The first time I came across Dukkah was in San Francisco during a layover to Tokyo. I’d spent 3 days wandering the city trying out one café after another until I came across a local tea shop quite by accident. This was where I spent the last rainy afternoon before flying off to Asia; curled up in big European style chairs, a steaming pot of tea nearby and a tray of toasted bread with a dish of Dukkah and olive oil.
The girl behind the counter had been gushing about it since I’d ducked into the door way to escape the sudden downpour outside just an hour before. The tiny bells on the door handle had chimed across the cozy little room, the strong smell of brewing Earl Grey in the air. I knew I liked this place from the start.
I took a seat near the window in a big squashy chair, glad to be out of the rain. The girl behind the counter came over to greet me and asked if I needed anything. I said “surprise me! I’m up for anything” and within a few minutes, it was Dukkah that came to rest on the plate before me.
From what the girl said, Dukkah is an Egyptian spice blend made with toasted nuts, seeds and spices that is normally eaten with bread and oil or over roasted meats. One of my coworkers is Egyptian and she often reminisces about walking the Nile eating fresh baked bread with Dukkah and olive oil from the scores of local vendors. She claims that it’s the best thing ever, and I have to agree.
The rich flavor of toasted nuts and spices is so delicious that I can easily see myself putting it on everything! I remember scribbling the ingredients in a little notebook and pocketing it and the memory of this little tea shop within my coat before heading back to the hotel forgotten until quite recently. You see, I’m getting ready to move to a new apt and was going through my things and what did I find but this little forgotten notebook!
If you haven’t tried Dukkah yet, you need to. Period. Because let’s face it, it’s sort of amazing. Mix it into butter, oil, and dressings. Encrust your meats with it. Try it on fresh fruit or over eggs. It’s darn good, I promise.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
How to Make Egyptian Dukkah
Loving Preparation – Dukkah
Separately toast the hazelnuts and sesame seeds until fragrant
Toast the spices very carefully in a skillet until fragrant
Let everything cool completely
Toss all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes a course powder
For more wonderful spice blends you can make at home, check out this article:
Learn how to make your own Earl Grey tea here.
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