14 April 2014

Plate Up. Dukkah

I'm always looking for quick and easy ways to inject plenty of flavour into the meals I cook. When you work full time it's sometimes difficult to think of delicious meals that won't take forever to make. Enter the humble dukkah; this nifty spice mixture is your answer to everything. Use it as a spice rub for a range of meats and fish, sprinkle over currys, stiryfrys, pastas and salads or simply have it with your avocado on toast. You can easily whip up your own batch at home and it stores really well in an airtight container.

What you'll need
2/3 cup hazelnuts (you can also use almonds, macadamias or pine nuts)
80g sesame seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon flaked sea salt

What to do
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Spread your nuts over a baking tray and cook in the preheated oven for 3-4 minutes or until nice and toasty. Rub the nuts between a clean tea towel to remove as much of the skin as you can. Place the toasted nuts in a food processor and blitz until coarsely chopped. If you don't have a processor you can do it the old fashioned-way: place your nuts in between a tea towel and give them a fair whack with a rolling pin [this is a great stress buster, just watch your fingers!]. Transfer to a large bowl.

Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat and add the sesame seeds. Shuffle them round in the pan until golden and add to the nuts. Now place the coriander and cumin seeds in the pan and warm until aromatic and the seeds begin to pop. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and pound until finely crushed. (If you are lacking these ingredients or appliances you can use the pre-ground versions from the supermarket, the flavour just won't be as intense.) Add the crushed spices, pepper and salt to the nut mixture and mix well. Serve with your preferred dish. Dukkah also makes a great nibble plate when you have guests; simply serve with some bread and olive oil.

Photo by Krissie