Making your own dukkah is really easy and tastes delicious. Create your own mix of home-made dukkah and you'll never buy store-bought again.
Dukkah is a gorgeous blend of nuts and spices that can bring just about any dish to life. My favourite way to eat it is simply sprinkled over a bowl of thick Greek yoghurt. This is a delicious way to enjoy a savoury yoghurt but be warned, it's severely addictive!
Greece, Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries all share something in common when it comes to food. They know how to blend herbs and spices to create absolutely stunning flavour combinations that are uniquely Mediterranean and Middle Eastern in flavour. Many dishes between these countries have similar tastes and textures because of the herb and spice blends they share.
During the reign of the Ottoman empire the people of Greece and Turkey shared many recipes and cooking techniques. Imam Bayildi is the Turkish name for a delicious stuffed eggplant dish which has been widely enjoyed across both Turkey and Greece for hundreds of years. You'll also find many different recipes for Briam, Halva, Dolmathes and Dukkah in various countries from Southern Europe to Southern Asia.
Originating in Egypt, duqqa, or dukkah as it is more commonly spelled, is a blend of spices traditionally ground with hazelnuts and sesame seeds. While different versions of dukkah have now spread across many countries I've actually never heard of a Greek-style dukkah. The closest thing you might find to dukkah in Greek cuisine is a seasoning mixture made up of dried oregano, salt and pepper that is usually used to encrust lamb or chicken.
Now tell me if this has already been done but I think it's time for Greece to induct dukkah into its repertoire of Middle Eastern-influenced dishes. I've made many dukkah blends before but never thought to Greekify this versatile little condiment and I would be so CHUFFED if I was the first one in the world to have thought of this. Imagine that! Oh I know, I'm sooooo DREAMING.
Fantasies aside, here's what I reckon should go into a Greek Dukkah:
Gorgeous brightly-coloured pistachio nuts are a must for this mix, along with almonds, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dried oregano, salt, pepper, and of course cinnamon. What do you think?
Well today I made a mixture using these ingredients and I'm telling you, I could not stop eating it. The earthy Middle Eastern flavours are definitely still there, but the aromatic surprise of cinnamon and the rustic hint of oregano give this dukkah blend a distinctive Greek taste.
And here are just a few ways you can eat Greek Dukkah:
– Generously sprinkled over scrambled eggs.
– Used as a crumb for lentil keftethes or veggie burgers.
– Zucchini chips encrusted in dukkah (recipe here).
– Sprinkled over béchamel sauce layer of moussaka before baking.
– With crusty bread dipped in good quality extra virgin olive oil.
– Simply served over a bowl of thick Greek yoghurt.
Makes about one cup
- 3/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts
- 1/4 cup raw almonds
- 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
- 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place nuts and seeds on a baking tray and roast for five minutes in a moderate oven, preheated to 180 degrees celsius. Remove from oven and allow to cool a little.
- Add peppercorns to the nut and seed mixture. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the mixture in batches until nut pieces are crushed to various sizes of between 1 and 5mm. I find using a mortar and pestle very therapeutic, especially if there's something on my mind I need to vent about! But if you don't have a mortar and pestle, or you'd rather not expend too much muscle power, you can use a nut grinder or food processor for this task. Just make sure the nuts don't grind down to a powder.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Dukkah is best stored in an air-tight container in the fridge and will keep for at least one month.