Dukkah, the exotic Egyptian seed-and-nut blend, is popping up on the menus of trendy Middle Eastern restaurants from Los Angeles to Manhattan. What makes it so special? An addictive crunch and a delicious, toasty aromatic profile. It's also incredibly versatile - delicious on everything from a simple crusty bread to lamb, and even pizza! Here's what you need to know to try this savory spice mix at home.
How to Make Dukkah
There are countless recipes for making dukkah (pronounced DOO-kah), but most combinations start with freshly-toasted nuts, dried herbs such as mint or tarragon, coriander, cumin seeds, and sesame seeds (and salt and pepper, natch). The most traditional recipes call for hazelnuts, but we also love making it with almonds.
Try this simple dukkah recipe, made with hazelnuts, and watch a how-to video of dukkah made with almonds.
Preparation is simple: After toasting the ingredients for 10-minutes in a cast-iron pan, you grind them into a coarse powder (dukkah means "to crush" in Egyptian Arabic) with a pestle and mortar or food processor. The finished blend can be stored in an airtight container for a up to a month.
A Little Background
Dukkah has long been a staple of Egyptian cooking. It's often used in coating traditional lamb dishes, but it's also served as a common street food snack, served in a cone as an affordable source of protein and healthy fats. However, the spice blend gained international recognition, particularly with home cooks, after the release of international bestseller Jerusalem: A Cookbook in which co-authors Yotam Ottolenghi and Sam Tamimi share their paprika-laced dukkah recipe. We have been loving the nut-and-seed combination ever since.
Best Ways to Use Dukkah
Dukkah is most often used as a crust for lamb, but it's also delicious enjoyed as a simple appetizer, served with bread and olive oil as a dipping spice. You can also try folding it into hummus for an unexpected crunch or sprinkling it on pizza crust with a brush of olive oil and bake until crispy. It adds depth when stirred into Greek yogurt. You can also try it sprinkled on roasted vegetables, homemade crackers, or as a substitute for panko on fish or chicken tenders. It adds the perfect salt and spice to your popcorn, and an herby kick to avocado toast and hard-boiled eggs.
Once you're obsessed with dukkah, you'll find so many ways to eat it! Try adding dukkah in place of the spices in these recipes:
- Homemade Artisan Crackers
- Hazelnut Crusted Salmon
- Roasted Garlic Cauliflower
- Pistachio Crusted Chicken