Dukka is your new topping for every dish…
Eating deliciously is in the details. Thoughtful spicing, pillows of puree and garnishes light up otherwise mundane meals. Dukka (also spelled duqqa or dukkah) is a Middle Eastern co-mingling of crushed nuts and spices which does more than just light up a meal – it makes it! It’s so delicious in fact that Trader Joe’s has put out a nice option (though I much prefer this oiler, more satisfying recipe!). I use dukka on top of everything from avocado toast and salads, to soups and meats for my meat-eating friends. The ingredients are powerful and healthy, so you can feel good about adding this to just about any edible vehicle.
Take just 35 minutes to make a big batch and keep it as a topper for months in an air-tight vile. This recipe yields a rather large batch, so you’re more than welcome to half it! Here we go… Lets gather:
- 1 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 whole heads garlic
- 2 shallots
- 2 cups pistachios
- 4 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 4 tbsp black sesame seeds
- 4 tbsp coriander seeds (not ground please)
- 3 tbsp peppercorns (pink or otherwise)
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 4 tsp ground sumac
- 4 tsp Aleppo pepper
Each clove of garlic and each shallot should be sliced thinly. Spread them evenly at the base of a large pan and cover with oil before heating. Turn the stove burner to low heat, stirring only occasionally. Patience pays off here, as the slow cooking process (about a half an hour) diffuses the bitter twinge of these ingredients. When the garlic and shallots are coated in a dark golden hue, toss in your pistachios and stir for one minute. The pistachios should already be roasted, so we are looking to simply coat them with a nice garlic infused oil instead of cook them further.
Strain the oil into a cup and move the pistachio, shallot, garlic mix to a paper towel lined plate. Return the oil to a cleaned pan over low heat as you slowly toast coriander seeds and both black and white sesame seeds. When you can smell a gorgeous aroma from the pan and see a light toast on the seeds, it’s time drain the oil and move your seeds to the paper towel lined plate with your other cooked ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the plate’s contents with peppercorns, sea salt, sumac and Aleppo pepper. Grab your mortar and pestle to break up this mixture. The word dukka actually translates into “pound”, or to crush. You can be as generous with this crushing as you’d like, though I like to leave some texture and not emulsify the blend completely. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, transfer the mix to a sealable baggie and use a rolling pin or mallet to crush. Enjoy!
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