I love to make Dukkah, ok well technically it is some strange evolving seed, spice and herb mixture that is inspired by Dukkah and other delicious spice traditions throughout the world. In my imagination there are probably as many Dukkah recipes as there are Egyptian grandmothers. Food is a dynamic and adaptive creature moving to different climates, intersecting with different cultures and different foods have been available. My Dukkah has traits that are more similar to Za’atar, especially with its high sesame seed content and I’ll keep tweaking it and playing around with it. I am sure it is also influenced by delicious Japanese rice seasoning (that I still call shaky stuff thanks to good friends back in Australia). It’s a constant exploration and excuse to buy interesting looking spices. I never use measurements or make exactly the same Dukkah twice.
Read on for my ‘recipe’ and what to do with Dukkah.
Dukkah seems a lot less known to our friends in the United States, so here are some instructions for consumption.
How to eat Dukkah
Cut some nice artisan/bakery bread, I’m fond of Italian crusty rustic bread (’cause why wouldn’t you be?) into rough squares. You can also use pieces of pide, lavash bread etc. Dip into a small dish of olive oil. Dip the same end of the square into a small dish of dukkah seed. Eat. Repeat.
Once you’ve mastered the basics you can also sprinkle it on roast potatoes, as a crust on chicken, as sprinkles on top of rice or cream cheese. It is tasty, feels wholesome and delicious, full of complex flavors and active ingredients.
My not at all traditional Dukkah recipe:
Buy cumin seeds. Buy sesame seeds. Toast sesame seeds, add salt. Toast other things that might be tasty if you have them (walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds whatever seems tasty). Toast more sesame seeds ’cause they always taste nice. Roughly crush any nuts you’ve toasted.
Add any other tasty seeds you have (black cumin/nigella, black sesame seeds, coriander, random spice you picked up at an Asian supermarket that tastes nice when you taste test it). Toast or don’t toast them depending on what tastes better. Stir together in a big bowl (which is useful for cooling off the things you’ve been toasting, I just add one after the other). Add salt
Pour into jars and then tweak seasoning with ground spices through the power of shaking (that way you can experiment with smaller amounts), cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder, chillies, ground pomegranate seeds (my favorite, lemony zing) whatever you feel like. Keeps fine on the counter, but keeps its flavour even better in the fridge.
Read recipes for Dukkah or Za’atar or shaky stuff on the internet and think, wow, that’s nothing like what I just did – maybe next time I’ll drop the cumin and use lots of dried mint or hazelnuts or sage or bonito flakes. I never put my mixture in the blender as I like a more textured experience.
Worst case scenario – cumin seeds, sesame seeds and salt taste good on most things. They are my little black dress safe place.
And viola, not at all traditional Dukkah ala TLM