Dukkah or Duqqa is a Middle-Eastern and Egyptian nut, herb, and spice blend used as a dip for bread and a condiment for veggies.
Serve it as an appetizer as part of a colorful mezze platter with other spreads and dips, or sprinkle it on flatbread, vegetables, soups, and stews.
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Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean recipes are an excellent way to increase our consumption of healthy and nutritious plant foods in the form of delicious dishes!
That’s because many recipes in these regions are naturally vegetarian and packed with colors and spices that make the food tasty and nutritious.
This nut mixture from Egypt is no different. Dukkah (pronounced doo-kah) means “to pound” in Arabic.
Nuts, herbs, and spices are pounded together with mortar and pestle (we use a food processor) until they reach a texture that is neither too fine nor too coarse – it’s something between a crumble and a coarse powder.
We think you’ll love Dukkah because you can use it to add beautiful aromas and a pleasant crunch to simple dishes like sautéed or grilled vegetables, and you can even sprinkle it on soup as an original and tasty topping.
Also, duqqa is easy to make; it only takes about 10 minutes. As usual, take this recipe as a guideline for inspiration, and customize your Dukkah based on your taste and what you have in your pantry.
Feel free to change the nuts and the spices and come up with your family-approved dukkah recipe.
Toasted hazelnuts add a nice crunch and nutty flavor.
Substitute almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, and pecan for hazelnuts.
Pinenuts add a fattier texture and flavor to the Dukkah, and we love to add them in when we have them in our pantry.
Since they can be expensive depending on where you live, you can keep them out and replace them with more hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, or seeds such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pepitas, or mixed seeds.
Cumin seeds are the most traditional; although you can also use ground cumin if you don’t have the seeds.,
Whole spices add much more flavor and texture than using ground spices.
You can use any sesame seeds. We happen to have white ones, but darker color sesame seeds work equally well.
Whole coriander seeds add a distinctive citrusy, tangy flavor to this duqqa recipe, and we love them. But, of course, you can replace them with ground coriander seeds, although the whole seeds also add a nice crunch to this recipe.
However, we understand that many people might not enjoy the coriander flavor as much as we do. If this is your case, you can substitute fennel seeds for coriander seeds. Again, whole spices equal the best flavor.
Dried oregano adds a pleasant herby flavor, reminding us of za’atar, another popular Middle-Eastern condiment.
Substitute dried thyme, mint, or basil for oregano. You can also add a teaspoon of sumac.
Note: you’ll probably be able to find most ingredients at your local grocery store; however, if you don’t, you can always order them online. We usually get a large (and cheaper) order of each spice, whole, and they last us for several months.
To a dry skillet, add the nuts and toast them on medium-low heat for a few minutes until they start to brown. Move the pan around often. Remove from the pan a set the nuts aside.
To the same pan, add cumin, coriander, and sesame seeds and toast them on medium heat for a few minutes, moving the seeds around the pan often.
They are ready when the seeds start to smoke and turn golden brown.
To a food processor, add toasted nuts, toasted seeds, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper.
Pulse several times until you reach a consistency that looks like a coarse powder, making sure not to overmix.
Dukkah with pistachio nuts
A fantastic variation is one with pistachio nuts. To make it, we add three tablespoons of unsalted and toasted pistachio to the original dukkah recipe.
Here we serve it on top of sautéed spinach, but it works on top of most veggies or as a dip for flatbreads. It is one of our favorite ways of making and eating it.
The traditional way of serving Dukkah is in a bowl so you can use it as a dip for warm flatbreads like pita bread.
The way we do it is we first dip a piece of pita in good quality extra virgin olive oil, then we dip it in this flavorful spice blend. It’s divine!
Another way of serving it is with veggies sprinkled on top:
- Sautéed green beans (green beans, garlic, olive oil, salt).
- Easy sautéed kale (curly kale, garlic, olive oil).
- Moroccan carrot salad (carrots, maple syrup, cumin, fresh parsley).
- Lentil cauliflower salad (cauliflower, lentils, hazelnuts, tahini, lemon, parsley).
- Sweet potato lentil salad (sweet potatoes, lentils, maple syrup, cumin, pistachios).
- Tofu scramble on toast (tofu, plant milk, salt, pepper, turmeric).
- Avocado spread: (on toasted bread like avocado toast).
Finally, the best way to serve Dukkah is as part of an appetizer or mezze platter with other Mediterranean and Middle East-inspired dips and spreads:
- Muhammara (red bell pepper, tomato, onion, walnuts, lemon juice).
- Eggplant dip (eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, parsley).
- Hummus (chickpeas, tahini, garlic, cumin, lemon juice).
- Shirazi salad (tomato, cucumber, white onion, mint).
- Tabbouleh (bulgur, fresh herbs, tomato, mint leaves, scallions).
- Roasted eggplant (eggplant, olive oil, garlic, fresh parsley).
- Caramelized roasted carrots (carrots, cumin, maple syrup, olive oil, parsley).
Dukkah is an Egyptian and Middle Eastern condiment made of spices, nuts, and seeds. Common ingredients are cumin seeds, coriander seeds, sesame seeds, toasted hazelnuts, black pepper, salt, and dried oregano.
Dukkah and zaatar are both condiments from the Middle Eastern regions of the world. However, the two are different.
Za’atar is a simpler condiment made with oregano, sesame seeds, sumac, salt, and other spices.
On the other hand, Dukkah is made with a mix of toasted nuts, sesame seeds, and sometimes za’atar is added to it. Both are used as a dip with warm pita bread.
Make Ahead & Storage
Make ahead: Dukkah is an excellent recipe to make ahead as it keeps well for several weeks. It’s great to have it in your pantry, ready to spice up your dinners.
Room temperature: keep Dukkah in an airtight container (we use a sealed mason jar) at room temperature for about a month before it loses its fragrant texture and the flavors start to dwindle.
Freezer: if you plan to store it for more than one month, then we recommend freezing it. To do so, transfer it into a freezer-friendly bag and freeze it for up to 6 months.
Thaw: thaw at room temperature in a dry corner of your kitchen.
More Topping Ideas
These topping ideas are great for green salads when you’re looking for an easy flavor upgrade:
More Middle-Eastern recipes
Try these Middle-Eastern-inspired recipes; they’re delicious and great for weeknight dinners:
- Lentil Mujaddara (rice, scallions, caramelized onions, garlic, paprika, cinnamon, and cumin).
- Whole roasted cauliflower (cauliflower, harissa, tahini sauce, chimichurri dressing).
- Lentil tabbouleh (parsley, tomato, white onion, lentils, lemon juice).
- Easy lentil hummus (canned lentils, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin).
- Cauliflower salad (cauliflower, chickpeas, tahini, parsley, lemon juice).
For many more side dish ideas, check out our sides category page.
- Food processor
- 3 tablespoons hazelnuts
- 3 tablespoons pinenuts or other nut
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- To a dry skillet, add the nuts and toast them on medium-low heat for a few minutes until they start to brown. Move the pan around often.Remove nuts from the pan and set them aside.
- To the same pan, add cumin, coriander, and sesame seeds. Toast them on medium heat for a few minutes, moving them around the pan.They are ready when they start to smoke and turn golden brown. If you hear some popping, that's normal.
- To a food processor, add toasted nuts, toasted seeds, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper.
- Pulse several times until you reach a consistency that looks like a coarse powder.
- The traditional way of serving Dukkah is in a bowl, so you can use it as a dip for flatbreads like pita bread. Dip warm pita in good quality extra virgin olive oil first, then dip it in the Dukkah.
- We like serving Dukkah on top of sautéed, roasted, or grilled vegetables, on soups, or as part of a mezze platter. See the "serving suggestions" chapter above the recipe box for inspiration.