Thursday, December 28, 2006


Dukka, or Du'a, or Dukkha, may or may not have its origins in Egypt. Whether it does or not, what it is, is a good appetizer, spicy and crunchy at the same time. I've seen versions of this that use different nuts, such as almonds or macadamias, and sunflower seeds, with cayenne pepper to give it a little more kick. Feel free to experiment, and tailor to your guests. To serve, cut up a french loaf in small pieces, then place a bowl of good olive or sunflower oil next to the container of dukka. Dip a piece of bread in the oil, then into the dukka, and enjoy.

recipe from Sophie Grigson's Weekends
4 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp coriander seeds
1-1/2 Tbsp cumin seeds
1-1/2 Tbsp Black peppercorns
1/2 Tbsp coarse sea salt
30 g toasted hazelnuts (or roasted chickpeas)
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Heat a small, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and add the sesame seeds. Shake gently until they turn a shade darker and give out a nutty smell. Tip them into a bowl.

Repeat this process with the coriander and cumin seeds. Allow them cool and crisp up for a few minutes.

Place the sesame seeds, coriander, cumin, peppercorns and salt in a clean coffee grinder and grind finely.

Finely chop the hazelnuts in the grinder, taking care not to over-blend them into a paste.

Mix the finely chopped hazelnuts with the sesame seed mixture and the cinnamon. Store in an airtight container until needed.

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