When you’re looking for your food to be balanced and interesting to eat, you need to add different textures and flavours. I talk more about the principle of flavour and texture balancing here.
One of my favourite ways to add crunch is to add some toasted nuts or seeds to my meals. Dukkah is one step on from that as is it combines toasted nuts with toasted spices and salt. The resulting mix is then ground up (I use my food processor) and can be kept for ages in a jar in the fridge. It sounds a bit random but once you’ve made some you’ll find yourself topping all sorts of things with it.
Dukkah (it literally means ‘to pound’ and is pronounced DOO-kah) is an Arabic spice and nut blend that adds an amazing flavor and texture to a dish. Traditionally it is used as a dip for bread in Egypt. You’d be given a bowl of olive oil and a platter of toasted flatbread along with a bowl of dukkah. Dip the bread in olive oil then into the Dukkah.
Here are just some of the ways I use it:
- On top of avocado and toast
- On top of poached or scrambled eggs and avocado with lemony kale
- Sprinkled on any salad, pasta, stew or soup
- Sprinkled on roast chicken or grilled lamb or fish with yoghurt and salad
- As a crust for baked fish
- On top of cous cous with roasted vegetables and Feta
- On tacos
- On houmus
- In the Moroccan chicken with quinoa and slaw I teach in my Dinners in 30 class
Don’t stress too much about exact measurements when you are making this, you can also make less dukkah – just remember the ratio – 2 parts nuts : 1 part each sesame seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds.
2 parts (1 cup or 150g) raw, unsalted almonds (or you can use sunflower seeds)
1 part (half a cup or 75g) sesame seeds
1 part (half a cup or 75g) cumin seeds
1 part (half a cup or 75g) coriander seeds
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Put almonds/sunflower seeds plus sesame seeds, cumin seeds and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan on a medium high heat.
2. Toast for around 4 minutes until they smell nutty but aren’t going darker than golden brown, give them a shake every minute so that they toast evenly. You might hear a little snap, crackle and pop as they cook. That’s fine.
4. Eat straight away or transfer to a jar with a lid and keep in the fridge. You may way to re-toast the mixture just before using to awaken the flavours – just throw some in a dry frying pan for a few minutes. Remember to share this on my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest when you make it. Tag it #ystcook so I can see!