Every so often, a “new” item hits the culinary scene and suddenly foodies everywhere are talking about it. This recent discovery has been used in Egyptian cooking for centuries. Dukkah, derived from the word “dakka” means “to crush,” and it is essentially a blend of crushed nuts and spices often sprinkled over flatbread dipped in olive oil. Since the variation of ingredients is so vast, it is only right that it’s uses are equally as broad.
The mainstream store bought version from Trader Joe’s contains almonds, sesame, fennel, coriander and anise seeds and kosher salt. It adds wonderful flavor when sprinkled over salmon filets, and surely it would be an enhancement to roasted vegetables, chicken or lamb.
While it’s easy and economical to let Trader Joe’s make it, making your own would allow for some variation in ingredients. Here is a simple base (un)recipe to get you started. Let your imagination run wild as you add flavors to enhance the simplest of dishes.
1/2 cup toasted nuts, crushed. (put them in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin for easy crushing)
Try almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts or even pistachios as a starter.
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon cumin,anise,or coriander seeds (or any mixture of seeds that suit your taste)
1/2 teaspoon or more kosher salt or sea salt
Consider adding dried herbs to the blend: mint, tarragon, thyme or basil
Toast the seeds lightly in a dry skillet, tossing to avoid over browning. Cool, and grind lightly in a spice grinder so they are crushed, but not turned to powder. Add to the nuts and mix. If you don’t have a grinder, give them a once over with the rolling pin before adding to the nuts. Transfer to a glass jar and enjoy!
photo: Indigo Jones
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