LC Everyday Egyptian Magic Note
To know dukkah is to love dukkah. Just look beneath the recipe to read what our recipe testers had to say about the nutty, nubbly condiment—they simply can’t stop sprinkling said everyday Egyptian magic over this and that. How do you prefer to take your Egyptian magic? Let us know in a comment below.
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 30 M
- Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Special Equipment: mortar and pestle
Preheat the oven to 325ºF (170ºC).
Place the hazelnuts and pistachios on separate rimmed baking sheets and roast in the preheated oven for 7 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the coriander and cumin seeds in a skillet set over medium heat. Toast the seeds, shaking the pan from time to time, until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Remove the seeds from the pan and crush them using the mortar and pestle.
Remove the nuts from the oven. Immediately tip the pistachios onto a plate. Immediately wrap the hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel and set them aside to allow the steam to build for a minute, then vigorously rub them in the kitchen towel to remove the loose skins.
(It’s okay if not all the skins come loose. Trust us, this is no time to be a perfectionist. Also, this is going to make something of a mess.) Let cool.
When both the pistachios and hazelnuts are cool, roughly crush them until sorta chunky in a mortar and pestle. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the crushed spices.
Place the sesame seeds in the same skillet and return to medium heat. Toast until lightly golden, giving the pan a shake occasionally, at least 45 seconds and up to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and grind them in the mortar and pestle and add to the nut and seed mixture.
Repeat this process with the white or black peppercorns.
Lightly grind the chile flakes in the mortar and pestle and add to the nut and seed mixture.
Finally, add the salt and mix everything together. The spice blend can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Here's a fun spiced nut and seed mixture that has a lot of uses. I sprinkled this on hard-boiled eggs as suggested in the headnote. That was fine, but I have other uses I like better. I've used it as a crust for pan-fried fish. It also makes a crunchy element in a salad. I think my favorite use for it, though, is as a topping for a cooked grain—I like it sprinkled generously over brown rice or millet as it adds textural variation and seasoning at the same time. Yet another use for it is a red lentil soup—top the soup with a dollop of seasoned yogurt and then the nut and seed mixture for contrasting texture. Keep the nuts rather coarse, as you want a crunchy texture and a mix of sizes. Note that the recipe calls for fine sea salt. I found the saltiness to be about right using a very fine-grained salt. If you use coarse salt, you're going to have to increase the amount by quite a bit. The roasting and subsequent towel-rubbing gets most, but not all, of the skins off the hazelnuts. I decided I don't care if mine are perfectly skinned. I think you could make this in a food processor, but you will still need to grind in batches, and you would need to be careful not to over-process. You want pretty large nut pieces in there. I think it's a lot easier to control the texture in a mortar and pestle, and texture is really the whole point of this mix.
I can see how this spice has become so popular. It's easy to make and can be enjoyed in many ways. We tried dipping bread into it with olive oil, which was delicious—there was a nice heat with the underlying taste of coriander and cumin and a good crunch from the seeds and nuts. I also tried sprinkling it over a salad, but the flavors were lost. I think it would be wonderful on meats. The only thing that didn't work well was rubbing the hazelnuts clean. I rubbed and rubbed but wasn't able to remove much of the hazelnut skins. I used my food processor instead of a mortar and pestle on the nuts.