Learn how to make Dukkah (pronounced DOO-kah), and discover a new way to add texture and flavor to your dishes. This Egyptian nut-and-seed blend can be salty, sweet, or spicy depending on how you make it.

Try my base blend or mix in countless other ingredients from my list of suggestions. Use Dukkah as a topping, garnish, or even a healthy snack mix!

Dukkah and dukkah ingredients in various bowls on a gray countertop.

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What is Dukkah?

The work dukkah comes from the Egyptian Arabic word meaning “to pound” or “to crush,” and that’s exactly how it’s made.

The ingredients are put into a mortar and pestle and crushed by hand. More modern recipes state you can use a food processor, but making it in a mortar and pestle results in the best texture – somewhere between a coarse nut mix and a spice powder.

Dukkah ingredients in a marble bowl.

Why on Earth would I want to make Dukkah?

If you’re anything like me (of course you are – that’s why you’re here!) you’re wondering why you should care about Dukkah.

I never heard of the stuff until I went to culinary school. But it didn’t take long for me to see the appeal.

When you’re thinking about a dish, in an ideal world (maybe not an average busy Wednesday night, but maybe when you’re dreaming about food before you fall asleep) you are thinking about different flavors, colors, and textures all coming together to make magic.

Dukkah is an easy way too add flavor and, more importantly, texture to a dish. Crunch, specifically. If that’s you’re thing. If that’s what you’re going for.

It’s the same reason I put cornflakes on top of my Cheesy Potatoes and on my French Toast. Or pretzels in my Raspberry Jello Salad. And fried onions on my Green Bean Casserole. Everybody loves a little crunch.

So maybe you don’t want to add Dukkah to your chicken soup. But if you’re making an extra-special prime rib for Christmas, it might be fun to serve some Dukkah on the side (with your horseradish cream). Or add some to a salad, a bowl of lentil soup, or on your next batch of roasted vegetables.

Dukkah ingredients on a countertop.

How do I make Dukkah in a mortar and pestle?

Crush, crush, crush! But in stages of course! Each nut, seed, and spice should be crushed separately depending on size.

Crushing the ingredients in stages gives you more control and the best texture overall, as none of the ingredients should be a super fine powder.

Dukkah toppings in a bowl.

How do you eat dukkah?

If you want to follow tradition, dukkah is used as a dip for khubz, or flatbread, that is first dipped in olive oil to help the granules of the blend stick to the bread.

But as I said above, it can be a topping for anything: meat, vegetables, soups, and salads. You could enjoy it for breakfast on top of your morning oatmeal or yogurt, (imagine a grainless granola).

And if made right, it can simply be eaten as a healthy snack mix!

Dukkah on a gray plate.

Should I toast the ingredients?

Yes! Toasting brings out the natural aroma of each ingredient, making your dukkah more flavorful. But again, just like crushing, we want to toast the ingredients in stages based on size.

Large hazelnuts are going to take much longer to become nutty and fragrant than say, tiny sesame seeds. You should also toast whole-seed spices such coriander and cumin.

Hazelnuts in a silver pot.

How do I make Dukkah?

Now the fun part! The beauty of Dukkah is the endless combinations you can make. Basically, it’s only limited to your imagination.

Here is my favorite base recipe:

  • ½ cup of any kind of nut (the most traditional is hazelnuts)
  • 1 Tbsp white sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp flaky sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp combination of Seeds
  • 1 tsp combination of Spices and Herbs
  • Optional: up to 3 Tbsp of any Mix-In from the list below.

The blend will keep in an airtight container, in a cool dark place, for up to 1 month.

Dukkah on a gray countertop with oil for dipping.

Dukkah Inspiration List

NUTS: Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, Macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts

SEEDS: Caraway, cardamom, coriander, chia seeds, cumin (black and white), fennel, fenugreek, Grains of Paradise, hemp, nigella, Pepitas (pumpkin seeds), poppy seeds, sunflower seeds

HERBS & SPICES: Cayenne pepper, dried basil, dried fenugreek leaves, dried mint, dried oregano, dried thyme, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground sumac, ground turmeric, peppercorns (white, black, pink, green), red pepper flakes, za’atar

MIX-INS (Optional): brown sugar (light and dark), dried edible flowers, dried shallots, ground espresso, cacao nibs, grated grapefruit zest, grated lemon zest, grated lime zest, grated orange zest, millet, puffed quinoa, shredded coconut

Dukkah ingredients in various bowls on a gray countertop.

Dukkah on a blue plate with pita bread.

How to Make Dukkah

Learn how to make Dukkah (pronounced DOO-kah), and discover a new way to add texture and flavor to your dishes. This Egyptian nut-and-seed blend can be salty, sweet, or spicy depending on how you make it. Try my base blend or mix in countless other ingredients from my list of suggestions. Use Dukkah as a topping, garnish, or even a healthy snack mix!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 8
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Calories 194

Ingredients 

For Basic dukkah:

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts roasted
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds toasted
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds toasted
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

For Spicy Hazelnut and Fennel dukkah:

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts roasted
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds toasted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For Sweet Cashew and Coconut dukkah:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepitas
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds toasted
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds toasted
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

For Sunny Almond and Lemon dukkah:

  • 1/2 cup almonds roasted
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds toasted
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions 

To make Basic dukkah:

  • Combine nuts, sesame seeds, and sea salt. Add your choice of other sides, spices and herbs, and mix-ins if desired. Crush in a mortar and pestle or food processor. Store in an airtight container, in a cool dark place, for up to 1 month.

To make Spicy Hazelnut and Fennel dukkah:

  • Combine hazelnuts, sesame seeds, sea salt, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, and red pepper flakes. Crush in a mortar and pestle or food processor. Store in an airtight container, in a cool dark place, for up to 1 month.

To make Sweet Cashew and Coconut dukkah:

  • Combine cashews, sesame seeds, sea salt, pepitas, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon, and ginger, brown sugar, and coconut. Crush in a mortar and pestle or food processor. Store in an airtight container, in a cool dark place, for up to 1 month.

To make Sunny Almond and Lemon dukkah:

  • Combine almonds, sesame seeds, sea salt, coriander seeds, sunflower seeds, sumac, and lemon zest. Crush in a mortar and pestle or food processor. Store in an airtight container, in a cool dark place, for up to 1 month.

Nutrition

Calories: 194kcal
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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