a new nibble - egyptian dukkah

a few weeks ago i did another cookery class with jennifer at eat drink talk. as ever it was great fun and i came away having eaten delicious food and inspired to be more creative in the types of food i cook.

the course was about cooking with spices* and had been sold to me (at a previous class on malaysian cookery) on the basis of the dessert option – chinese five spice doughnuts. however, it turned out that i was more enamoured by jennifer’s take starter option - egyptian dukkah. this is a blend of toasted nuts**, seeds and spices plus a little brown sugar and seasoning. to eat it we made flatbreads which, while still warm from the pan, were dipped in olive oil  and then the dukkah. it is such a delicious combination and i’m not surprised that this is a popular pre-meal nibble in a number of places including australia, where jennifer says it is increasingly common.

i made a batch of dukkah and flatbreads  the weekend  after the course and have been eating it regularly since – the quantities below make a lot of dukkah but given it lasts well and the flat breads can be frozen (just let them defrost slightly before cooking) its not worth reducing the quantities. i’m also keen to try jennifer’s other suggestions to use the dukkah in place of breadcrumbs or layered between buttered sheets of filo pastry.

* the advice was much as i expected – use whole spices which you should buy in small quantities so they don’t go stale; toast and grind your spices rather than use bought spice blends or powdered spices.

** i used a different combination of nuts  to that in the recipe and it was as delicious so feel free to be creative (aka use up whatever you have lurking in your cupboard!)

eat drink talk’s egyptian dukkah

50g almonds

50g pistachio nuts

50g hazelnuts

35g sesame seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

½ a tablespoon black peppercorns

1 small piece of cinnamon bark (this was my one cheat – i used the cassia powder i bought in new york last year)

2 tablespoons brown sugar (i used dark muscovado)

1 tablespoon sea salt

toast the nuts and seeds in a large dry frying pan over a medium heat for 7-10 minutes until the nuts are golden (i added the sesame seeds a few minutes before the end so they didn’t burn). place the nut mixture in a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.

toast the spices in a dry frying pan over a medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes until fragrant. grind them to a powder in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. toss the nuts and spices together, with the sugar and salt, until well combined.