|Stephanie Munsch from Boise, Idaho writes, ‘Dear Kurma, Maybe you can help me. I was overseas recently and tasted a very interesting entree at a restaurant. It was a crumbly, nutty, sesame dippy stuff, served with bread and oil. Can you perhaps identify it for me?’
My reply: Hello Stephanie! Yes that sounds like the Egyptian spice, seed and nut blend called Dukkah. I have a recipe for it in my latest cookbook. Here it is. You might like to duplicate it at home. Very tasty and nutritious.
Egyptian Crumbly Spice & Nut Dip (Dukkah)
Dukkah is a loose, coarsely-ground mixture of sesame seeds, hazelnuts and aromatic cumin and coriander. It is delicious eaten on oil-dunked bread for breakfast, or as a snack. It has of late started appearing quite regularly on restaurant menus as an appetizer, hence its inclusion in this chapter.
Variants of dukkah are found all over the Middle East, and this version is from Egypt. It is a very personal and individual mixture that varies from one family to another; hence no two versions are exactly the same.
The important thing to remember about dukkah is that it should be dry and crumbly. It is easy to over-grind the ingredients, especially the nuts, which makes the mixture too oily. To prevent this, cool the ingredients after roasting, then proceed slowly. Makes about 2½ cups.
½ cup hazelnuts
¾ cup sesame seeds
½ cup coriander seeds
½ cup cumin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
olive oil and crusty bread for serving
Preheat the oven to 180° C / 350° F.
Roast the hazelnuts on an oven tray for about 15 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove them from the oven, and when a little cool, rub away as much of the brown skin from the nuts as you can.
Toast the sesame seeds in a heavy frying pan over moderate heat, stirring often, for about 4 minutes, or until golden brown and aromatic. Empty the toasted seeds into a bowl. Toast the coriander seeds in a similar manner for about 2-3 minutes. Repeat for the cumin, toasting for about 2 minutes.
Pound the seeds and nuts using a mortar and pestle, or whiz them in a spice or coffee grinder. The mixture should be dry and crumbly, not oily. Combine the crushed nuts and seeds with the salt and pepper.
Serve as a dip with olive oil and crusty bread.
Note: The mixture will keep in a sealed container for many weeks.
Posted by Kurma on 18/9/06; 6:45:32 PM