Pickles/Powders/Chutneys

Egyptian Dukkah spice mix & cookies

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I’m a sucker for trying out new varieties of spice mixes. I can stay up as late as 2 a.m. looking for a certain ingredient that is to go into a spice mix that I plan to make the next day. I can (and do) empty the entire kitchen cupboard at that odd hour looking for that elusive pack of organic white sesame seeds that I bought just that evening so I could whip this up.

Incidentally, that says a lot about my organisational skills, doesn’t it? I have a reasonably clean kitchen cupboard. The only problem is, I can never remember where I put what. This despite the fact that I have, supposedly, categorised my ingredients into multiple boxes (many of them see-through) depending on their functionality!

So, coming back to the sesame seeds, I finally quit my search for sesame seeds that particular night (or should it be day?) last month at around 2.30 a.m. (yes!), putting it off for the next day. The following day, while I was readying my son his morning glass of milk, I was quite surprised to see him sitting at one place doing something with utter concentration. I was curious. You see, the only time my two-year-old ever sits in one place for over 12 seconds at a stretch is when he’s sitting in his err…potty!

dukkah cookies

So I walk up to him with the glass of milk in my hand and I see sesame seeds strewn all around and my son patiently working at putting back each seed into the torn packet. I later “remembered” I’d kept the pack on the dining table (very conveniently for my son!) so I could effortlessly start work on readying the Dukkah! Not that it took much time. Let’s leave the story of how I cleaned up and readied my son for his playschool for another day.

The dukkah spice mix is easy enough to make. Just some roasting and grinding and it’s all done in about 30 minutes. Reading up online, I gathered that this Egyptian spice mix is something of an all-pervasive mix with varied usage  – as a crunchy topping for soups, as a condiment for hearty meat-laced stews and even as an impromptu evening snack!

Like our garam masalas and sambhar powders, there’s no one recipe for this one. Each region and household makes up its own depending on their tolerance of the various ingredients that go into it. In its most basic form, Dukkah is essentially a mix of nuts and sesame, coriander and cumin seeds in varying proportions. One might add some dried herbs or warm spices like cinnamon and/or cloves or even some dried red chilli or black pepper to add heat to the mixture. I’ve followed the recipe  featured in The Kitchn.

Dukkah

I first got attracted to Dukkah when I first saw a pretty picture of dukkah-laced savoury cookies posted in a food group on Facebook. And it was to make those cookies that I actually made this mix. I must confess that I have, so far, used it only in the cookies and random snacking (where it does a wonderful job!). It is a lovely blend and I hope to top some soups with it soon!

The flavour of the cookies as a whole is pretty unique too. Ma de with gram flour, these are actually more crackers than cookies. Thanks to the strong flavour of the gram flour coming through, it felt like eating a baked version ‘ribbon pakoda’, which is a traditional Tamil fried snack made of gram flour. I noted the recipe down in my notebook, but forgot to make note of the source.

 

Dukkah

Ingredients:

Nuts – ½ cup (I used a mix of walnuts and almonds)
Sesame seeds – ¼ cup
Coriander seeds – ¼ cup
Cumin seeds – 2 tbsp
Freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Method:

Toast nuts and seeds in separate batches. Allow to cool

Place all ingredients in a food processor or in the dry jar of a mixer-grinder and pulse

I left the mixture somewhat coarse, but you can make it into a fine powder if you wish

Store in an airtight container

 

Here’s the recipe for Dukkah crackers

 

DUKKAH CRACKERS:

Ingredients:

Gram flour – 1 cup

Oil – 3 tbsp

Red chilli powder – ¼ tsp

Dukkah – 2-3 tbsp

Salt to taste

Method:

Preheat the oven to 175 deg C

Take the gram flour, red chilli powder and salt in a wide bowl

Add oil and knead till it forms a pliable dough

Roll out into a thin large rectangle, the thickness of a regular roti

Cut out circles that measure 2-3 inches across

Sprinkle a little dukkah on each cookie and light press on it with your forefinger

Place on a cookie tray and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes depending on how crisp you want them. Take care not to burn them

Remove, let cool and store in an airtight jar

 

This is my post for alphabet E for the blogging event titled Around the World in 30 Days , a special bi-annual version of the  Blogging Marathon hosted by Srivalli.

Sept BM logo

Yesterday, I had posted an Easter savoury pie from Cyprus, called Flaounes.

Check this link to see what other bloggers have posted for E:

 

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15 thoughts on “Egyptian Dukkah spice mix & cookies

  1. This is an interesting spice mix and cookies. When you said spice mix for cookies, I did not expect coriander in it and never expected gram flour cookies either. Very nice spice mix and cookies.

  2. Nice to read your adventure Nandini..you seem to make best looking dishes at late night lol..Even I had short listed Dukkah but didn’t know what to make with it after a while..so ended up making something else..

  3. I know the feeling about the cabinets. I finally made an excel spreadsheet and row by row listed out everything in every cabinet so I don’t make a mess trying to find the caraway seeds 🙂 and I have the spreadsheet taped to the inside of the cabinet doors.

  4. I face the cabinet situation once too often and I could almost visualize the two year old in action!As for the spice mix, it sounds like an interesting blend and I will be baking these cookies soon..

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