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Dukkah (a unique appetizer in 10 minutes)

Ground nuts, seeds and spices make an incredible earthy, flavorful appetizer ‘dip’ served with bread and olive oil. Your guests will love this delicious Dukkah recipe.

Great texture, great warm nutty flavors, gluten-free, dairy free, vegan, versatile, make ahead and just 10 minutes to make.

dish of dukkah, bread and dish of oil

My sister Kathy introduced me to Dukkah many years ago and I got hooked.

I adapted this version from makebread. ‘Adapted’ with respect to Dukkah means selecting the nuts you prefer and selecting the type and amount of spices to add – all to taste of course.

Why make homemade dukkah when you can buy it? Basically, you can tailor the dukkah to your taste with your favorite nuts and seasoning. And you can also control the salt.

What is dukkah?

Dukkah- pronounced doo-kah and also spelled duqq or duqqa – is an Egyptian and middle eastern condiment made of nuts, seeds and warm spices, now enjoyed world wide.

The word dukkah means ‘pound’. The traditional way to pound or crush the nuts and seeds was with a mortar and pestle. Nowadays, most people use a food processor and/or spice grinder.

There are many versions of Dukkah recipes out there, but the most common ingredients include coriander, cumin and sesame seeds in addition to coarsely ground nuts.

Although hazelnuts are more traditional, there is really no standard for the nuts used. Dukkah is versatile with respect to the ingredients and how it’s used. Check out some options below.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

hazelnuts and macadamia nuts, sesame seeds, sea salt, cumin, coriander, pepper
Ingredients: hazelnuts and macadamia nuts, sesame seeds, sea salt, cumin, coriander, black pepper

Nuts: Use any combination of nuts – macadamia, hazelnuts, pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachio nuts, pecans. I’ve even seen a recipe with peanuts.

Seeds: The most common are white sesame seeds. Some use fennel seeds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds as well.

Dukkah spice: Typically, cumin and coriander. Thyme, mint, chili flakes, oregano, sea salt are also used. Or try adding smoked paprika or sumac if you like.

ingredients for everything bagel mixture
Bagel everything seasoning ingredients: kosher salt, minced dried onion, poppy seeds, granulated garlic, sesame seeds (top right dish is the blend of all)

Everything bagel seasoning version: Ok, not exactly authentic dukkah, but a similar idea using seeds and seasonings that only takes a minute. You may have tried the Trader Joe brand. Combine 2 tablespoons each toasted sesame and poppy seeds, 1 tablespoon each granulated dried garlic and dried minced onion and 1 teaspoon or more kosher salt. Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod everything bagel seasoning.

Tips

  1. Use fresh nuts.
  2. Don’t over process the nuts or they will turn to paste. You want some texture.
  3. Only serve what you think you’ll need. A lot of dipping eventually makes the Dukkah oily.  You can refill Dukkah as you need it.

Step by Step

hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts on pan

Toast nuts in a dry pan or in the oven. Instructions for both methods are in the recipe.

ground nuts and seeds in food processor bowl.

Place toasted nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times until coarsely ground. Don’t over process or it will turn into a paste.

dukkah in bowl beside cut up baguette and olive oil

To serve as a dip appetizer, place dukkah in a bowl and serve with bread and extra virgin olive oil.

How to use dukkah

As an appetizer: This is my go-to way to serve dukkah. You’ll need dukkah, bread and a good quality extra virgin olive oil. Just dip the bread in the olive oil, then in the Dukkah. The oil enables the Dukkah to adhere to the bread. Brilliant. And addictive! Good breads to use are pita, challah, baguette.

Other delicious ways to use dukkah…

As a topping: Sprinkle dukkah on roasted vegetables, eggs, salads, avocado toast and soups like butternut squash soup.

On a dip: Dukkah adds great texture when sprinkled on hummus or labneh.

As a seasoning: for chicken or fish

As a gift: Dukkah makes a lovely and unique gift in a small jar.

Recipe FAQ

What is the best way to toast nuts?

Here’s an article on how to toast nuts in the microwave, stove top or oven. I prefer toasting nuts in a dry pan on the stove top as it’s easier to cook the nuts evenly, it’s quick and you are right there to make sure they don’t burn. I like the oven method as well but it takes a bit longer.

Can I use ground coriander instead of coriander seeds?

Yes, but use less ground coriander. Approximately 1 teaspoon coriander seeds = 1/2-3/4 teaspoon ground coriander. Start with less and add more to taste as needed.

Is dukkah similar to za’atar?

They are both middle eastern in origin and have some similar ingredients. Dukkah includes nuts, seeds and spices and has a chunkier texture. Za’atar is mosty made of herbs as well as sumac and sesame seeds.

Shortcut

Er, buy a jar of dukkah, now found in many grocery stores. You can also buy toasted sesame seeds so you don’t have to toast them yourself.

Make ahead

  • Store the dukkah in an airtight container (jar, ziploc) for 2- 3 weeks at room temperature. After that the oils in the nuts will turn in rancid. It may last a bit longer in a cool place or the fridge.
  • It can be frozen for up to 6 months.
piece of bread dipped in oil and dukkah

Dip bread in olive oil then in dukkah. And pop into your mouth!

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟in the recipe card below. And if you REALLY like it, consider a review in the comments. Thanks!

dish of dukkah, bread and dish of oil
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Dukkah (a Unique Appetizer in 10 Minutes)

Ground nuts, seeds and spices make an incredible earthy, flavorful appetizer 'dip' served with bread and olive oil. Your guests will love this delicious Dukkah recipe.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Egyptian, Middle Eastern
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan
Servings: 14 tablespoons (~1 cup total)
Author: Cheryl

Equipment

  • food processor (or mortar and pestle)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shelled nuts (any combination of macadamia, hazelnuts, pine nuts, almonds, pistachios, almond, walnuts, pecans)
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds (buy toasted sesame seeds to skip the toasting step)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds (or 4 teaspoons ground coriander)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon good quality sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • TOAST THE NUTS: Note 2. Choose a method.
    ° Oven method: Heat the oven or toaster oven to 350F/177C. Lay out nuts on a baking sheet in single layer. Roast nuts for about 7-9 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool for a few minutes. If using hazelnuts with skins, remove skins by rubbing nuts together between your two hands.
    ° Pan method (quicker): Place nuts in a dry skillet and heat to medium heat. Shake pan or stir until nuts are light brown and fragrant. Small nuts will take about 3 minutes. Larger nuts 5-6 minutes.
  • TOAST SEEDS IF NEEDED: If your sesame seeds aren't toasted and you are using whole spices like coriander seeds (not ground coriander), place seeds in a dry cold skillet. Turn heat to medium. Toast nuts, shaking or stirring for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
    DON'T toast ground coriander or cumin – they will burn. DON'T toast seeds and nuts together as seeds take much less time.
  • CRUSH NUTS AND COMBINE: Place nuts in food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Don't over-process the nuts or they will turn to paste. If you don't have a food processor, grind nuts with a mortar and pestle). Add sesame seeds and spices. Pulse very briefly 2-3 times just to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings until you get the best flavor. Note 3 to serve as appetizer dip. Note 4 – other serving options.
  • TO SERVE DUKKAH:

Notes

  1. Variations and substitutes
    • Nuts: Use any combination of nuts – macadamia, hazelnuts, pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachio nuts, pecans. Even peanuts.
    • Seeds: The most common are white sesame seeds. Some use fennel seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds as well.
    • Spices/seasonings: Typically, cumin and coriander. Thyme, mint, red pepper flakes, oregano, sea salt are also used. Or try adding smoked paprika or sumac if you like.
    • Everything bagel seasoning version: Ok, not exactly authentic dukkah, but a similar idea using seeds and seasonings that only takes a minute. Combine 2 tablespoons each toasted sesame and poppy seeds, 1 tablespoon each granulated dried garlic and dried minced onion and 1 teaspoon or more kosher salt. Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod everything bagel seasoning.
  2. Three methods to toast nuts: here’s an article on how to toast nuts in microwave, stove top or oven
  3. How to serve dukkah as an appetizer: 
    • Put dukkah into a bowl, place a fresh baguette or other crusty bread or pita cut into small pieces on a tray and pour some good olive oil into a separate bowl. Guests will take a piece of bread, dip the end into the oil and then dip it into the Dukkah.
    • Only serve what you think you’ll need. A lot of dipping eventually makes the Dukkah oily.  You can refill Dukkah as you need it.
  4. Other serving options: Dukkah makes a great topping sprinkled on salads, fish, eggs, hummus, roasted vegetables labneh, soups. It also makes a great gift in an airtight jar. 
  5. Make ahead:
    • Store dukkah in airtight container (jar, ziploc) for 2- 3 weeks at room temperature. After that the oils in the nuts will turn in rancid.
    • It can be frozen for up to 6 months.
     
    Nutrition values are estimated for about 1 tablespoon dukkah (and don’t include bread and olive oil). 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 92mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.02g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg
    Tried this recipe?We’d love you to rate it above under ‘rate this recipe’ or in the comment section below. Thanks!

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