In Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem, he describes Dukkah as “An Egyptian aromatic seed and nut mix”. It is this and so much more. I was first introduced to it a couple of years ago in Kai restaurant in Galway. There was served as a coating to lamb and I was not too sure how much nuts could add to the dish. It was delicious!
Traditionally, dukkah is served as a snack with bread dipped in olive oil and then coated in the spice mix for a tasty crust. It was made popular by Claudia Roden and seems to have been really embraced in Australia and New Zealand. It is one of those recipes where everyone has their own version. All contain nuts, sesame seeds, cumin and coriander. Hazelnuts are the most popular nuts used – Ottolenghi’s recipe and the one in Lilly Higgins’ Dream Deli both use them. In Australia, macadamia nuts are popular. I have used a mixture of hazelnuts and pistachios because I love them and like the little pop of green colour they add to the mix. You can adapt and use whatever flavours you like yourself.
I would recommend using a spice grinder for this. I bought a very cheap coffee grinder in a sale and it works perfectly. If you don’t have one a pestle and mortar will do. You could chop the nuts in a food processor but I prefer to use a knife so that you have more control over the size. If you do use a food processor, make sure to pulse gently. You do not want to release oils which will turn it into a paste, it is meant to be a dry mixture. Also take care when toasting the seeds, they can go from toasted to burnt very quickly!
Dukkah is great sprinkled over salads, used as a coating for meat or fish and even soft cheese rolled in dukkah is taken to a whole new level. It will keep for about a month in an airtight container.
Makes 1 jar
- 60g hazelnuts
- 50g pistachios
- 50g sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 heaped tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 heaped tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 25g sesame seeds
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- A pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 160c/140c fan/gas mark 5
- Put the hazelnuts and pistachios on to a baking tray and roast for about 20 minutes.
- When they have been in the oven for about 10 minutes, add the sunflower seeds. When they are all roasted and releasing a nice aroma, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Heat a heavy frying pan or cast iron pan over a medium heat. Toast the peppercorns until they start to pop. Remove and crush in a pestle and mortar, or even better a spice grinder until they have become a fine powder.
- Toast the fennel, coriander and cumin seeds, again until they start to colour and pop.
- Add to the pestle and mortar/spice blender and grind. It will be good to keep a bit of texture with these seeds.
- Toast the sesame seeds in the pan and when they have turned a light golden colour pour them into a bowl.
- When the nuts and sunflower seeds have cooled, rub the hazelnuts in a clean tea towel to remove any remaining skins. Roughly chop them and the pistachios. Chop until you still have some nice chunks of different sizes. Add these and the sunflower seeds to the sesame seeds.
- Pour over the ground spices, add the paprika and a good pinch of salt and give everything a good stir together.
- Transfer to an airtight container.