The warm, earthy flavors of dukkah, a traditional Egyptian spice blend, can quickly transform your dish from appetizer to main entrée. Dukkah (dook-ah) is derived from the Arabic word “to pound” since the mixture of roasted nuts and exotic herbs and spices are crushed into a savory blend.
“People always gather around food,” says Hoda Khalil, owner of Nanna’s Secret Dukkah. After coming to the United States in 1978, Hoda continued to prepare traditional Egyptian foods, including dukkah, an everyday staple in Egyptian cuisine. She established Nanna’s Secret in 2013, and was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014 by the Philadelphia Welcoming Center.
Hoda recalls from her childhood in Egypt, “my grandmother used to make dukkah in a big tub once a year and fill jars to give to family members and neighbors.” Hoda remembers sitting and listening to stories, while mixing the blend of aromatic spices, “little did I know decades later I would start a dukkah business halfway around the world using her recipe!” Hoda’s favorite way to eat dukkah? “With eggs – I dip my hard boiled eggs in dukkah” she adds, “as a child it was the only way my family would get me to eat eggs.”
The versatility of this nut and spice blend is limitless. We’ve put together a list of suggestions from Hoda, as well as our own personal favorites:
- Mix with olive oil for dipping
- Sprinkle on roasted vegetables
- Crust meat or seafood
- Toss into pasta or salad
- Bake onto pita or sliced baguette
- Toast with homemade kale chips
- Add as a garnish to soup