Dukkah – Middle Eastern Spice Mix

Dukkah 1

I probably say this a lot and it’s true — I love trying out new cuisines and exploring new flavors. When the world has so much to offer, why stick to just one kind of food? I am always on the hunt, looking for something new to try and thankfully, my husband also enjoys the journey. Having said that, as much open minded as we are towards food, we are not all that adventurous to try out something bizarre. Bottom line — it has to smell good, sound good or at the most, look good.

While reading Ana Sortun’s Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean, I learned about a spice mix called Dukkah (say Dooh-kah), which can also be spelled as Duqqa or Dukka. My Indian friends might automatically relate to the word ‘suffering’ or ‘stress’ because that’s what it means in Hindi (kind of). Trust me, it’s nowhere even close to anything sad.

It has a robust flavor, looks rustic, tastes nutty and can bring immense joy to your belly. This crumbly spice mix is mostly used as a bread dip with olive oil.

Dukkah - Middle Eastern Spice Mix 1

Dukkah – The famous Egyptian spice blend has way too many versions than one can even imagine. With nuts and whole spice seeds as the key ingredients, various doors of possibilities automatically open up making it very versatile. If you are allergic to one kind of nut, you can pick the one that you can eat. Even if you don’t have the spices mentioned out here, improvise and pick something else which might have a fairly close flavor.

For now, I am happy with this combination and will let my creative-hat rest for a while.

Dukkah - Middle Eastern Spice Mix 2

Dukkah - Middle Eastern Spice Mix 3

I used this spice in a lot of different dishes. To mention a few — lentil soup, fish cakes, sprinkled it on fish before pan-frying it, added it on roasted vegetables, salad, yogurt sauce (raita)…

But first, let’s get some bread, a good quality extra virgin olive oil and enjoy it the authentic way — as a dip!

Dukkah - Middle Eastern Spice Mix 4

My advice, do not make it in a huge batch. It looses its flavor eventually. The reason why I always prefer making spice mixes at home is because it remains fresh and is always more flavorful.

Making Dukkah would take hardly 10 minutes. So, make it in small batches and store in a cool, dark place for no more than a month.

Dukkah 6

Dukkah – Middle Eastern Spice Mix


  • 1 cup almonds, blanched and skin removed
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coconut flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


blanch the almonds

  1. Pour the almonds in a bowl and cover it with hot water.
  2. Let it stand for 1 minute, drain the hot water and rinse under cold water.
  3. Pat dry and peel off the skin.

make the spice

  1. Once the almonds are blanched, layer them in a tissue paper and let it dry completely before you grind them.
  2. Dry roast the spices (coriander, cumin and fennel) separately and then using a coffee blender or a mixer, grind them to a rough dust.
  3. Dry roasts the sesame seeds and keep them aside.
  4. In a bowl, mix the ground spices, ground almonds, sesame seeds, coconut flakes, freshly grated pepper and salt.
  5. Store it in an airtight jar, like any other spice mix.


1. Blanching almonds is not a must. It just helps in removing the bitterness than can come from the skin.
2. I prefer not to roast the coconut flakes but you could always roast them.

Dukkah - Middle Eastern Spice Mix 5


Did you enjoy this Dukkah - Middle Eastern Spice Mix? Share your creation by tagging @playfulcooking on Instagram with the #playfulcooking and I will re-share in my story!

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Comments are closed.

  • Nicole
    June 25, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Your photos are absolutely gorgeous. Such nice work. I have heard of this spice, but never knew what it was. Thanks for writing about it.

  • Spandana
    June 25, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Sounds interesting Kankana. I would love to try it.
    The pictures look wonderful.

  • sulagna
    June 25, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    ok this sounds familiar yet new ..must try this one !

  • Rosa
    June 25, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    One of my favorite spice blends. Wonderful when sprinkled over salads and amazing when used as a bread dip with olive oil.

    Great pictures!



  • Vishakha
    June 25, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    Hearing about Dukkah for the first time. Sounds very interesting with a unique blend of spices. I enjoyed reading the intro to the recipe. R & I are also big foodies and love trying new food wherever we go. He’s more adventurous than I am.. though I’ve had more bizarre stuff than him ;-))
    Loved each and every photo. So perfectly styled.:)

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Nami | Just One Cookbook
    June 25, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Ahhh Kankana, you are my inspiration. Just looking at your photos made me feel I need to work on my photography skills and practice more instead of thinking how I can improve. So thank you. 🙂 I can’t wait to see how you come up with meals with this spice mix!

  • Arch
    June 26, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    I love mid-Eastern food…this sounds like a great idea…never imagined they would used coconut flakes in this spice mix…Love the pictures Kankana…simply superb !

  • nisha
    June 26, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    now thats something ive never heard of before, and a cuisine i havent really cooked much (have indulged n it quite a bit though). Pics are gorgeous

  • Tamara
    June 26, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    I haven’t heard of this spice actually, but I really like it. Thanks for the recipe and gorgeous photos!

  • Joanne
    June 26, 2012 at 4:00 AM

    Just judging by the ingredients, this spice blend and I have a date with destiny! Delicious.

  • Nancy/SpicieFoodie
    June 26, 2012 at 6:35 AM

    Hi Kankana,

    I’ve heard of this spice and have been wanting to give it a try. So happy to see you do a post on it. Your photos are so gorgeous! Now I really need to give it a try soon.

  • IshitaUnblogged
    June 26, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    Kankana, amazing photography as usual. Welcome to the Middle-East! Dukkah is supposed to possess enormous health benefits…

  • Alya
    June 26, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    Am definitely trying this once I’ve moved! (this week is utter chaos.)

    You’v ealso inspired me to try some of my own blends as well… or try more frequently.

  • foodwanderings
    June 26, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Nice Kankana. Just few weeks ago we were talking about it on one of my trips. Glad that you posted this. I think one of the papers in LA wrote about it too I got to check now that this post ressurected my memory/ lol

  • chinmayie @ love food eat
    chinmayie @ love food eat
    June 26, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    This sounds really tasty. I have never tried Dukkah but since i am familiar with all the spices used here I am sure I will enjoy it.

  • Aunt B's Kitchen
    Aunt B's Kitchen
    June 26, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    I enjoy the flavour of this blend but have always purchased it ready-made. I’m sure that making it myself will result in a much brighter taste. Thank you for sharing the instructions. I’ll be sharing a link to this post on my FB page.

  • Radhika@JustHomemade
    [email protected]
    June 26, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    wonder how I never heard of this, sounds so delish!

  • Shumaila
    June 26, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    I have all the spices necessary for this! Gorgeous clicks as always!

  • Reem | Simply Reem
    Reem | Simply Reem
    June 26, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Can you believe I too did a post inspired by same cookbook..
    Wise Girls think alike..LOL
    This looks fantastic!!..Love the clicks Kankana…

  • Poornima
    June 26, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    This sounds like an amazing mixture, love the combination of spices and nuts! Stunning pics!!

  • katerina
    June 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Hi dear! I’m so glad to stummbled on your blog! I really like your posts [recipes and photographies]– Congratulations!
    Count me as your newest follower 🙂
    Kisses from Greece.


  • Eha
    June 26, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Love dukkah, especially with bread and olive oil. Normally have to admit to buying, but yours is quite unusual with the coconut, so shall definitely try! Thank you!

  • Liren
    June 26, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    I love dukkah, just like this, with bread dipped in olive oil, quite heavenly! Would you believe that my first taste of dukkah was actually at a restaurant in Maui? How unlikely – though your version with coconut would have made plenty of sense there! I can’t wait to try it this way!

  • Debjani
    June 26, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    Wise little blend of spices and nuts! Something I would love to read up on. Middle Eastern food is quite intriguing to say the least and this recipe is a good showcase.
    Your props always catch my eye. They are just ‘so right’ and you are so very clever with them.

  • Elizabeth
    June 26, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    I love that this spice mix has almonds! YUM!

  • mjskit
    June 26, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    What a fabulous spice blend! I’ve never had anything like it. Definitely love the idea of using it with bread and a good olive oil! Thanks for sharing so a unique spice mix!

  • rebecca
    June 26, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    wow what a cool spice blend with the almonds and coconut very nice, thanks for the congrats on 1000th post

  • Sneh | Cook Republic
    Sneh | Cook Republic
    June 26, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    a lovely little recipe!

  • Anamika@madcooking
    [email protected]
    June 26, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Surprisingly I never heard of this before, loved the unique blend of spices & nuts specially almonds in it. Shall go by your advice and make it in small batch to start with :).

  • Lisa H.
    Lisa H.
    June 26, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Fantastic looking Dukkah…
    Yes , I love having them with EVOO and bread too.

  • beena
    June 26, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    wow…i love this…must try this dip sometime soon…fantastic pics!

  • nipponnin
    June 26, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    How interesting! I never heard of dukkah before but I’m glad I’m not only one. Always fantastic looking photos!

  • dassana
    June 27, 2012 at 3:58 AM

    gorgeous photos kankana. when i make dukkah i always make in small amount as well. i got to know about dukkah from an australian friend. it seems it is very popular in australia. the next time i will add some coconut too 🙂

  • Jennifer (Delicieux)
    Jennifer (Delicieux)
    June 27, 2012 at 5:14 AM

    Gorgeous photos, as always Kankana. I love dukkah, which lately I’ve used in soups. I also love your addition of coconut. I wouldn’t have thought to try that.

  • CJ at Food Stories
    CJ at Food Stories
    June 27, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Thx for connecting with me on foodbuzz. I just subscribed to your blog feed and can’t wait to see what your next post will be!

  • ATasteOfMadness
    June 27, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Your photos are gorgeous!
    I’m very intrigued by this mix. I love coconut, so this looks like something I would add to everything! Yum!

  • Charles
    June 27, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Hi Kankana, I love the sound of this – I’ve never heard of Dukkah before, and used as a bread dip with olive oil? Oh, yes please! This sounds like my sort of thing, and not too difficult to make either – you make it look delicious, absolutely wonderful photos!

  • Sihi
    June 27, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    How beautiful! The pics is making my mouth water.


  • lisaiscooking
    June 27, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    I agree, food has to smell, sound, or look good before I want to try it–but then I do try to be adventurous. I love the idea of sprinkling some dukkah on lentil soup!

  • wokandspoon
    June 27, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    I never knew that almond skin was bitter. I love making spices myself as well love the aroma. I just want to rub your dukkah on a piece of fish 🙂

  • DB-Foodie Stuntman
    DB-Foodie Stuntman
    June 28, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    Using this as a dip has me intrigued. Congratulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!

  • Arch
    June 28, 2012 at 6:27 AM

    Hey, your post was the topmost on foodbuzz…Yaaaay !! Congratulations !!

  • gina @ cateror
    gina @ cateror
    June 28, 2012 at 6:32 AM

    Found you on foodbuzz, congrats! This mix has so much potential, thank you for sharing it! I love bread with oil for dipping, but usually end up with more of a mediterranean flavor, so this will make a great addition to the bread dips!

  • Archana
    June 28, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Congrats …..Yay. This post is awesome and you really deserve it. Wonderful spice too.

  • Kate @ Kate from Scr
    Kate @ Kate from Scr
    June 28, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Gorgeous photos. I’d love to try this soon. It sounds exotic, which always refreshes a family menu. Congratulations on reaching the foodbuzz top 9 today!

  • CJ at Food Storiese
    CJ at Food Storiese
    June 28, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Excellent looking recipe, definitely deserving a place in the foodbuzz top 9, congratulations!

  • Kim
    June 28, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    My fiance would love this! He has so many spices and has taught me so much about using them. We’ll definitely have to try this mix!

  • Lola Lobato
    Lola Lobato
    June 28, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Wonderful spice mix!!!beautiful pictures.

  • Kitchen Belleicious
    Kitchen Belleicious
    June 28, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    i am always in need of different spice combinations and this is nothing short of fantastic. would love to do this soon

  • alpana
    June 29, 2012 at 5:34 AM

    Very informative post & needless to say superbly captured. Thanks for sharing.

  • Tiffany
    June 29, 2012 at 5:48 AM

    ONLY you can make spices look so beautiful! And congrats on Top 9!

  • Jacqueline
    June 29, 2012 at 6:25 AM

    I love Middle Eastern flavours but I’ve never tried Dukkah before.
    Nice tip about blanching the almonds. Very original post.

  • torviewtoronto and createwithmom
    torviewtoronto and createwithmom
    June 29, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    looks aromatic and flavourful deliciously done and presented

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    June 29, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Time to get out the spices and make a batch of this myself!

  • Marta @ What Should
    Marta @ What Should
    July 2, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    You are so inspiring. And your spices look simply beautiful. Who would thought it’s possible, hahaha.

  • Magic of Spice
    Magic of Spice
    July 7, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Such a great spice mix! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  • Tadka Pasta
    Tadka Pasta
    July 9, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Would love to mix up a batch of this, thanks for the recipe. Wonderful pictures, Kankana!

  • Kiran
    July 10, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Interesting mix of spices. I’ve always been curious about “dukkah”, thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

  • sangeeta khanna
    sangeeta khanna
    July 17, 2012 at 4:59 AM

    This is my next powder on the go. I know I would love it with just anything. The current one is a garlic flax seeds dry chutney. Just finished a batch and next is this Dukkah. I think I’ll make a big batch n keep in the fridge.