Once upon a time, when we were allowed to dine out, I was at Moro in Exmouth Market, and I spotted this jar of nuts behind the bar, so naturally asked for a taste. A bowlful appeared and we smothered everything that evening in this nutty wonder. That was my first dukkah experience, and I have been obsessed with the stuff ever since.
This North African condiment is pronounced ‘doo-kah’; and comes from the Egyptian Arabic word, ‘to pound’, reflecting the manner in which it is made; the humble pestle and mortar. I sub in different nuts based on what I’ve got knocking around, but this almond version is my all-time favourite. With the paprika kick, it reminds me of Spain which is always a very welcome thing.
It’s a banging topping for salads, anything on toast, and bakes of every manner. What’s more, pop two teaspoonfuls into a ramekin and stir through some EVOO for an insane dip.
Makes a jarful (around 100g)
70g blanched almonds
2 tbsp flaked almonds
½ tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
½ heaped tsp Maldon sea salt
½ tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp paprika
Pestle and mortar, baking sheet, frying pan, jar or something to store the Dukkah in
- Heat the oven to 180/160 fan/gas 4. On a baking sheet, roast the whole almonds for 12 mins, adding the flaked almonds after 7-8 mins. Give them an encouraging shake every so often. Set aside to cool a little
- Weigh your seeds whilst the nuts are roasting; don’t just bung them all into the one dish as we need to toast these in stages
- Put a frying pan on medium heat and get it to a smoking hot temperature. Toast the fennel seeds for around 20 seconds, add the cumin seeds and swirl the pan around. Tip the contents into a bowl when you hear them pop. Set the pan back on the heat and toast the coriander seeds until they pop (around 45 seconds) and tip into the bowl with the other toasted seeds. Lastly, toast the sesame seeds until golden, which won’t take long – and take the pan off the heat
- Break up the almonds in the pestle and mortar with the Maldon salt, tip in all the other seeds except for the sesame seeds, and give everything a good bash up. You want texture so don’t overdo it
- Tip everything into a bowl (even the same one as before) and fold through the sesame seeds, black pepper and paprika. Taste and adjust the salt if required. Let cool completely and then pour into a jar, where it will last a week
- Please don’t get hung up on the ingredients here; it’s a case of grab what you can find and just stick (roughly) to the quantities here
- This freezes well, once completely cool, pop in a freezer bag and it will keep for 3-4 months in the freezer