Dukkah recipe with almonds, sesame seeds, coriander, fennel, anise, and salt. It’s my own take on Trader Joe’s dukkah.
This recipe comes together in minutes. And it makes enough to last you for a long while.
There’s only one problem with being a big Trader Joe’s fan.
Just as soon as you’ve fallen in love with a product, it’s often ripped away.
That happens when it’s something seasonal, if there’s a quality control issue, or if it just wasn’t selling well enough to stick around.
As a TJ’s enthusiast, you have to go in with a certain amount of detachment, knowing that today’s favorite may be tomorrow’s fond memory.
One recent example?
Dukkah nut & spice blend.
Trader Joe’s sold small jars of it near the spices for a few dollars.
It made its way onto my favorite Trader Joe’s vegan products list.
(You can check out that post to see a picture of the packaging, in case you want to keep your eyes peeled for it.)
For some reason, it’s a seasonal item. And it recently made its yearly exit.
I’m not sure when it will be back again. But it might not be until the spring.
How will I keep up my dukkah habit?
It was time to make my own again.
What is dukkah?
Dukkah is also spelled dukka and duqqa.
Dukkah is an Egyptian condiment that’s usually made with hazelnuts and seeds.
The word is derived from the Arabic “to pound.”
That’s a reference to the way a mortar and pestle is typically used to grind down the nuts and seeds into a blend.
It’s even easier if you use a food processor and spice/coffee grinder!
For my dukkah recipe based on the Trader Joe’s mix, I use almonds, sesame seeds, anise seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and salt.
How to use it
Dukkah is mostly used as a dip.
Think of it as the savory Middle Eastern version of Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip.
Except instead of dipping a candy stick into sugar dust, you’re dipping bread into oil to wet it, and then finally into a shallow bowl of dukkah.
The nut & seed mixture sticks to the bread.
When you bite into it, you’re greeted with notes of nuttiness, salt, sausage flavors from the fennel, a faint citrus flavor from the coriander, and licorice from the anise.
(If you’re not into the flavors of fennel, coriander, or anise, I give other spice options below.)
Step by step instructions
Here are the ingredients you will need for homemade dukkah.
Start by toasting coriander seeds, fennel seeds, anise seeds, and sesame seeds for a couple minutes in a dry skillet on a medium heat.
Stir frequently, so that they don’t burn.
Once they are fragrant, turn off the skillet.
Move them to a clean, dry coffee grinder or spice grinder.
Give it a pulse a few times.
Be careful not to over blend.
You don’t want it to be a powder. You want it to be coarsely chopped.
(If you’d rather use a mortar & pestle for this, go for it.)
Then put the roasted & unsalted almonds into a food processor.
Add the seed mixture, and smoked salt or kosher salt.
Trader Joe’s dukkah uses kosher salt. But smoked salt adds some savory, smoky undertones.
Use whichever you prefer.
Pulse the food processor several times. Or turn it on low.
You may need to stop and stir a few times, so that everything breaks down evenly.
You want the dukkah to have an even, pebbly consistency.
Don’t turn it into almond flour or almond butter.
Now it is ready to use & serve!
Put a few spoonfuls into a small, shallow bowl.
In another shallow bowl, drizzle extra virgin olive oil.
Dip hot bread into the oil, and then directly into the dukkah to pick it up.
This dukkah recipe makes a generous amount.
It will last you a while, even if you are a dukkah fiend like me.
Can I use ground spices instead?
I wouldn’t advise it.
Even though you will be grinding the spices, the texture you’re aiming for is just slightly crushed.
Not a smooth powder like you’d find in commercially ground spices.
It should adhere to the bread like pebbles, not dust.
I recommend visiting your grocery store bulk bins to buy a scoop of each of the whole spices. That way you don’t have to commit to an entire jar.
A spoonful of whole spices usually costs just change.
What to serve with it
One of our favorite dinners is a big kale salad with bread, oil, and dukkah on the side.
It makes a healthy dinner salad a whole lot more fun.
It’s also a tasty addition to a vegan charcuterie board or mezze platter along with warmed Castelvetrano olives, grilled artichoke hearts, dolmas, crudités, and fruit.
A sprinkling of dukkah on top takes store-bought or homemade hummus up a serious notch.
Of course, it’s equally delicious on top of baba ganoush.
Serve with pillowy pita bread.
You can even use it on top of hot, buttered corn-on-the-cob. (Using non-dairy butter, obviously.)
The limits are endless!
Finally, dukkah makes a great DIY vegan food gift.
Put it in a jar, and tie on a ribbon.
Then give it with a baguette & nice bottle of olive oil.
Make it your own
Make this dukkah recipe your own by switching up, swapping, or adding different nuts and seeds.
Instead of almonds, try hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews, pine nuts, and/or pumpkin seeds.
Instead of or in addition to the seeds listed here, try one to two teaspoons of cumin seeds, caraway seeds, or black peppercorns.
How to store it
Keep the dukkah in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator, so that the oils in the nuts stay good.
Sesame seed & almond dukkah
- Bring a dry skillet to a medium heat. Add fennel seeds, coriander seeds, anise seeds, and sesame seeds. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until fragrant. Make sure to stir occasionally, so that none of it burns.
- Put the seed mixture into a clean, dry coffee grinder or spice grinder. Pulse a few times. Be careful not to blend too much. You don't want it to turn into a powder. It should have a gritty texture.
- Put the almonds, spice mixture, and smoked salt or kosher salt into a food processor. Put the food processor on low, or pulse until the dukkah has a mostly even, pebbly consistency. You may need to stop occasionally to stir, so that everything gets evenly mixed.
- To serve, put a few spoonfuls of dukkah into a small dish. Pour extra virgin olive oil into a separate small dish. Dip the warmed bread into oil & then into the dukkah, so that the nuts & seeds adhere to the bread.