dukkah days

 

dukkah with olive oil & sourdough

Dukkah was one of the things that started my love affair with Middle Eastern food. It may seem a lot to ask from a simple blend of sesame seeds, cumin, coriander and hazelnuts. But from the first time I tried this delicious and versatile Egyptian specialty I was hooked.

My first encounter with dukkah was in McLaren Vale, South Australia, a picturesque wine growing area known for it’s gutsy reds.  At the time an enterprising olive oil and almond farmer had started producing an almond based dukkah that was sampled along with their extra virgin oil in various wineries in the region. We were encouraged to try it the Egyptian way: take some crusty bread dip in oil and then in the dukkah…yum.

According to Claudia Roden dukkah with olive oil and bread is eaten in Egypt for breakfast, lunch & dinner. And I’ve found that it has crept into my kitchen on all three eating occasions. For breakfast it adds a new dimension to honey on crumpets, for lunch it jazzes up sardines on toast and for dinner it lends a crunchy topping to a pretty pink beetroot soup.

Along with marinated olives, dukkah is still my favourite standby starter for when you have last minute guests……just pop some dukkah into a small bowl, add another bowl of your best extra virgin oil and some bread and presto you have an instant tasty starter…all good things

other uses for dukkah:
*quail eggs hard boiled, peeled and served with dukkah for dunking
*sprinkled over chicken liver pate and served with toast
*sprinkled on honey sandwiches
*sprinkled over fried eggs with feta and sliced spring onions with a squeeze of lemon juice a la karen martini
*dust to form a light crust on fish or chicken before pan frying and serving with an extra sprinkle of dukkah
*sprinkled over roast veg, especially pumpkin and sweet potato
*sprinkled over vegemite on toast

dukkah
makes approx 3cups

I prefer to make a largish batch of dukkah and then keep half in an airtight jar in the fridge and the rest in a plastic bag in the freezer.  When my fridge supply runs out I just top up from the freezer.  It will keep perfectly well at room temperature but the cooler your storage environment, the fresher it will keep for longer.

This version was adapted from Claudia Roden’s eneyclopaedic tomb: a new book of Middle Eastern food.  I’ve added macadamias to give it more of an Australian feel..and because I didn’t have enough hazelnuts..I was also a bit lazy and used pre ground spices but it would be even tastier if you took the time to first toast then grind whole spices..

250g sesame seeds
100g hazelnuts
100g macadamias
100g ground coriander
60g ground cumin
extra virgin olive oil, to serve
sourdough or turkish bread, to serve

Toast seeds and nuts separately until golden. Process hazelnuts and macadamias in a food processor until coarsley ground, add remaining ingredients and whizz until combined. Season well with s&p..I used at least 1t sea salt.

Serve on a platter with oil and bread. To eat dip bread first the oil and the dukkah.

sardines on toast with dukkah
serves 1

This is a new simple twist on an alltime favourite lunch: sardines on toast. I often serve toasted pinenuts with sardines, but the nutty spiciness of dukkah makes an even better accompaniment to the wee oily fish.

1 can sardines in olive oil, drained
2T lemon juice
2T evoo
1t dijon mustard
1/2 clove garlic
1 slice sourdough bread, toasted
large handful watercress
dukkah
lemon half, to serve

Combine lemon juice, oil and mustard in a small bowl.  Rub hot toast with the clove of garlic and place on a dinner plate. Top toast with sardines and drizzle with 3/4 of the lemon juice mix. Toss watercress in remaining dressing and place on the plate next to the toast.  Sprinkle toast with dukkah to taste and serve with a lemon half.

sardines on toast with dukkah 

roast beet soup with dukkah and yoghurt
serves 6

Adapted from a beetroot soup recipe by Jane Hahn from the July 2002 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller. Interestingly, after I made my soup I noticed that Jane also has a recipe for a pumpkin carrot and saffron soup that was served with turkish bread and dukkah.

1 bunch beets, scrubbed and trimmed and halved
1T balsamic vinegar
2T olive oil
1 spanish onion, chopped
1L chicken or vegetable stock
2T tarragon vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1/2 cup natural yoghurt

Place beets on a large sheet of aluminium foil. Drizze with 1T oil, balsamic vinegar and season. Wrap foil to form a parcel around the beets and seal tightly. Bake for 30-40mins at 200C or until beets are cooked through.

Heat remaining oil in a large saucepan and add onion. Cook over a low heat for approx 10mins or until onion is soft. Add stock and cooked beets and simmer for 15mins or until beets are very soft.  Puree soup with a stick blender or transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth.  Return to the saucepan and season and reheat.

Serve soup in bowls topped with a dollup of yoghurt and a generous sprinkling of dukkah.

 

roast beet soup with dukkah and yoghurt

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{ 14 comments }

Monisha August 16, 2006 at 2:33 am

Hi -

I just came across your blog, I’m enjoying your posts and your beautiful photos. I think you’re doing an exceptional job !

I share your love of middle eastern food and will definetely be trying out Dukkah soon with some good olive oil and bread.

Thanks for sharing.

Plumpudding August 16, 2006 at 2:51 am

Perfect timing! My husband pulled a jar of dukkah off the shelf last night in Woolies and asked me what it was, I told him about the bread and olive oil combo, he was hooked on the idea and wanted to buy it straight away, as the jar was so small I responded with ‘I would rather try making my own’. So you have saved me having to search around for a recipe, thanks. And thanks for the tip about freezing it.

Dr Reb August 16, 2006 at 6:22 am

I love Dukkah – sounds like a good recipe with maccas. Another thing I use it for is pressing on to a frenched lamb rack and roasting it.

Sue August 16, 2006 at 11:41 am

Fab! I was looking for a recipe. I think it will make a great home made xmas present…ssshhh

jules August 21, 2006 at 5:59 am

monisha,
thanks for dropping by….middle eastern food is hard to beat…

plumpudding
happy to help…dukkah is one of those things that is heaps more economical to make your own

dr reb
Thanks for your tip…I tried it pressed into some lamb fillets on the bbq…worked a treat

sue,
man you’re organised..but top idea…might have to pinch it

Ange August 22, 2006 at 1:50 am

Yeah I love this stuff too, my favoutie way is the simplest, with some good bread & olive oil – YUM! Just reminded me I have some in the cupboard that I havent used in a while, will have to pick up some bread & get stuck in as I now absolutely have to have some soon

quadrapop June 22, 2007 at 7:22 am

Our dukkah is made with whatever nuts we have in the cupboard crushed in the mortar as this releases the oils better and gives a different texture from using the processor.

This usually means walnuts, cashews, macadamias and almonds, occasionally there will be pine nuts but they aren’t really needed unless there are no macas or cashews.

Equal quantity of nuts to the spices (equal quatities of: ground cumin, ground cinnamon, ground corriander with a pinch of ground clove (if I have time I grind all this in the mortar before doing the nuts), some red paprika for colour (all depends on what nuts are in it), equal quantity of sesame seeds, all spread on a baking tray and toasted in a hot oven for a few minutes.

The secret to yummy dukkah on bread is the balsamic, oil, honey, dipping sauce: equal quantities of balsamic vinegar and honey are heated on the stove and simmered till reduced to half (dont breathe in the fumes;-), remove from heat and add an equal quantity of good olive or macadamia oil, stir well or transfer to a jar and shake till well homogenised.

The dukkah and dipping sauce will keep in airtight containers in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks.

Sheri Wetherell March 12, 2008 at 5:34 pm

I found your website after making dukkah and love your macadamia version. I am HOOKED on this delicious mixture and will make another batch based on your delicious sounding recipe! I love your other recommended uses for dukkah as well. Thanks for the great information!

Ran June 13, 2008 at 5:51 am

i am of middle eastern descent and my mum used to combine dukkha with oil and spread it over pita bread and grill till crsip, and then serve with arabic haloumi and chopped tomato.

Awesome breakfast or lunch. has been a dinner or two as well.

i think i will try your soup though. yum!

Kirsty November 1, 2010 at 6:48 am

Love the sound of the beet soup with yogurt and dukkah!

Food Jihadist December 6, 2010 at 8:40 am

This is a lovely North African recipe. I love your blog and the fact that a lot of Middle Eastern recipes come up. I have lived in Egypt for some time now, travelled and eaten a lot, but this type of dukka is not used in Egyptian cuisine hardly ever any more. It is used much more often in other North African countries. Also, olive oil and crusty bread is hardly ever eaten in Egypt nowadays. Egyptian bread is usually flat and soft and olive oil is used to garnish dips but hardly ever a dip for bread itself. I wish I could eat crusty bread with olive oil, your dukka and crusty bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But I have never seen or heard of people eating dukka in present day Egypt in this manner. I am sure it happens but not in a widespread or well known. Just wanted to let you know.

Food Jihadist December 6, 2010 at 8:44 am

This is a lovely North African recipe. I love your blog and the fact that a lot of Middle Eastern recipes come up. I have lived in Egypt for some time now, travelled and eaten a lot, but this type of dukka is not used in Egyptian cuisine hardly ever any more. It is used much more often in other North African countries. Also, olive oil and crusty bread is hardly ever eaten in Egypt nowadays. Egyptian bread is usually flat and soft and olive oil is used to garnish dips but hardly ever a dip for bread itself. I wish I could eat crusty bread with olive oil, your dukka and crusty bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But I have never seen or heard of people eating dukka in present day Egypt in this manner. I am sure it happens but not in a widespread or well known. I love Claudia Roden, but on this matter I think she must be a little dated. Just wanted to let you know.

jules December 6, 2010 at 9:16 am

thanks for your input.
I guess it’s been a while since Claudia Roden grew up in Egypt.
and when I visited Egypt, thinking about it I didn’t come across any dukkah either

Barbara January 1, 2012 at 3:24 am

I was delighted to find your dukka recipe. We first tasted dukka in Australia about 15 years ago and loved it. It’s delicious with a great crusty bread and good olive oil, but now that I have been diagnosed with Celiac disease (there is no really good crusty gluten free bread), I appreciated the suggestions for other uses for dukka!

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