Thursday, July 4, 2013

Greek-style Dukkah


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 b├ęchamel 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.


Greek-style Dukkah


Makes about one cup

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Dukkah is best stored in an air-tight container in the fridge and will keep for at least one month.


24 comments:

  1. I'm a big fan of anything with pistachios. Your photos and recipe look great!

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    1. Thanks Ann :) I love everything pistachio too... except ice cream. I think it's the whole "green ice cream" thing - it weirds me out a bit.

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  2. This looks really yummy! It kinda reminds me of za'tar! Which is SO yummy and good on anything. I definitely think your blend would be delicious on zucchini or eggplant fries!

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    1. Thanks Maria! Yes, dukkah is very much like za'tar. Funny you should also mention eggplant fries. I'll be making a batch of those with the zucchini fries this weekend!

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  3. Dukkah has recently become a bit of a must have pantry staple for me. It's great in salads, sprinkled over steamed veggies, as a topping for a quick lunch of fried rice, or plain brown rice, it's also good sprinkled over pumpkin soup I could go on and on. I've never had it over yogurt though and I'm looking forward to your dukkah crusted zuchinni chips which sound pretty damn awesome.

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    1. I love your ideas Elizabeth, especially mixed in brown rice, all those earthy nutty flavours. Yum!

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  4. I make dukka with pistachios, I love it. I make labneh, roll it into little balls and then roll in dukka. It is lovely on a roasted aubergine salad. I also eat it on sandwiches, not traditional i know but really nice if the bread is sourdough.

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    1. Labneh rolled in dukkah - that's definitely something I will be trying soon! Oh but how would I stop eating them? You've got some awesome suggestions here Marie. Dukkah in a sandwich sounds lovely too, with a thick layer of hummus!

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  5. I absolutely love dukkah and your take to Greekify it sounds yum!
    Cannot wait to make this first thing in the morning.

    Nancy

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    1. Not a bad idea making dukkah first thing in the morning - I smell dukkah omelettes coming from your kitchen :)

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  6. I LOVE dukkah! I made a big batch last year when I was making up food hampers as Christmas present and used it on everything! I particularly like it sprinkled on pumpkin and then roasted. I shall have to make some more up soon for sure!

    Gorgeous photos as always Lisa!

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    1. What a great idea making little dukkah gifts! Oh yes, I can imagine it going very well with pumpkin. Have to try that next time!

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  7. Never tired dukkah. I'm actually looking forward to make this fantastic mix and taste it with a dense greek yogurt!

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    1. I find yoghurt to be one of the best accompaniments for dukkah. It's subtle enough to allow the intense flavours of the dukkah to come through but also provides a cooling contrast. I hope you love it as much as I do Daniela :)

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  8. What a great idea Lisa! Your Greek inspired dukkah looks amazing. Bravo!

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    1. Thank you Peter! Great to get the thumbs-up from a fellow Greek!

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  9. This sounds amazing! I often grind up seeds to sprinkle on salads and this is definitely a step up!

    xx Kait | ChickadeeSays

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    1. Dukkah is wonderful sprinkled over salad. I think it would go especially well with a creamy dressing.

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  10. Excellent historical reference to the eating habits of our region.
    I loved the Greek version of dukkah. I'll certainly gonna make this!
    Great pictures as always Lisa.

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    1. Thanks Mina :) I'm very happy to hear you approve of my version of Greek dukkah!

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  11. I can definitely see myself making a batch of this and eating it all. I loooove dukka!

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    1. With so many uses for dukkah it's easy to eat it in no time. I've already finished my batch!

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  12. i always wondered what dukkah was! it certainly looks and sounds delicious! i can't wait to see all the ways you use it!

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    1. Oh you have to try it Caitlin! Some of the comments above have some great suggestions for dukkah use!

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