Welcome once again to my version of Cultural Connections. Today I have for you an Egyptian spice blend, Dukkah, pronounced DOO-ka, or Doo-hah, with kind of a hard H stuck in your throat sound. No matter how you say it…it’s good!
I first mentioned the fabulous spice and nut mixture on my Aqua Sunday
blog. My recipe for dukkah was then published early on, on my food blog The Tiny Skillet
way back before anyone really read it. Dukkah is such a wonderful blend of warm spices and toasted nuts, and is so versatile, I wanted to share it with you. This originated in Egypt and is very popular in Australia served as an appetizer. You take Turkish bread, pita, or ciabatta bread, or any good crusty bread and dip it in a good olive oil then in the nut & spice mixture. It makes a lot so I freeze the extra an use it to coat chicken or fish then bake, or grill it. It’s so easy to pull out of the freezer to use. You can use it on meats, rice, veggies or sprinkle it on salads, pizza or pasta. It is like Chai spice, everyone seems to have their own blend. Some even use dry roasted chickpeas instead of the Hazelnuts. Here is what I came up with:
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup pistachio nuts
1/4 cup almonds (optional)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried mint leaves
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
You can add red pepper flakes if you want a little kick (my husband doesn’t)
Heat a heavy skillet over med heat, add the nuts, and dry-toast until slightly browned and fragrant, being careful that they don’t burn. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Repeat the procedure with each of the seeds and the peppercorns. Allow each of them to cool completely.
Place the nuts and seeds, along with the herbs and salt, into a mortar and pound until the mixture is crushed. Or pulse in a food processor to a coarse consistency; do not allow the mixture to become a paste. I found I liked mine a little bit finer texture so you can play with it a and see what you prefer.
Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 1 month. Or freeze. I love having this on hand in the freezer, then you can pull it out anytime you need a quick coating for chicken or pork, or just sprinkle over a salad!
Hope you enjoy it!