Monday, November 10, 2014

Big T's Dukkah

2 cups hazelnuts (or almonds, or pistachios, or pepitas, or a combination--experiment!!)
1-1/2 cups sesame seeds
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Flaked sea salt (to taste)
Za'atar (to taste)
Chia seeds (optional, mandatory for Giraffes)

The secret is in toasting the seeds and nuts just until they become fragrant, and not a minute more

Since all the seeds and nuts are different sizes (think hazelnuts vs. sesame seeds), you are best off toasting each ingredient separately. Otherwise, you risk burning one type and under-toasting another. (If you toast the cumin and coriander together though, I won't tell anyone.)  It is therefore wise to make as large a batch as possible; the final mix stores well in the freezer.

Here's some suggestions:
  • Hazelnuts: 
    • 275 degrees F for 15-20 minutes
  • Pistachios:
    • 350 degrees F for 6 to 8 minutes
  • Pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
    • 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through
  • Almonds:
    • 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes.
It goes without saying that you should not be toasting the salt.  Or the za'atar or ground pepper.  Chia seeds don't need to be cooked at all.

Once all the seeds are toasted and fragrant, you'll want to get out your food processor/chopper.  The only ingredients that need to be chopped are the nuts and the coriander, and as before you might want to do them sequentially so that you don't overprocess anything.

Mix it up!

As soon as all the ingredients are cool, immediately freeze any dukkah you won't be consuming in the next week or two. Freezing right away locks in the flavor that will otherwise be lost during two weeks of refrigeration (if it lasts that long).

Dip fresh bread in this tasty blend of toasty nuts and spices! Sprinkle it on cooked meat or pasta. Top plain yogurt with dukkah for a savory option.