Dukkah offers a different nutty direction

by Laurie Gorton
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Take nuts in a different direction: the Middle East. That’s where dry dips made with roughly ground nuts originated. Now, they’re gaining consumer attention worldwide. If your company produces dips to accompany snacks, here’s something to add to your roster.

Dukkah (pronounced doo’-kah) is especially popular in Egypt but is earning a big following in Australasia. Some products are already showing up in the United States, sold at Trader Joe’s and similar supermarkets.

Traditional dukkah (also spelled duqqa and derived from Arabic meaning to pound) starts with hazelnuts plus sesame seeds and spices, all roughly ground by mortar and pestle. Finished, it has a crunchy, dry texture and is served on olive oil-dipped flatbreads or pita chips.

Family recipes vary widely, and almost any kind of nut can be used: almonds, cashews, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts and more. Seed choices also include flax and sunflower. Some styles include chickpeas. Toasting the nuts and seeds intensifies their flavor. Spicing may evoke the Middle East with anise, coriander and cumin or go the Asian route with lime, chili and mint.

The base formula is four parts nuts to one part seeds, with spicing to taste. The resulting dry dip is high in fiber and protein but low in fat, cholesterol and sugar.
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