Dukkha (or duqqa) is an Egyptian spice and nut blend that probably has as many recipes as there are chefs, home cooks, and street vendors in Egypt. I first had this lovely dance of flavors during a brunch with an old friend at her home in Santa Monica. We sat outside on the grass dipping bread into olive oil into dukkha; noshing and getting lost in our history and memories. Since then it has quickly become the star of my pantry. The major players in this blend tend to be hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, salt, and pepper. But one can add dry herbs, different nuts, dried chickpeas, and on and on. Dukkha adds a beautiful twist to just about anything. With bread dipped in olive oil, to season roasted vegetables, on pasta with some Russian rye bread crumbs and lemon zest. It is earthy, spicy, with a hint of floral undertones all at the same time. My favorite cameo for this fabulous blend has been as a simple sprinkle on top of a perfectly boiled egg. But, be careful getting lost with a friend over brunch, you might smile so much your face hurts.
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup black sesame seeds
2 tbs coriander seeds
2 tbs fennel seeds
1 tbs cumin seeds
2 tsp sea salt (I had a grey variety on hand, and it was lovely)
2 tsp cracked pepper
1 egg per person, boiled.
Toast nuts. Set aside. Toast coriander, fennel, and cumin seeds. Combine nuts and toasted seeds in a food processor until a coarse meal. Transfer to a bowl. Add sesame seeds (if using white sesame seeds, toast those as well), salt, and pepper. This recipe makes enough to store for a while. I keep mine in a recycled jam jar. You can freeze the mixture as well. Just remember that nuts can spoil.
Fill a pot with water. Add eggs. Turn on flame/stove top, bring eggs and water to a boil together. Once boiling, turn off the burner and let eggs sit for about 5-7 minutes. Then, with a very sharp knife, cut eggs (shell and all) in half.
Serve sprinkled with dukkha and eat with a spoon right out of the eggshell.
Eat together, toast to each other, and share!