Cooking with dukkah

roasted vegetable platter with dukkah 

If you haven't tried dukkah, a traditional Egyptian spice blend made with nuts, seeds and spices, you might not know how versatile it is. As Tasting Table tells us, dukkah can be used on almost any food, from adding zest to a fried egg to creating a crunchy coating for meats, fish, and vegetables.

In Claudia Roden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, you can find a brief history of the spice blend and how it has spread from its traditional base in Egypt to become increasingly popular in Western cuisine. Although chefs often use dukkah as a part of a crunchy topping, in its most traditional form it is used as a dip for bread that has been first dunked in olive oil. 

Dukkah is easy to make at home, and you probably already have the ingredients in your pantry. It's also open to personal interpretations - many of the dukkah recipes in the EYB Library have different combinations of nuts and spices. Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks uses hazelnuts and adds fennel seeds and dried mint to the usual cumin, coriander, and sesame seeds. In his River Cottage Veg cookbook, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall opts for pistachios and dried red pepper flakes (if you make this recipe, check the notes first, as two Members found it a bit salty).

Once you have the spice blend prepared, the difficult part begins: choosing from the plethora of options for using it. Here are a few of the Member favorites from the EYB Library to get you started:

Carrot and sweet potato soup with hazelnut dukkah from Delicious Everyday by Jennifer Schmidt
Smashed chickpeas with broccoli and dukkah from Community by Hetty McKinnon
Roasted vegetable platter from A Free Range Life Website by Annabel Langbein (pictured top)
Turkish spinach galette from Five: 150 Effortless Ways to Eat 5+ Fruit and Veg a Day by Rachel de Thample
Spiced tomato Afghan pizza from Delicious Magazine (Aus)
Dukkah crumbed chook breast with fennel, radish and orange salad by Maggie Beer

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