Dukkah is an Egyptian side dish and it consists of a mixture of nuts, seeds, spices and herbs. Traditionally it is served together with olive oil and bread but you could also sprinkle it on top of vegetables and rice.
I made my first batch of dukkah many years ago after reading about it in a magazine. I found the flavour sensational and I still do. It is a perfect blend of roasted nuttiness, crunch, aromatic herbs and spices. You dip a piece of bread in a little olive oil, then in the dukkah and finally into your mouth.
The good thing about dukkah is that it comes in many versions depending on household and taste. This means you get to create your own. Some of the ingredients are standard but there are others that you can vary and still get its distinct flavour. The version in the recipe below is the one most frequently made at our house and it has been developed during many years.
Dukkah is a very appreciated contribution at dinner parties. I like to serve it as a hour d’ oeuvres together with a beverage when the guests arrive.
1/2 dl sesame seeds (black or white)
1/2 dl hazelnuts
1/2 dl almonds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds (spiskummin)
1 tsp flaked sea salt
1 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp dried thyme or mint
the peel from 4 organic lemons (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 125ºC / 255ºF. Place grated lemon zest from 4 lemons on a baking tray covered in baking paper and let it dry completely in the oven. It will only take a few minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on it, it could burn quickly if left unattended. When done put it in a bowl.
2. Increase the heat in the oven to 150ºC / 300ºF and roast the nuts for 20 minutes. Let them cool and later grind them coarsely. Add the nuts to the lemon peel.
3. While the nuts are roasting in the oven you roast the sesame seeds, coriander seeds and the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan one after the other. Use high heat while doing so and stir the seeds often to prevent them from burning. Add all the seeds to the bowl.
4. When all the roasted ingredients have cooled off you add the salt, chili flakes and thyme. Blend it well and store it in a jar inside the fridge. If kept in the refrigerator it will stay fine for at least a month.