Dukkah is a wonderful mix of coarsely ground spices. It shouldn’t be too ground, though. The idea is to have crunchy bits in there rather than a smooth powder, or even worse, a paste. It’s used as a dip for olive-oil covered bread, or a light seasoning.
A copy of Good Food magazine gave me the starting point for this dukkah recipe, using macadamia nuts instead of the more traditional pine nuts. We had neither, so Selma came to the rescue with her suggestion of almonds instead.
It’s said to be Egyptian in origin, but one final question for me was: how do you say dukkah? It’s misleading, I know, to have a double k in the word, because English spelling rules are that a short vowel sound almost always comes before a double consonant. So we would look at dukkah and say ducka, because that’s English.
Professor Google gave a few options for saying dukkah, and they seem to converge on the idea that the du is a long sound, as in doo, and the kk is more along the lines of a German or Scottish type of ch (as in Loch Ness), or a Russian X (which we usually transcribe into English as kh, just to complicate things). There seem to be regional variations, so it probably isn’t worth getting too fussed about the detail unless you find yourself in Egypt, trying to buy dukkah.
- ¾ cup of sesame seeds (100 grams)
- ¼ cup of coriander seeds (3 20-ml tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds
- 100 grams of hazelnuts (or almonds in our case)
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- salt (we use very little, if any)
- Dry roast the sesame seeds in a pan, being careful not to burn them (you’ll usually need less than a minute if the pan is heated before you start.) Set them aside.
- Dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds next. You do them in a separate step to the sesame seeds because they need slightly longer, and because my pan couldn’t fit them all at once. Set them aside.
- Finally, dry roast the hazelnuts (or almonds if you have them). Again, it’s done separately because of the longer cooking time.
- Tip everything into a blender, and grind until you have a coarse, gritty mixture. Don’t make powder, and certainly don’t keep grinding until you make a flavoured almond butter!
- Stir in the ground cinnamon and pepper, add salt if you want to.
- Store your result in an airtight jar.
It seems you can make dukkah whatever you want it to be. Selma tells us you can also add dried mint,dried oregano, fennel seeds, and roasted chickpeas to the mix. Good Food had 100 grams of macadamia nuts, the SBS website uses ½ cup of pine nuts.