A few years back a friend introduced me to Dukkah, an Egyptian spice blend that has become a pantry staple I lean on, especially on busy weekdays. Dukkah is packed with so much flavor that if you have it at hand, it’s all you need to throw together a delicious meal.
It’s so versatile: Sprinkle it over dips for texture, rub it on meats and fish for flavor, or add it to stir fries. I like it best as a rub on salmon. This spice blend has chunky toasted hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, and sesame seeds and lots of bold spices like fennel, coriander, and cumin.
What is Dukkah?
Dukkah is a blend of warm spices and toasted nuts ground or pounded into a coarse powder that has lots of texture. It’s typically served as a dip with olive oil and bread or sprinkled over prepared meals. You can use it on meat or fish before cooking or sprinkled on as a seasoning afterward.
Although there are many variations, the commonly used ingredients in Dukkah are sesame seeds, coriander, black pepper, and coarsely ground nuts.
Tips for Making Dukkah
Follow these tips so the Dukkah stays fresh and has the best flavor possible.
- Use whole spices and toast them to bring out their aroma and get rid of any moisture, which helps them last longer. Toast the nuts so that they get crunchier and taste nuttier. Toast both the spices and nuts in a dry (without any oil) pan until fragrant and golden brown.
- Dukkah is typically coarse in texture, so don’t blend it into a fine powder. The spices should look like sand and some of the nuts can be left in 1/8- to 1/4-inch chunks.
- Use a food processor, mortar and pestle, or spice grinder to grind the spices and nuts.
How to Serve Dukkah
Dukkah is aromatic, with warm, earthy flavors from the coriander, sesame seeds, and nuts. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Sprinkle it over hummus or any dip for added texture.
- Sprinkle it over soft-boiled eggs, avocado toast, or tahini smeared on toast.
- Sprinkle it over summer fruits like watermelon or pineapple.
- Make a paste with Dukkah and olive oil. Rub it all over steak or chicken before grilling. Rub it over salmon seared on a hot cast iron skillet.
How to Store Dukkah
Dukkah will keep for up to three weeks if stored in an airtight container in a dry pantry. The longer it sits the less pronounced the flavors.
More Spice Blends to Try at Home
- The Best Dry Rub for Ribs
- Burger Seasoning
- Know Your Spices: Garam Masala
- Basic Pickling Spice Blend
- The Best Dry Rub for Fish and Seafood
- 1/4 cup whole unsalted raw hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup whole unsalted raw almonds
- 3 tablespoons whole unsalted shelled pistachios
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/4 cup toasted white sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Toast the nuts:
Heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the hazelnuts, almonds, and pistachios and toast them until they are lightly browned and fragrant, stirring continuously, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the nuts into the bowl of a food processor.
Toast the spices:
To the same skillet over medium-low heat, add the fennel, coriander, and cumin seeds. Toast, stirring continuously for 1 minute, until the spices begin to perfume. Turn the heat off and let the spices cool down. Transfer the spices into the food processor.
Grind the mixture:
Add the sesame seeds, cayenne pepper, and salt into the food processor. Grind until the spices look like coarse sand. Some nuts can be left as 1/8- to 1/4-inch chunks.
Store the Dukkah:
Make sure the Dukkah has fully cooled down. Transfer it into an airtight container and store it in a dry pantry for up to three weeks.