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Top 5 Ways to Use Dukah

Sharon Palmer

Learn how to make and use dukah—a blend of nuts, herbs, and spices, which originates from Egypt—as a delicious accent for your favorite meals.

Dukah (pronounced doo-kah), which is also known as dukkah, duqqa, or dakka, is a delicious blend of nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices that originated in Egypt. The name comes from the Arabic word meaning “to pound,” which reflects the traditional process of making this magical sprinkle. There are so many variations on the exact ingredients, but most contain sesame, cumin, and some kind of nut. My favorite version of this blend incorporates pistachios (see below), giving it a lovely green tint. Dukah can be used in countless ways, from a topping for soups and salads, to an accent for your olive oil dip with hearty whole grain breads, to a dusting before grilling foods. One of the best ways to use dukah is to top a whole grain bowl filled with roasted veggies and beans with a generous sprinkle.

I’m sharing my step-by-step guide for making home-made dukah, as well as my top five tips on how to use it in the kitchen.

How to Make Dukah: Step-By-Step Guide

Here’s What You’ll Need:
¼ cup pistachios
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Small skillet
Spice Grinder or small blender

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add ¼ cup pistachios, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, and ¼ teaspoon sea salt (optional). Toast for 2-3 minutes, until they become aromatic, but do not burn or blacken.
Remove from heat, cool slightly, and grind in a spice grinder or small blender just for a few seconds—should be coarsely ground.
Remove from grinder and place in an air-tight container. Store in refrigerator to keep nuts fresh. Makes about ½ cup (4 servings).

Nutritional Information per Serving (2 tablespoons each): 79 Calories, 6 g Total Fat, 1 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 6 mg Sodium, 5 g Carbohydrates, 2 g Fiber, 1 g sugar, 3 g Protein

Use dukah on a bowl meal, such as this Beluga Lentil Bowl with Roasted Veggies, which will appear in my new book California Vegan.

Top 5 Ways to Use Dukah

Try dukah on top of Avocado Toast

1. Sprinkle it on Avocado Toast or Hummus. If you’re looking for a way to jazz up your avocado toast, you definitely need to make some dukah! Avocado and dukah are culinary friends whenever they are paired together, so it’s a win-win taste experience. However, you don’t need to be a toast eater to enjoy the flavors of dukah. You can also sprinkle it on top of hummus for a little added crunch.

Swap out the breadcrumbs in this recipe for Asparagus Dill Tofu Quiche with dukah.

2. Swap out Breadcrumbs. For savory recipes, try substituting breadcrumbs with dukah. The crunchy bits of ground nuts and whole seeds adds texture to many recipes, such as veggie balls, lentil patties, veggie burgers, and nut loaves. It’s a great way to get the “crouton effect” without using bread!

Toss in dukah into your favorite salads, such as this recipe for Mediterranean Edamame Quinoa Bowl, for crunch and flavor.

3. Toss it into a Salad. Just sprinkle a bit of dukah on before serving so you get maximum crunch. The sesame seeds and nuts in the dukah are a quick way to make your salad more substantial and filling too.

Sprinkle over creamy soups, such as this recipe for Kabocha Squash Leek Soup with Pistachios.

4. Sprinkle it over Soups. Dukah can add a bit of needed flavor, color, and texture to creamy vegetable soups.

Try adding a touch of dukah over fruit compotes, such as this Quince Apple Compote.

5. Serve it over fruit. The earthy cumin, nutty crunch, and spicy peppercorns can enhance the flavors of more subtle fruit, like cooked apples or pears, baked apples, crisps, and compotes. This one takes a little more finesse to get right, so only use a little bit (you can always add more!).

For other How-To Cooking Guides, check out some of my favorites:

How to Use Pomelo
How to Make Avocado Toast
How to Cook with Bitter Melon

Written by Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN with Michelle Miller, dietetic intern.

Photos by Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN

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