• 2-3 tbsp dukka mix
  • 1 tbsp toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (add only if dukka mix is ground evenly)
  • Olive oil (warmed)
  • Naan bread or other fresh flatbread (warmed)

It’s Egyptian, it’s made of toasted nuts and seeds, and it tastes damned good with flatbread and olive oil. It’s dukka!

I first had this tasty treat while visiting Cafe Nola on Bainbridge island and assumed it was a special restaurant creation. Our waiter brought a small dish of olive oil to the table, heated it gently over a petite votive candle, and explained how to eat the nutty, seedy concoction: dip the warm flatbread in the oil, then the dukka, andenjoy. What a delightful treat! Little did I know that this mouthwatering mix had Egyptian roots and generally comprises several core ingredients: some kind of nut (most seem to believe hazelnuts), coriander seeds, cumin and salt, toasted and ground. Cafe Nola’s version also included thyme and toasted, dried chickpeas.

Fast forward to last weekend, when me and pal Nitya were wandering the streets near Pike Place Market and found our way to World Spice. After buying a ridiculous amount of aromatic herb and seed blends, I figured what better restaurant recreation to post but the delectable dukka dish from days gone by?

Egyptian dukka with olive oil and naan breadThis post won’t tell you how to grind the spices yourself, but I’ll experiment with that later on and offer my own unique take on the solution then. In the meantime, if you grab a few ounces of World Spice’s version,  the appetizer is as simple as pie. Coarsely chop about 1 tbsp hazelnuts, mix with 2-3 tbsp dukka, warm some fresh naan bread or other flatbread, warm a bit of high quality olive oil, and you’re good to go. Dip the bread first in the oil, then the dukka, and enjoy the savory treat. If you bring the spice mix home whole and grind it yourself, just make sure some of the hazelnuts stay intact. The store-ground version is pulverized evenly, but I loved having slightly larger bits of nutty goodness while at Cafe Nola.

In later posts, I’ll share additional recipes with dukka – off hand I know I’d like to try encrusting tempeh and sprinkling the mix on roasted vegetables.