Impress your palate and your dinner guests with a taste of homemade dukkah (or duqqa), a common Egyptian condiment made of toasted nuts and warming spices. Dukkah is often served with bread and olive oil, or sprinkled on top of roasted veggies, hummus, salads, and yogurt. You can even stir it into cooked rice for added texture and flavor.
Every Egyptian household makes their own version of dukkah, typically using whatever nuts, seeds, and spices are on hand. Translated, dukkah means “to pound,” because, traditionally, the toasted nuts, seeds, and spices are pounded with a mortar and pestle until a crunchy, coarse mixture is formed. Today, dukkah is often made in a food processor.
Although there are no hard rules when it comes to making dukkah, sesame seeds are a key ingredient, along with aromatic spices such as cumin, coriander, and fennel. Hazelnuts are also commonly used. The nice thing about dukkah is you can easily adapt it to fit your needs. If you are allergic to nuts, simply stick to seeds. If you don’t have a certain nut or seed on hand, swap it with another.
Depending on the type of nuts and seeds you use, the nutritional value changes. However, across the board, nuts and seeds support health and wellness by reducing inflammation and supporting the growth of good gut bacteria. Nuts and seeds are also great sources of minerals and vitamin E. Along with the anti-inflammatory spices, dukkah can be a great way to support your health while enjoying a sensory experience. Simple meals can become interesting with just a little sprinkle of dukkah.
Makes about 1 ¼ cups
- ½ cup raw nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, etc.)
- ½ cup raw seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or more nuts)
- 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (or 1 ½ teaspoons ground)
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (or 1 ½ teaspoons ground)
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (or 1 teaspoon ground)
- Fresh ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Heat a large skillet over medium until hot, then reduce heat to medium low and add the raw nuts. Toast for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add all the seeds and spices and toast another 2-3 minutes or until fragrant, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Remove pan from heat and allow the nut, seeds, and spice mixture to cool. Continue to stir initially until the pan cools enough that the seeds and spices do not burn. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, until just warm to touch.
- Transfer the nut/seed mixture to a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Do not over-process the nuts; you want to leave some crunch. Add the salt and pepper and pulse 1-2 times just to combine.
- Transfer the mixture into an airtight jar and refrigerate. Use within one month. (It is important to store this condiment in an airtight jar in the refrigerator; the natural oils are sensitive to rancidity once exposed to heat, light, and air.)
Tip: This is not the recipe to use up old spices that have been hanging out in your cupboard for years. Use fresh spices only!