Saturday, May 9, 2009
Dukkah is an Egyptian ground seed and nut mix that is flavored with spices. They use it with olive oil on bread. I have also read that it can be used on salads or with vegetables. I love the idea of having another “little something” that I can add to food. I am a bit of geek when it comes to sauces, salsas, chutneys and flavored salts. Dukkah seemed like something that would fit right in at our house.
As my husband and I age we both have come to appreciate Middle Eastern food of all sorts. I think it is the spices that have appealed to us the most. Our friend from Cairo has mentioned dukkah a few times so I decide to find a recipe and give it a try. There are so many different recipes that it was a challenge to know what was traditional and what had been Americanized. All the recipes included sesame seeds, cumin, coriander, black pepper and salt so that is where I started. Then there seemed to be two schools, one that added hazelnuts and one that added dry roasted and crushed chickpeas. I found hazelnuts to be more appealing.
Sesame seeds are a good source of many vitamins and minerals, namely: manganese and copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, and zinc. The little seeds also contain lignans that are said to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.
makes about 1 cup
1/3 cup hazelnuts, skinned
2/3 cup sesame seeds
2½ teaspoon coriander seeds
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
In a dry skilled toast the hazelnuts until you can smell the nut aroma. Move the hazelnuts to the food processor and pulse until they are a little larger than the sesame seeds.
Put sesame seeds into the skillet and over medium heat toast until lightly golden, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add seeds to the hazelnuts in the food processor.
In the same pan, toast coriander, cumin and black pepper until they begin to color and become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Move the toasted seeds to your spice grinder and processor until they are all broken, about 15 seconds. Move the seeds to the food processor.
Add all the above ingredients to a food processor (or mortar if you are going to hand grind) and let cool completely. When the mixture has cooled, add the salt and pulse (or grind in mortar) until the mixture is coarse.
Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator so the nut and seed oils do not spoil. Bring to room temperature before serving. Serve with olive oil and bread.
Other possible uses for dukkah:
- Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over vegan feta and sprinkle with dukkah
- Roast new potatoes and toss with dukkah when you remove them from the oven
- Toss dukkah into a potato salad that was made with a lemon vinaigrette
- Use as a rub on seitan or tofu
- Toss hot whole wheat spaghetti with extra virgin olive oil and garlic and finish with dukkah and fresh minced parsley.
Dukkah has much more flavor than I expected. It also has a nice crunchy texture and more of a saltiness than I anticipated. I imagine using this in place of finishing salt which would result in an overall reduction of sodium ....... which would be a good thing. Dukkah will be a regular item in our house from now on.