Have you tried dukkah yet? It’s easy to fall in love with freshly-made dukkah, an Egyptian nut, seed and spice blend. Dukkah livens up the most basic appetizer around—bread and olive oil—and so much more!
I bet you have all the ingredients to make dukkah (also spelled duqqa) in your pantry already. Dukkah is made with basic ingredients, including nuts, sesame seeds, coriander and cumin. Most recipes call for whole coriander and cumin, but I used ground spices to make an easier version.
Dukkah became quite popular in American food magazines and grocery stores a few years ago, when it seemed to make an appearance on every page of Bon Appétit. Back then, the ingredients seemed a little too fussy, so I bought the Trader Joe’s blend to sample instead.
The store-bought version tasted stale, so it slowly scooted to the back of my pantry and I dismissed the dukkah craze altogether. Fortunately, my Valentine gave me a Lebanese cookbook this February, and I decided to give their dukkah recipe a shot.
I’m so glad I did, because freshly-made dukkah is a delight. It’s my new favorite seasoning, and lends irresistibly nutty, subtly spiced flavor to everything it touches. Want to learn how to make it?
Dukkah recipes vary quite a bit when it comes to the proportions of ingredients and the nuts used. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:
- Almonds (hazelnuts are more commonly used)
- Sesame seeds
- Freshly ground black pepper
The sesame seeds and spices are staples in dukkah recipes. Typically, the spices are toasted whole. I opted to use ground spices instead, just because they’re more common in American kitchens.
Tip: If you ever want to use ground spices instead of whole, you’ll want to use one-third as much as the recipe calls for. The same is true for fresh herbs vs. dried (one tablespoon fresh parsley is the flavor equivalent of 1 teaspoon dried parsley).
How to Make Dukkah
The key to great dukkah is to freshly toast your ingredients. So, you’ll want to start with raw nuts and seeds. Here’s how to make this easy and accessible dukkah recipe:
- Toast the whole nuts (walnuts and almonds) in a skillet until they’re starting to smell nice and fragrant.
- Add the sesame seeds, so they get a chance to toast as well. They’re so small that they could burn if you added them along with the larger nuts.
- Remove the nuts and seeds from the heat, and transfer them to a food processor.
- Add the spices, and process the mixture until the nuts are broken down to the point that they resemble coarse sand. Don’t go too long, or you could end up with spicy nut butter (actually, that sounds pretty good, too).
That’s it! This simple recipe will take you about 10 minutes to make, from start to finish.
Uses for Dukkah
Here are a few delicious ways to use dukkah:
- Serve it with crusty bread and good olive oil, as shown here. (My go-to olive oils are California Olive Ranch and Trader Joe’s Kalamata variety.)
- Sprinkle it over roasted vegetables or raw sliced vegetables.
- Top your hummus with dukkah for some crunch.
- Skip the croutons, and finish simple green salads with dukkah instead (here’s my go-to vinaigrette recipe).
Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments! I hope it becomes a new staple for you.
Looking for more Mediterranean appetizers? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Mediterranean Tomato & Feta Dip
- Epic Baba Ganoush
- Jessica’s Marinated Chickpeas
- Fattoush Salad with Mint Dressing
- Best Tahini Sauce
- Prep Time: 3 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 8 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Food processor
- Cuisine: Egyptian
This dukkah recipe is so easy to make! Dukkah is a nut and spice blend from Egypt—sprinkle it over bread dipped in olive oil, vegetables, hummus and more. Recipe yields 1 scant cup.
- ½ cup walnuts
- ⅓ cup almonds or hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- About 20 twists of freshly ground black pepper
- In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the walnuts and almonds. Cook, stirring often, until the nuts are starting to smell fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Add the sesame seeds to the pan and continue cooking, stirring often, until the sesame seeds are turning lightly golden on the edges. Remove the pan from the heat, and transfer the nut and seed mixture to a food processor.
- Add the coriander, cumin, allspice, salt and pepper. Run the food processor for about 10 seconds, or until the nuts are broken into a coarse, sand-like texture (don’t overdo it!).
- Transfer the dukkah to a bowl for serving, or store it in an air-tight container for 1 to 2 weeks.
Recipe adapted from Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan.
If you’d like to use whole spices: Substitute 1 tablespoon each whole coriander and cumin, and add them to the skillet when you add the sesame seeds.
Make it nut free: This is a stretch, but you could substitute raw sunflower seeds and pepitas for the nuts. Use ⅓ cup each.