Nuts & Spices Blend

Nuts & Spices Blend

Here is the thing. This is not necessarily an authentic dukkah recipe, the popular Middle Eastern (predominantly Egyptian) condiment traditionally used as a dip with a splash of extra virgin olive oil with bread. It’s a blend of nuts (traditionally hazelnuts and pistachios) and spices. The mix varies depending on the region or availability of ingredients. In my case, I was missing hazelnuts, so I used walnuts and pumpkin seeds instead. That should be legit, right?
That’s why I didn’t name this ‘Dukkah’ but ‘Nuts and Spices Blend’, so you can use whatever nuts and spices you have.
Nevertheless, it is an insanely delicious and nutritious blend that can be used in various ways, from a humble dip to more elaborate dishes such as on salads toppings, roasts, etc.
Here’s my version:

1 cup (125g) walnuts
⅓ cup (40g) pumpkin seeds

1 Tb (6g) fennel seeds
1 Tb (6g) whole cumin seeds
⅓ cup (36g) sesame seeds
1 Tb coriander seeds
1 Tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
Salt to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a heavy cast-iron pan over medium heat, toast the walnuts and pumpkin seeds for about 4-5 minutes, stirring continuously. Make sure not to burn the nuts. You will start smelling the lovely nutty flavors as they start toasting. Once nicely toasted, transfer the nuts to a bowl.
In the same pan, toast the spices (fennel, cumin, coriander, sesame seeds, and pepper flakes) and lightly toast for 4-5 minutes before transferring to another bowl.
Add the nuts to a mortar and pestle and start pounding (the word means Dukkah in Egyptian) until you get a coarse texture. You can use a processor and pulse the mix several times for the same result, but doing it in a mortar is more fun.
Do the same with the toasted spice mix. Pound it to a coarse texture.
Mix the ground nuts and spices, add salt to taste, and serve it on a wide plate as a dip with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and some delicious sourdough bread. I added a sprinkle of lemon juice just because.

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