Herbs: Mint, marjoram
  • Chiles: Chipotle chile powder, Ancho chile powder, crushed red pepper flakes
  • Seasonings: Fine sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper

Now, you probably made way too much, so what do you do with it all?

Grilling dukka spices 2 Egyptian Dukka (Dukkah)

 

Ten Ways to Use Dukka

 

The classic way to serve Dukka is as an accompaniment to a fresh loaf of crusty bread and extra virgin olive oil. Tear off a hunk of bread, dip it in oil, and then dip it into the Dukka. Sublime.

  • Prior to sautéing, coat chicken breast supremes, shelled prawns, trout filets, or pork tenderloin with Dukka
  • Toss roasted winter squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, or yams with Dukka, and add to a spinach and crumbled goat cheese salad.
  • Add Dukka to your favorite shortbread cookie dough.
  • Roll your favorite cracker dough very thinly and press Dukka onto the surface prior to cutting and baking.
  • Garnish a curried vegetable soup with sour cream and Dukka.
  • Dust roasted cauliflower, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts with Dukka.
  • Toss Dukka into rice pilaf or couscous.
  • Sprinkle Dukka over a salad of sliced oranges and onions.
  • Add Dukka to your favorite pound cake batter.
  • Load toasted crostini with roasted vegetables coated lightly with olive oil and Dukka.
  • On warm flat bread, spread tzatziki sauce (cucumber yogurt sauce), and then top with grilled, thinly sliced flank steak, chopped tomatoes, red onions, and Dukka. Wrap and eat.

 

But just in case you want an actual recipe, here are two that I fine-tuned to perfection.

Dukka ingredients Egyptian Dukka (Dukkah)

Hazelnut Coconut Dukka

This is probably my favorite Dukka, as I love toasted hazelnuts and dried coconut. It’s great to have on hand and can add a lively note to just about anything, even scrambled eggs in the morning.

 

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon whole coriander
1 teaspoon fennel seeds

 

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

 

½ cup whole, toasted, skinned hazelnuts, minced
½ cup toasted, unsweetened, dried coconut flakes, minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 teaspoon smoked sweet or hot paprika, optional

  1. In a small, non-stick saute pan set over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds, whole coriander, and fennel seeds for a minute or two, stirring frequently. As soon as you see stream rising from the seeds and smell the fragrance that is released, remove the pan from the heat and scoop the spices in to spice grinder. When the spices are cool, grind to a powder. Add the powder to a medium mixing bowl.
  2. In the same, wiped clean, saute pan set over medium heat, lightly toast the white and black sesame seeds for about 1 minute. Add to the mixing bowl with the spice powder.
  3. To the mixing bowl, add hazelnuts, coconut, paprika and red pepper flakes, if using.
  4. Store in an airtight container for a couple of days, or put into a freezer bag and freeze.

Makes about 1¼ cups.

Pistachio Dukka

This Dukka has a lovely pale green hue from the pistachios. It’s the perfect choice when you need that color contrast.

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon whole coriander
1 teaspoon fennel seeds

 

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

 

1 cup whole, toasted pistachios, minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 teaspoon smoked sweet or hot paprika, optional

 

  1. In a small, non-stick saute pan set over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds, whole coriander, and fennel seeds for a minute or two, stirring frequently., as soon as you see stream rising from the seeds and smell the fragrance that is released, remove the pan from the heat and scoop the spices in to spice grinder. When the spices are cool, grind to a powder. Add the powder to a medium mixing bowl.
  2. In the same, wiped clean, saute pan set over medium heat, lightly toast the white and black sesame seeds for about 1 minute. Add to the mixing bowl with the spice powder.
  3. To the mixing bowl, add pistachios, black pepper, and red pepper flakes and paprika, if using.
  4. Store in an airtight container for a couple of days, or put into a freezer bag and freeze.

 

Makes about 1¼ cups.

Resources

Copyright 2011 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.

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About Susan S. Bradley

Intrepid cook, food writer, culinary instructor, author of Pacific Northwest Palate: Four Seasons of Great Cooking, and founder of the Northwest Culinary Academy.

Comments

  1. I can smell the delicious perfumes going through the house !!! awsome & mouth watering
    a frog in the cottage´s last blog post ..Saint Honoré with light vanilla crème pâtissièreMy Profile

  2. I love Dukkah! And you are correct in how versatile it is. I especially like it when it has a bit of a chilli bite to it.
    ylenate´s last blog post ..Dinner for One – Eggs en CocotteMy Profile

  3. that looks really cool! never tried any egyptian food before, I’m going to give this recipe a try for sure.
    alex´s last blog post ..Restaurant VouchersMy Profile

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