This and That #2: Duh, What's Dukkah?

September 28, 2016 by Leslie
Food, Chefs, Did You Know

beets mix

Number 2 in our "This and That" series - a nice way of saying we won't tell anyone what you don't know.

So, uh, what's Dukkah?

You've seen it twice on our menu (bonus Feast credits if you can find it on a third dish). But just what's in this blend of flavour, texture and exoticism?

A quick history of our dishes and you'll see two in particular are built around North-African, Middle Eastern flavours: Ontario Beet & Kale Salad and Middle Eastern Chicken Salad. Both highlight, you guessed it, Dukkah: beets 16x9

Middle Eastern Salad 16x9.

In the Dark? Exec Chef Curt Martin digs a little deeper into Dukkah

Middle Eastern/North African Origins

Dukkah (pronounced Doo-kah) means "to pound" or "to crush" (in its Egyptian Arabic word). Recipes can vary by region, but generally this spice blend is made up of cumin, coriander, sesame seeds, salt, herbs and nuts (peanut, in particular, because they're widely available in Egypt). Our Feast Dukkah is made with pistachios.

We use it liberally to add immediate punch to vibrant beets (Ontario Beet & Kale Salad) and our neon pink pickeled turnips (Middle Easter Chicken Salad).

Spice Blend or Snack

We take the ingredients and grind them coarsely in a mortar to bring out the aromas from the seeds and pistachios. You can make it fine, sprinkle as garnish; or keep it on the chunkier side for a grab-and-go snack by the handful. beets-prep-4

It's the versatility that we love: blend, condiment or snack. And, in flavour, it's deeply rooted in its Middle Eastern/North African origins, but very adaptable to our local tastebuds.

That's it. Bonus, it's an ingredient "you can do":

  • Take some local bounty, like beautiful candied beets (caramelized).
  • Coarsely grind your own mixture of nuts, seeds, herbs.
  • Garnish to marry local bounty with global flavour

But you're short on time, so we're doing it for you: our menu.

Tell us what other foodie Qs you're clueless about - or, things you want to know so you can impress your friends at your next underground dinner.