Dukkah is a blend of nuts and spices used in Egyptian cuisine. The blend is often consumed as a condiment with flatbread, first dipped in olive oil and then into the spice blend. You may be able to find prepackaged Egyptian dukkah in a Middle Eastern market or online. If you cannot find this spice blend (or need some right away), consider using a dukkah substitute. Here are some of your best options.
Table of Contents
- Your best bet: Make your own dukkah
- A decent second choice: Tsire
- In a pinch: Furikake
- Other alternatives
- Must-read related posts
Your best bet: Make your own dukkah
As spice blends go, dukkah is relatively simple. As a result, replication is not difficult if you have a few basic ingredients. If you want to stick with an authentic version, you can combine hazelnuts with sesame seeds and a few spices like cumin and coriander. Black pepper and salt are also included in most blends.
The resulting dukkah can be used exactly as you would use a premixed blend. You can also customize your dukkah blend by switching out the hazelnuts for pistachios, cashews, or even macadamias and adding spices according to your preference.
A decent second choice: Tsire
Tsire is a simple spice blend used for coating West African kebabs. The kebabs and the seasoning originated in northern Nigeria. Tsire is usually called suya in the southern part of the country and chichinga in Ghana. The kebabs typically consist of long strips of beef that are coated with the seasoning and then placed on skewers.
Like most other spice blends, the ingredients of tsire can vary. The list of ingredients may be as simple as peanuts, ginger, and red chilies, along with salt. Other blends may be more complex, incorporating other spices like cloves and cinnamon; however, peanuts are a constant element and provide the nuttiness that can make this blend a good dukkah substitute.
Use your homemade tsire in exactly the same way that your recipe indicates that dukkah should be used.
In a pinch: Furikake
Furikake is a Japanese seasoning blend used as a condiment, just like dukkah. However, dukkah is used for dipping, while furikake is used primarily for seasoning rice.
Like dukkah, there are no standard seasonings. Each blend is mixed according to the maker’s preference. There are numerous varieties of furikake, which allows you to find versions that fit different flavor profiles. Common ingredients include toasted sesame, which can provide the nuttiness you would get from dukkah. A furikake blend may also include shiso, sugar, and other ingredients. Furikake can be used exactly as dukkah is used.
Chaat masala is a spice blend from northern India where it is used as a condiment for different types of street food including fruit and chickpeas. Common ingredients in chaat masala blends include coriander, ground chilies, and cumin; those three spices are included in many dukkah blends.
Za’atar is a spice blend from the Middle East that consists of herbs like thyme and savory combined with sesame seeds. You can use it on grilled meats, sprinkle it onto hummus, or mix it with olive oil and serve as a spread on pita. The combination with olive oil and a flatbread is similar to how dukkah is used. As with furikake, the sesame seeds in za’atar provide the nutty flavor that makes this an effective dukkah substitute.
Shichimi togarashi is also known as Japanese seven-spice powder. While the ingredients vary, blends typically include sesame seeds, chili pepper, and black pepper. Shichimi togarashi is used as a condiment, just like dukkah.