Egyptian Spice Blend — Dukkah
Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I’m taking with me when I go. — Erma Bombeck
Dukkah is a blend of nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. It is an Egyptian gift to the culinary world.
The word dukkah means “to pound.” The ingredients are pounded to a coarse texture. Fragrant, earthy, and flavorful, it is a perfect accompaniment to bread and olive oil.
I am not sure why I had not made this spice blend before. But now that I have, I can’t get enough of it. Bread, yogurt, vegetable, salad, somehow I find a way to use it. Spices are always a perfect way to bring that extra flavor to a recipe and yet keep it healthy. And dukkah is a great mix of nuts and good-for-you spices.
There are several ways to make this blend with toasted nuts and seeds that are further enhanced with herbs and spices. Any variety of nuts or combination of nuts (hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds) with sesame seeds, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds is the base for this mix. And then herbs like thyme and mint can be added to it. To spice it up a little, chili flakes or peppercorns are used. It is all about your personal taste to make it your own blend. Dukkah is very simple to make at home, and the result is an addictive spice blend for the pantry.
Apart from using with olive oil and bread, sprinkle some dukkah mix on roasted vegetables, bean salads, potatoes, or feta and goat cheese. Its texture and flavors together lift any recipe to a new level. Nutty and toasty, it is a wonderful spice blend to have on hand to jazz up any recipe in a hurry.
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons dried mint
1 teaspoons salt or to taste
In a skillet, dry roast sesame, cumin, and coriander seeds for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside to cool. Place the seeds and roasted hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse until coarse (over mixing can result into paste). Add mint and salt.
Store it in an airtight container and use as needed.
Note: I used raw sesame seeds as you can see in the picture. Also, add peppercorns to taste, if you wish to bring some heat to it.
Hope you are having a wonderful New Year. Add a little spice to it.