Egyptian Spice Marinade

August 10, 2017
2 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Makes about 1 cup
Author Notes

One of my favorite, slightly more complicated flavors to add to different cold (and occasionally hot) dishes is this spicy marinade that I recently learned from my mother. You might be familiar with dukkah, which is a dry blend of Egyptian spices typically used as or on top of a dip—that’s not what this is. I know that the original form of this spice mix, served on top of thick cuts of tomatoes, originally came from my grandmother. She used to make it for my father growing up, and now, my mother makes it for my father.

In terms of taste, you can expect a bit of a kick, especially with the heat of the peppers, but realistically, a mouth watering, savory blend of just the right amount of oils, citrus, mild and multi-tiered spice, and coolness (thanks to the mint). As a marinade, this mix can be expected to seep in and marry it’s host, whatever that host may be, making it a bit different from dukkah, which is accentuated by more of a top layered crunch. I think about this blend of flavors often during my summer days, as it’s the perfect way to add a little bit of heat to a cold dish, without turning on the stove.

I use jalapeño, but any type of hot pepper, based on the level of spice you're comfortable with, would work. —Ashley Hefnawy

What You'll Need
  • 1 large jalapeño, minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 10 cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 whole lemons
  1. Mix all the ingredients together well... and that's it. Spread over tomatoes (or any other dish). Use it as or in a dressing, if you’d like. Just make sure to store it at room temperature. If you put it in the fridge, let the olive oil loosen by mixing it with a spoon and leaving the mix on the counter until it's loose again.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Madeleine926
  • marietta brill
    marietta brill
  • Mary Springer
    Mary Springer
  • Ashley Hefnawy
    Ashley Hefnawy

11 Reviews

Madeleine926 August 29, 2017
This has become my absolute favorite sauce/marinade/dressing. I could almost drink it straight! Thank you for a lovely recipe!
marietta B. August 23, 2017
marietta B. August 23, 2017
Sounds delicious and I know I could figure it out - but curious @ your proportions - how many tomatoes?
Ashley H. August 23, 2017
It depends on the size of the tomatoes—if you happen upon larger heirloom tomatoes, you may only need one for a good appetizer dish. If they're smaller, maybe go with 2 or 3.
emcsull August 23, 2017
how long could you keep this, do you think ?
Ashley H. August 23, 2017
I'm not sure... I kept it for a week and it seemed okay! The note below about keeping in the fridge should be applied I think for best storage.
Mary S. August 13, 2017
this sounds great. Just be aware that it is not safe to store a mixture with oil and garlic at room temperature. Keep this one in the fridge and let it come up to room temp for use (botulism is the risk. not worth it).
Ashley H. August 23, 2017
Thank you for that note, I didn't even think of that!
Janet G. August 12, 2017
Delicious. I used it as a dressing for a salad of heirloom tomatoes and nectarines, topped with feta.
beejay45 August 20, 2017
OMG, that sounds good! The fruit is the kicker for me. I'm really going to enjoy this condiment!
Ashley H. August 23, 2017
That sounds wonderful!