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Dukkah is a mix of spices, herbs, nuts and seeds which originated in Egypt but is found all over the Middle East and North Africa.
Dukkah has an incredible all-round flavour profile, with subtly spiced, nutty, roasted flavours with a hint of saltiness and citrus. The flavour can vary depending on what nuts and spices are used, but dukkah always has a crumbly and crunchy texture.
Depending on the region and the spice blend usually consists of:
Other common herbs and spices that are added include:
The word ‘dukkah’ means ‘to crush’ or ‘to pound’ in Arabic, which appropriately describes the coarse texture of the spice blend, traditionally made using a mortar and pestle.
Ancient Egypt was once at the crossroads of a major spice route which gave people access to exotic spices like coriander and cumin. The ancient Egyptians believed that each spice had symbolic meanings, like cumin as a symbol of faithfulness and coriander a symbol for love and passion.
Eventually, the spices were combined to make dukkah. It was so popular that the spice blend didn’t discriminate – everyone from the poor to the pharaohs used it to season their bread. Today, dukkah is still as popular, often served in paper cones and with each vendor claiming their unique recipe.
Dukkah was originally used as a dip or a topping on top of pitas and bread and this is still the most popular way of using it. Sprinkle some dukkah on top of a flatbread with a splash of olive oil and bake until crispy. You can even add a little to hummus or your favourite dip.
But it’s not just used for spicing up flatbreads. Dukkah can be used in all sorts of ways – it is a condiment after all. Use it over roasted vegetables, toss into salads or add it to your morning avocado toast.
The next time you’re using breadcrumbs in a recipe, add a helping of dukkah to spice things up. In fact, you can easily swap out breadcrumbs for dukkah for a more flavourful coating.
Speaking of coatings, dukkah works really well as a rub or marinade. It gives a delicious spice crust to fish and the perfect marinade for meat when mixed with a little olive oil and lemon juice.
But it’s not just savoury dishes that make the most of this spice blend – it pairs perfectly with sweet dishes too. Add it to shortbreads, grilled fruits, crumbles and ice cream for a delicious twist.
Keen to try it out? You can find dukkah on our website here. Here are some great recipes which use the spice blend:
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