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  • An Egyptian ground spice mix used as a condiment especially to flavor bread dipped in olive oil. It is made from sesame seeds, skinned hazelnuts or chick peas, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, all dry-roasted, with salt, black pepper and dried thyme or mint.
  • It also has alternate spellings (dukka, du’a), and is popular in Australia and New Zealand.
  • This is a great recipe to experiment with. People even use it in yogurt. Change the nut and spices to make a whole new mix.

Dukkah is an Egyptian specialty that is not strictly speaking a spice blend, but rather a blend of roasted nuts seasoned with spices. While many different nuts may be included in dukkah, the combination I have found to be most appealing contains hazelnuts and pistachios. The most popular way to consume dukkah is to take Turkish style or crusty bread, tear off a piece and dip it first in olive oil then in the dukkah.

* For a Turkish bread recipe visit

Dukkah makes a crunchy coating for chicken or fish when put on before pan-frying. It is also good sprinkled over fresh salads, especially when combined with a little sumac. Tsire powder is a similar West African blend of crushed salted roasted peanuts, lightly seasoned with mixed spice and chili pepper. Traditional use is to dip raw meat into oil or beaten egg before coating with the powder and cooking.


3 1/3 tbsp hazelnuts
4 tbsp pistachio nuts
10 tbsp white sesame seeds
5 tbsp ground coriander seeds
2 1/2 tbsp ground cumin seeds
1 tsp salt, more or less to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Roast the hazelnuts and pistachio nuts then chop them into small dices in a food processor. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until golden brown. The coriander and cumin seeds may be roasted whole and then ground, however I find the flavor is lighter when plain ground coriander and cumin are used. Blend all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

Dukkah © 2006 The Epicentre. All rights reserved.

Dukkah-Crusted Lamb Chops with Pomegranate Molasses

yield: Makes 8 servings

  • 1/2 cup unsalted natural pistachios, shelled
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses*
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 16 small lamb rib chops, well-trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Place first 6 ingredients in food processor. Using on/off turns, blend until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Transfer dukkah to shallow bowl; set aside. DO AHEAD: Dukkah can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover tightly and let stand at room temperature.

Whisk pomegranate molasses and honey in small bowl; set aside.

Season lamb chops with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of lamb chops to pan. Cook to desired doneness, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer lamb chops to plate; tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining chops. Holding each chop by bone end, dip both sides of meat in dukkah to coat and transfer to platter. Drizzle honey mixture over chops and serve.

* A thick pomegranate syrup; available at some supermarkets and at Middle Eastern markets and from

Bon Appétit | December 2007

Oregon Dukkah Vinaigrette

1/4 cup Zesty, Smoky Hot or Traditional Oregon Dukkah
1 small clove of garlic, peeled
2 Tbs sherry, balsamic, or good red wine vinegar, plus more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place Oregon Dukkah and garlic in blender or small food processor and pulverize. Remove and place the mixture in a bowl. Add the vinegar, salt and pepper; stir. Add the oil a bit at a time. The mixture will become creamy and quite thick. Taste to make sure the seasoning pleases you; adjust as needed. If mixture is too thick, add warm water, a teaspoon at a time. This dressing is best made fresh but will keep, refrigerated, for two days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Chicken Skewers with Dukkah Crust Recipe

Dukkah makes everything better. This Middle Eastern spice mix, often including sesame seeds, sumac, and hazelnuts, is most commonly combined with oil and used as a dipping sauce. This recipe coats the chicken in mustard and dukkah and is accompanied by a sweet-sour sauce of honey and balsamic vinegar.

  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 24 chicken tenders, also called chicken tenderloins
  • 1 cup Dukkah
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 1 ounce)
  • 24 metal or bamboo skewers (if using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before cooking)
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Combine balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until reduced by 1/2, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Combine mustard and olive oil in a shallow bowl and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss chicken in mustard mixture until well coated.
  4. Combine dukkah and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a wide, shallow dish and mix thoroughly. Roll each tender in the dukkah mix until well coated.
  5. Thread a chicken tender on each skewer. Place chicken skewers on wire cooling racks. Nest each wire rack in a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until the meat is firm and the dukkah crust is golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve the skewers with the vinegar-honey sauce.

Beverage pairing: Taittinger Brut La Française Champagne, France. There’s a lot going on in this dish, making it difficult to match with wine. A good rule to remember in cases like this is that champagne goes with everything. For this recipe, it really does work well: It has the fruit to work with the honey-vinegar sauce and a slight nutty-toastiness to pair with the dukkah.

What to buy: If you have the time, you can make your own dukkah. Otherwise look for it at gourmet grocery stores, at Middle Eastern stores, or online at Spice Bazaar.

Game plan: The vinegar-honey sauce and dukkah (if making) can be done up to 5 days ahead. Coat the chicken in the dukkah mix up to 2 hours ahead of time and then refrigerate both. When you’re ready to eat, bake the skewers and warm up the sauce over low heat until it is syrupy.

By Aida Mollenkamp/Saveur


yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Editor’s note: This recipe is adapted from Magda el-Mehdawy’s book My Egyptian Grandmother’s Kitchen. Mehdawy also shared some helpful tips exclusively with Epicurious, which we’ve added at the bottom of the page.

To read more about Mehdawy and Egyptian cuisine, click here.

Duqqa is a spice mixture that is sprinkled on bread and eaten with boiled eggs or soft cheese for breakfast, snacks, and appetizers. There are two types of duqqa: the regular variety, a mixture of salt, cumin, and sesame seeds, and a version with thyme, called zaatar. For both, the proportions of ingredients can vary depending on the cook’s preference. Here is my version of zaatar.
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup small dried chickpeas (see Tips, below)
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 cup nigella seeds

In medium bowl, combine chickpeas and enough hot water to cover. Soak 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

In heavy, dry skillet over moderate heat, combine cumin, coriander, and 1/2 cup sesame seeds. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and a shade or two darker, 3 to 4 minutes.

In large bowl, combine toasted spices, chickpeas, thyme, and salt. In spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, finely grind mixture (in batches if necessary). Return to bowl and set aside.

In a heavy, dry skillet over moderate heat, combine remaining 1/2 cup sesame seeds and nigella. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and a shade or two darker, 3 to 4 minutes. Add to other spices in bowl and toss to combine.

To serve, dust over cooked eggs (hard-boiled or soft-boiled, scrambled or fried), mix into soft cheese or yogurt, or drizzle olive oil on pita bread and sprinkle with mixture.

Stored in the refrigerator in clean, tightly sealed jar, mixture will keep up to 6 months.

Magda el-Mehdawy shares her tips with Epicurious: · Small chickpeas, also called desi or kala chana, are smaller, darker, and bumpier than regular garbanzo beans. They are available at Middle Eastern markets and at
· Nigella, also called black cumin or habit al-baraka, is a fine, black seed that has an attractive smell when ground. It was known to the ancient Egyptians, mentioned numerous times on papyrus scrolls as a treatment for coughs and chest colds, and found in Tutankhamen’s tomb.
· Though pre-grinding is more convenient, for the freshest flavor, toast and mix the ingredients, store in a tightly covered jar, and grind just before using.


Grilled Plaice with Dukkah and radishes

Serves 4

Standard-sized plaice are not ideal for cooking on the barbecue as the flesh tends to be a bit soft, but if you manage to get your hands on a big, diver-caught plaice that can weigh 2-3 kgs you can treat it just like a brill or turbot. Great chunks of fish like this need simple preparation and I’ve seasoned the fish here with a nutty spice mix used in Middle Eastern cooking.

If you can’t get hold of large plaice then you could use any firm-fleshed fish like brill, turbot, sea bream or John Dory. It’s probably worth making a quantity of Dukkah and storing it in an airtight jar – it will keep for a month or so.

4 steaks of a large plaice weighing about 300g each or another firm-fleshed fish
Vegetable or corn oil for brushing
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
20-30 radishes, washed and discoloured leaves removed

For the Dukkah

50g shelled pistachio nuts
25g hazelnuts
25g flaked almonds
25g pinenuts
25g sesame seeds
tbsp fenugreek seeds
tbsp coriander seeds
A good pinch of saffron strands
12 black peppercorns, coarsely ground
25g sea salt flakes
tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp thyme leaves

To make the Dukkah, lightly toast all of the nuts, then coarsely blend them in a food processor; add the other ingredients and give it all a quick blend again, making sure that the mixture has a nice coarse texture.

Preheat the barbecue, brush the fish with oil and season. Cook for about 7-8 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the fish.

To serve, just scatter the Dukkah over the fish and serve with the radishes.

By Mark Hix

Asparagus Hummus Served with Dukkah Spiced Pita Chips

  • 2 cups fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 15-1/2-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and well rinsed
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Prepare an ice-water bath and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and return water to boil. Cook about 4 minutes or until asparagus is cooked through and bright green. Drain asparagus and refresh in ice-water bath. After 5 minutes, drain and set aside.

In a food processor, combine chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, and puree. Add zest, juice, and asparagus, and process until smooth. With machine running, pour in olive oil and process until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with spiced pita chips.

Dukkah Spiced Pita Chips

  • 1 package pita bread
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 3 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried mint
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt

Preheat oven to 375°. Separate each pita bread into two rounds. Brush cut sides with olive oil, then cut into small wedges. Place wedges on a baking sheet; set aside.

Heat a heavy, dry skillet over high heat; add pistachios and toast about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove nuts to a medium mixing bowl. In the same skillet, toast sesame seeds about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add seeds to pistachios. Repeat toasting process with coriander, cumin, and fennel, adding to same bowl. Add peppercorns, dried mint, and salt. Use a mortar and pestle to crush ingredients until they are the size of small bread crumbs (or pulse in a food processor to a dry, coarse consistency — be careful not to overprocess. -).

Sprinkle dukkah spice mixture evenly over oiled pita wedges and toast the pita in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

from The Old Farmer’s Almanac