Dukkah also spelt Dukka or Duqqa is a delightful and flavoursome Middle Eastern toasted nut and spice blend that originated in Egypt, but is now common in Morocco and throughout the Middle East.
The basic ingredients are nuts, cumin, pepper, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, and salt. Various dried herbs such as thyme or mint and also various types of chili and anise and fennel seeds etc.
You can also use a wide range of nuts: pine nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, pistachios or macadamia nuts.
The easiest way to enjoy Dukkah is to dip fresh bread into olive oil and then into dukkah on a plate.
You can buy various versions of dukkah at many specialist food stores, or using the recipes provided below, you can easily make your own unique version the way you like it.
The term ‘dukkah’ is derived from the expression "to pound" which describes the way the nuts, spices and herbs pounded together to form a coarse mixture rather than a powder.
It can be made with a pestle and mortar or a food processor. See the recipes for dukkah and some lovely recipes for using it.
Roast the sesame seeds and nuts in the oven, taking care not to burn them. They can aloes be roasted in a dry heavy pan. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds lightly in a dry pan to activate. Using a pestle and mortar grind the cumin and coriander seed. Add the nuts and grind coarsely. You can also use a food processor but don’t overdo it as you want a coarse consistency. Add the pepper salt and sesame seeds and blend into the mixture. Always make a double or triple batch because it can become addictive, well almost.
Store the Dukkah in airtight glass container or jar at room temperature.
Note: To make nut free version of dukkah, substitute roasted sunflower seeds or roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) for the nuts.
Heat the pine nuts and coriander seeds over medium-high in a heavy dry frying pan. When the nuts and seeds have just started to color, add the sesame seeds and continue toasting until the mixture is golden brown. Transfer the mixture to a food processor. Add the chilli powder, cumin, salt and baharat mix. Blend together.
Add the pine nuts and macadamia nuts to a large heavy frying pan and lightly toast over medium heat while stirring (about 1-2 minutes). Transfer the nuts to food processor and pulse until finely chopped (resemble coarse crumbs). Pour the nut mixture into a large bowl. Add the sesame seeds to the frying pan and roast while stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to the bowl with nut mixture. Place cumin and coriander seeds into the frying pan and heat while stirring for 1-2 minutes, until they pop and start to release their aromas. Transfer all the ingredients to a mortar and pestle and pound until finely crushed. The dukkah can be stored in an airtight and sealed jar about one month.
Using a pestle and mortar pound the coriander, cumin, cloves, fennel, paprika, turmeric, salt, pepper, and the dried chillies to a coarse powder. Add the hazelnuts, pistachio nuts and sesame seeds, pound lightly, retaining largish pieces. Store the mixture in an airtight jar with a lid, until needed.
Mix the breadcrumbs, Dukkah, herbs, lemon rind, salt and pepper together in a small bowl and coat the fish or chicken pieces, rubbing in to get an even coating. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and squeeze over some of the lemon juice. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C ( 350 degrees F) for about 35-40 minutes for chicken, or 15-20 minutes for the fish. Test for doneness in the center of the pieces or until cooked through. Serve with a boiled potatoes and a fresh green salad.
Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat. Transfer the seeds to a small bowl and add the crushed hazelnuts. Toast the cumin seeds in the frying pan just until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle with the nuts sesame seeds and grind coarsely. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix.