I love giving homemade foodie gifts at Christmas and I absolutely love receiving them. Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive, yet, more than ever, society puts an emphasis on giving big extravagant gifts… Just think of all the marketing campaigns you see leading up to Christmas! This makes me sad as I just don’t think this what Christmas should be about. Giving and receiving something thoughtful, made with love, time and effort – now that’s what makes people feel special… And when you make a foodie gift for a fellow foodie and they come back and ask for the recipe, as happened to me last year with this dukkah recipe, then you know you hit the gift giving jackpot! Package this dukkah up in a nice jar, tie some ribbon around the lid, maybe make a homemade label – done.
Dukkah (pronounced DOO-kah) is a highly addictive spicy nut mixture that’s become really trendy in the recent years, but has actually been around for centuries. It’s a versatile mixture to have in the cupboard. I have mine on poached eggs, sprinkled over salads (it’s amazing with avocado), mixed through salads (e.g. quinoa, like this recipe and this one). I love it on this crunchy carrot, date and almond salad. It’s delicious as part of a crusty coating for meats (e.g. baby lamb crust mixture, like in this recipe), or sprinkled over chicken kebabs cooked on the BBQ, with some garlicky yogurt dip. It’s also delicious eaten simply, like they do in the Middle East: Grab a chunk of crust bread, dip it in a fruity extra virgin olive oil, then dip it in the dukkah. Oh. Wow. Be wary of serving this up before dinner – everyone will tuck into it and won’t have any room left to eat dinner. I speak from experience.
This is definitely a recipe where you can get creative – I don’t think I’ve ever used exactly the same recipe twice, I vary it as I go. But, more or less, this was my last batch (which I doubled FYI) which was a huge hit! I hope you enjoy! Lou
Tools needed: Food processor or mortar and pestle.
- 1 c nuts (see note)
- 1/2 c sesame seeds
- 1 Tlb coriander seeds
- 2 Tlb cumin seeds
- 1 Tlb fennel seeds
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp good quality sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
- Spread the nuts out in a small roasting dish and bake until golden - about 6 minutes (note, if you are using macadamia nuts, watch them carefully as they burn quickly)
- Set nuts aside to cool.
- When the nuts are cool, place them in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until you get a coarse mixture. Take care to get it just to the coarse stage as we'll blitz it again shortly, so don't over blitz it. You can use a mortar and pestle instead of a food processor for this step but you'll need to do it in stages.
- In a frying pan over a medium heat, dry fry all the seeds together (don't add oil to the frying pan). Stir constantly until fragrant and lightly golden (about 1-2 mins). When golden, tip immediately onto a plate and set aside to cool.
- When seeds are cool transfer them to the bowl of the food processor. Blitz well the seeds have broken up and are well mixed into the nuts.
- Next add sugar, salt and pepper (and herbs if using - see notes) and pulse briefly to combine everything. Note, take care not to over-mix, otherwise you'll end up with a paste).
- Store your dukkah in a jar or airtight container in a dark cupboard, or in the fridge. Stored correctly will last for up to 12 months (though I bet you can't resist it that long!)
Nuts: I often use almonds, or a mix of any of the following, based on what's in my pantry: cashews, hazelnuts, pistachio nuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts. In the photo in the recipe, I used half and half almonds and pistachio)
Variations: Add one teaspoon of dried fragrant herbs (thyme, basil, mint, oregano). Like some spice? Add 1/2 tsp of dried chilli flakes/chilli powder.