My Dukkah

Dukkah is a nut, seed, and spice mixture form the middle east. And it’s crazy delicious.

I have to admit, I was slow on the uptake with this one.

. . . which is a surprise since I really enjoy middle eastern food . . .

From what I’ve seen, there are loads of ways to make dukkah (as is the case with most things: from za’atar to curries, and pizza to chili . . .). Here is my preferred blend.

A few tips before you get started:

  • First, be sure to use fresh ingredients. The last thing you want is a rancid flavor.
  • Second, use whole spices (not ground). The aim with dukkah is to get your components to be a similar size; using ground spices causes the spices to fall to the bottom, leaving the nuts and seeds at the top. There’s also the freshness component of roughly breaking up whole spices . . . yum.
  • Third, toast your nuts, seeds, and spices. This brings out the flavors and makes them richer. (It’s also probably better for digestion.)
  • Fourth, add salt as you eat. Salt has a tendency to drop to the bottom of a mixture, due to its density. Additionally, different people have different salt preferences. Go for a large, flaky salt if you can, like fleur de sel.
  • And finally, how to enjoy dukkah. It’s all about the service. I prefer to give each person their own small bowl for dukkah. Pour oil on your plate, dip bread in olive oil, then dip oiled bread into dukkah. Placing the dukkah directly into the oil places a pretty severe limit on how much dukkah you can pick up (you end up with a very high oil-to-dukkah ratio). Placing the dukkah in its own bowl allows for maximal dukkah adhesion. This is what we want.

*Bonus tip: serve the best with the best. This means, if at all possible, eat this with fresh, good quality bread and high quality, extra virgin olive oil. When going this simple, it’s all about quality.

Additional ways to enjoy dukkah:

  • Sprinkle on top of oiled (or “ghee-ed”) bread to eat alongside soup
  • Sprinkle as a topping on pasta dishes, soups, and salads

Recipe

Makes about 1/3 – 1/2 cup

Dukkah

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup hazelnuts | 35 g, roasted, blitzed until a course grind (or crushed up in a baggie)

1 ½ T. sesame seeds, toasted alone in a dry pan

1 tsp. fennel seeds, slightly heaping, toasted in a dry pan (with coriander)

1 tsp. coriander seeds, slightly heaping, toasted in a dry pan (with fennel)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. If you’re starting with raw hazelnuts, roast them in a 350 F oven for 10-15 minutes or until fragrant. If you’re starting with roasted (unsalted) hazelnuts, begin with step 2.
  2. Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan until lightly golden. Pour onto a plate or into a bowl to let cool.
  3. Toast fennel and coriander seeds together in a dry pan until fragrant.
  4. Pour the fennel and coriander seeds into a mortar—allow to cool before breaking them up a bit with the pestle.
  5. Blitz the hazelnuts in a small food processor, or put them in a little baggie and pulverize them with the bottom of a jar, mortar, etc.
  6. Add all ingredients to a jar and mix together.
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