How to Make Dukkah at Home

March 25, 2014

 It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Jeanine Donofrio from Love and Lemons is sharing a versatile Middle Eastern spice mix that will spice up your life -- or at least your dinner.

Shop the Story

For me, dukkah serves two purposes: It’s a delicious condiment to have around and it’s also a great way to use up dried nuts and spices after I’ve cleaned out my pantry. In Arabic, the word dukkah means “to pound;” after some quick research, I learned that there is more than one way to make it. It generally consists of hazelnuts, sesame seeds, cumin, coriander, and peppercorns, and it involves two simple steps: toasting and pounding. I improvised based on the ingredients I had, and I encourage you to do the same. 

More: Enjoy your dukkah on a sandwich with bacon and egg salad

You can serve dukkah as a simple appetizer with olive oil and bread. I love to sprinkle mine onto Greek yogurt and have used it as a dip for roasted cauliflower. Toss dukkah with roasted vegetables, or use it to crust meat or fish. Store it in a cool, dry place and keep it on hand for quick, flavorful meals.

Dukkah Spice Mix

Makes about 3/4 cup

1/4 cup hazelnuts
1/4 cup pistachios
1 tablespoon whole dried coriander
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon dried peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon dried orange peel
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt

Using a small, dry skillet over low heat, toast the hazelnuts for a few minutes, until fragrant. Next, add the pistachios and the coriander and toast for a few minutes more. Next come the sesame seeds, peppercorns, and orange peel. Toast those for one minute more, then remove the skillet from the heat, mix in the dried cilantro, and add a few pinches of salt. 

Let the mixture cool, then crush it in a mortar and pestle or pulse it in a food processor. Instead of letting the mixture turn into a paste, stop mixing when it’s still a dry crumble.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Jeanine Donofrio

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • karmaya
  • J. P. Higgins
    J. P. Higgins
  • AntoniaJames
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel
My name is Jeanine Donofrio, author The Love & Lemons Cookbook and the food blog I create healthy, seasonal, (mostly) vegetarian. I love kale, green tea, cake, and of course lemons.


karmaya March 26, 2014
in my experience dried cilantro has barely any taste, so why bother using it here? I'm thinking perhaps it would make more sense to make the mixture without it, adding finely minced fresh cilantro just before using the dukkah as a condiment in a dish....
J. P. March 25, 2014
I make a version of this all the time. I usually add it to a olive oil matzo recipe I found in the NY Times. I also use it with panko and butter and cover a rack of lamb with it. Both are very tasty.
AntoniaJames March 25, 2014
Certain family members liberally slather flatbread or toasted slices of my artisanal bread with Genius Ottolenghi hummus followed by a few hearty pinches of my homemade dukkah, and call it "lunch." ;o)
Sarah J. March 25, 2014
That's my kind of lunch!
AntoniaJames March 25, 2014
A certain family member to remain unnamed has also been known to stuff a big handful of arugula in the flatbread referred to above, fold it over, and call it "dinner." (Did I mention that I make triple batches of that hummus? It freezes really well, if you refresh it with lemon juice, your greenest, liveliest olive oil, and dukkah or za'atar.) ;o)