Egyptian Dukka (also spelled as dukkah or Duqqah) is a quintessential Egyptian pantry ingredient.
Historically, Dukka in Egyptian culture has been associated with humbleness and austerity as it costs almost nothing to make it, in addition to its long lasting shelf life.
Dukka is typically a mix of spices, toasted affordable nuts and seeds, ground together in a pestle. It is typically consumed with bread and olive oil as a snack or served as a trimming in an Egyptian breakfast.
In recent years, some more upscale versions of Dukka started to surface in celebrities’ food shows and cookbooks, where the humble Egyptian snack became an ingredient in fish, chicken and vegetables dishes alike.
Some recent trendy renditions of Dukka include pricey nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts, and/or almonds. While this contemporary tweak compromises the Dukka’s reputation of humbleness, the fancy nuts gave Dukka a richer texture that makes it a prefect tanned crust on a roasted fish fillet or chicken breast.
Growing up, Mary’s Dukka was the one that dented my memory.
Mary Soliman is our family’s dear neighbor and friend. She was born to an Egyptian father and Greek mother. Inheriting two great cuisines, Mary always has had a genuine passion for cooking and baking.
Mary never ceases to amaze me and my family with her delectable dishes that seamlessly blend the two shores of the Mediterranean and the two halves of her identity: Greek and Egyptian.
With a few secret ingredients and a modern cooking approach, Mary managed to refine myriad of traditional Egyptian dishes and take them up a notch. I witnessed this firsthand!
Mary attributes her immaculate cooking skills to her Greek mother “Tante Janjuni”, who is a cordon blue in her own right. “Like mother, like daughter”, they say.
Pairing passion with skill, Mary continued to hone her culinary skills and expand her food knowledge by following world class food trends and collecting the best cookbooks she can put her hands on.
When the time was right, Mary made the right move and decided to take her unique skill set to the market.
Recently Mary Boctor Soliman launched MIROLLA’S BAKERY @mirollas_bakery. Her personalized menu includes artisan bread as well as a galore of cookies.
Browsing the pictures of her products is a feast to the eye. If you live in Cairo, make sure to try Mary or Mirolla’s Biscotti and artisan bread. They are to die for!
GO MARY GO!
Recipe Credit to Mary Boctor
1 cup raw sesame
1 cup raw peanuts
1 cup chickpeas, from a can (optional)
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mint, optional
- Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Roast the nuts and spices. Lay, in one layer, the peanuts and/or chickpeas on a sheet pan, and roast them till they are golden brown. You can also toast them in a skillet on the stove top. Once they become toasted and fragrant, remove from heat and leave them to cool completely.
- Toast the Spices. In a hot dry skillet, toast the cumin and coriander. See notes.
Grind the ingredients. Using a pestle or a spice grinder, grind the roasted peanuts and/or chickpeas until you reach a coarse texture. Add the spices and blitz few times until all the spices are ground and mixed up with the nuts.
Salt and pepper to your taste.
- Serve Dukka with olive oil, hot pita bread, cemite, bagels as a snack, or as a trimming in a breakfast next to Egyptian foul Medames and falafel.
- Use Dukka as a spice blend to add crust to chicken, fish fillet, and to spice up vegetables.
Store the Dukka in a lid-tight container. See notes.
- Toasting the spices first in a hot dry skillet will bring up the flavors and crisp up the texture.
- Freeze Dukka in small ziplocks and use as needed.