Dukkah is a blend of nuts, seeds, and spices commonly associated with Egyptian cuisine. The name comes from Arabic and means to crush or pound because of how the ingredients are pounded together in the traditional versions. While you won’t find pre-made dukkah in many places, its ingredients are easy to find in many places. There is no universal ingredients list, since most Egyptians make it at home to suit their specific taste. You can make dukkah yourself with a mortar and pestle or with a food processor.
The typical dukkah recipe includes nuts — usually hazelnuts — and sesame seeds, but pine nuts and peanuts show up in some recipes. The spices are usually cumin, fennel, and black pepper, but you might also see coriander seed and/or mint in some dukkahs. Some ultra-simple dukkahs contain only three ingredients, but traditional mixtures all include salt. The first step to making dukkah is to toast the nuts and spices to bring their flavors out and make them more fragrant. Once you make dukkah, what is the best way to use it? Below are some of the best ways to use dukkah to get the most value from this spice blend.
Table of contents
As a rub for meat
Use dukkah as a component in your dry rub recipe or on its own as a complete dry rub since it already includes salt. Add a little olive oil to your meat during the marination step, then sprinkle on the dukkah liberally. Cook low and slow to keep the nuts and seeds in the dukkah from burning.
As a salad topping
You can sprinkle dukkah onto your salads in the same way that you might add nuts or croutons. It adds a savory, salty flavor along with a satisfying crunch.
As a table condiment
The most traditional way to serve dukkah is at the table with olive oil; it is traditionally consumed in combination with olive oil as a dip for bread. You can mix the olive oil and the dukkah, or dip the bread into the oil and then sprinkle it with the dukkah. The bread, olive oil and dukkah preparation is used as an appetizer in Egypt.
As a hummus seasoning
Dukkah and hummus come from the same part of the world, so it is reasonable to expect that the two might go together. Dukkah makes an excellent seasoning for hummus. Because the nuts and seeds in dukkah are not completely powdered, they provide a crunch to complement the creaminess of the hummus. Simply sprinkle the mixture over the hummus to improve both its flavor and its texture.
As a vegetable seasoning
Dukkah makes a great topping for both steamed and roasted vegetables. Drizzle on some olive oil and sprinkle on the dukkah for crunch and an intensely savory flavor.
As a chicken and seafood seasoning
You can use dukkah to coat chicken or seafood before lightly frying or baking; the strong flavors will enhance the delicate aspects of both proteins.
As a popcorn topping
Instead of plain salt or artificial popcorn seasoning, consider using dukkah as a popcorn spice. Because it contains salt, dukkah can provide just the right amount of savory flavor to enhance the snack.
As a snack
Dukkah is popular in Egypt as street food, where it is sold by itself in paper cones. You can enjoy the savory, nutty snack without adding anything to it.