What Is Dukkah And What Does It Taste Like?

If you're the type of home cook who loves having a fully stocked spice cabinet so you can add serious flavor to all your dishes, there's something else you should consider including — dukkah. Dukkah is a nut and spice mix with Egyptian roots, and it packs a serious punch. It gets its name from the Arabic word for "to crush," according to Serious Eats, which hints at the preparation method of combining all the ingredients in a food processor or working them with a mortar and pestle.

Tasting Table shares a recipe for crafting the mixture, and one of the unique inclusions is nuts. The recipe calls for hazelnuts, pistachios, and cashews, all of which get blitzed in the food processor until they're ground. It also requires a variety of seeds — sesame, coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds — some dried mint, a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat, and a bit of sugar and salt. Note that the recipe is flexible, within reason — chef Yotam Ottolenghi revealed to MasterClass that you can mix it up, incorporating other nuts like pine nuts or walnuts, and spices like paprika.

Whatever your blend, make sure you don't skip the toasting, which is a key step in bringing out the full flavor. As Basically explains, toasting spices and nuts can help bring out complexities in their flavor and make them taste more vibrant.

What does dukkah taste like?

Simply put, dukkah is a mouthwatering mixture of all the components in it. Provided the mix isn't ground too finely, it should have some crunch — courtesy of the nuts — as well as a hint of nuttiness. It also has a nice smell, thanks to the spices and toasting, while the taste depends on the particular ingredients you use in your blend (via MasterClass).

Given the combination of nuts and fresh spices, it isn't a blend that you should leave in your pantry for long. Tasting Table suggests storing it in the fridge for up to two weeks. However, you don't have to worry about finding ways to use it up — the blend is incredibly versatile. 

According to Serious Eats, dukkah is traditionally used as a topping for flatbreads and pita bread, so you can simply dip your carb of choice into oil and then into the dukkah for a tasty snack any time of day. It can also be that little something extra you add to make your yogurt or hummus shine, not to mention a great rub for a wide range of proteins, including lamb and fish.