Dukkah is a condiment that originated in Egypt that is traditionally made with toasted nuts, seeds, dried herbs, and spices. It’s used as a dip for bread, and you can sprinkle it on top of meat and salads.
I must say, Middle Easterners sure know how to snack. When you look at the variety of snacks they have created, you see that it’s an important part of their culture. They snack A LOT, just like Asians do.
Some of the most famous and popular Middle Eastern snacks include hummus, tabbouleh, baba ghanoush, falafel, grilled halloumi, and manakish, among others.
Now that the weather is warmer, I’ve had the urge to make small plates (aka tapas or a meze plate) for dinner more often. I was browsing on the internet recently for inspiration on what to make for dinner and discovered some great dips for grilled meat and bread – essentials for a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern dinner.
Dukkah is a condiment that originated in Egypt that is traditionally made with toasted nuts, seeds, dried herbs, and spices. It’s used as a dip for bread, and you can sprinkle it on top of meat and salads. There are really no strict rules on the proportions or types of nuts and seeds you use in dukkah. It’s all about how you want it to taste. The most common ingredients are hazelnuts and sesame seeds. In my version, I used what I had on hand at home (which is a great way to clean out your cupboard).
I have sprinkled this recipe over hummus or tzatziki eaten with pita bread, for marinating duck breast (which is unexpectedly nice), and as a garnish for grilled halloumi drizzled with honey (which is a great starter to share). I wouldn’t recommend that you make it ahead of time, because it’s best fresh, as nuts lose their crunch in the fridge. The portion in this recipe is perfect for a week’s worth of meals.
Makes about 1 cup
- 1/4 cup raw pine nuts
- 1/4 cup raw pistachios
- 1/8 cup each black and white sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1-1.5 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1-1.5 tbsp sweet paprika
- 1 tbsp black peppercorn
- 1-1.5 tbsp sea salt flakes
Dry heat a medium frying pan, then use it to toast the nuts until they are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Shake the pan a few times to make sure that the surfaces are evenly browned. (You might need to remove the pan from the heat from time to time.) Remove nuts from pan and let them cool in a small bowl.
Reheat the pan again at medium-low or medium heat and toast sesame seeds until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool in another small bowl.
Last, toast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, and thyme until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Using a mortar and pestle, roughly pound nuts into small chunks (not grounded into powder). Pour it into an approximately 300 g sterilized jar.
Repeat for toasted seeds, spices, and herbs, pounding them to release the flavour but not turning them into powder. Pour seeds into the jar with the nuts.
Finally, add paprika and sea salt and mix the ingredients thoroughly until well combined.
Stored in a cool dry place for up to a month. Sprinkle dukkah on grilled halloumi, salad, pita bread, and honey drizzle.