Sweet + Savoury Dukkah

Updated: Jul 30, 2019

Dukkah is an ancient spice mix that has been used by the Egyptians for centuries. It is a mixture of toasted and crushed nuts, seeds and spices that is fantastic for enhancing soups, salads and smooth dips; simply sprinkle over the top for an additional tasty crunch.

You can use different combinations of nuts, seeds and spices but cumin, coriander and fennel are the most regularly used. Both savoury and sweet dukkah can be made to compliment dishes, the sweet dukkah is a great way of cutting out sugar and I find that when using the savoury dukkah I either cut down on bread or carbs or miss them out completely. Adding this other dimension introduces another way of thinking about what and how you are eating.

Sweet Dukkah by The Complete Retreat
Sweet Dukkah

Obviously dukkah tastes divine and I suspect you’ll be adding it to meals regularly. The following is a recipe for a large batch that you can keep in an airtight jar refrigerated for up to a month.



150g shelled raw pistachios or hazelnuts

3 tbsp sunflower seeds

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp black peppercorns

3 tbsp ground flaxseed/linseed

1 tsp chilli powder or sweet paprika powder

1 tsp flaky sea salt

Put the pistachios or hazelnuts, sunflower, coriander, cumin and fennel seeds together with the black peppercorns in a frying pan and toast gently for about 10 minutes over a low heat. Everything should smell spicy and nutty and look golden. Take off the heat and leave the ingredients to cool on a plate.

Dukkah mix by The Complete Retreat
Dukkah mix

Once cooled completely, roughly grind in your spice grinder or pestle and mortar. You will need to do this in batches making sure you stop when you have a coarse texture, leaving some of the nuts in bite size pieces as the last thing you want is a powder texture; dukkah is meant to have a crunch.

Dukkah preparation by The Complete Retreat
Dukkah preparation

Add the linseed, chilli powder or sweet paprika and salt to the mixture. Give everything a good stir to meld the ingredients together. Make sure you’ve added enough salt at this stage and if you think it needs more then add some.

Pop your dukkah into a couple of small airtight sterilised jam jars (or one large). Keep refrigerated in this hot weather to make sure it doesn’t mould. You can store the dukkah for up to one month in this way. Once you get a feel for which spice combinations and strength you enjoy, start to play about with different nuts and seed combinations of your choice.

Sweet Dukkah


150g raw macadamia, almond or pistachio nuts

50g pine nuts

2 tbsp sesame seeds

1tbs poppy seeds

1 cinnamon stick (broken into pieces)

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp fennel seeds

4 cardamon pods (crush slightly and remove and keep the seeds)

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1/2 tbsp olive oil

Sweet Dukkah Mix by The Complete Retreat
Sweet Dukkah Mix

Preheat the oven to 180c and line a baking tray with parchment.

If using pine nuts, toast these separately in a dry frying pan on a moderate heat for 2 - 3 minutes. Remove them from the heat, transferring the pine nuts to a a clean plate to cool down completely. Roughly grind the pine nuts leaving some of them whole and then add the pine nuts to the sweet dukkah with the other nuts.

Pour the olive oil into a bowl, big enough to hold the nuts. Add the vanilla bean and ground ginger into the bowl and mix together with the olive oil. Put the nuts of choice (200g nuts in total including pine nuts if using them) into the bowl and mix together with the olive oil mixture.

Spread the mixture over the parchment and pop the baking tray in the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes until golden. The kitchen should have a wonderful nutty aroma. Allow all the ingredients to cool completely on the tray.

Put the fennel, cardamon, sesame seeds and broken cinnamon pieces into a dry frying pan over a low heat and toast gently for 10 minutes. Once tinged golden set aside until they have cooled down completely. Add the fennel and cardamon seeds to a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind until you have a coarse mixture. Put into a bowl big enough to mix all the ingredients together. Once done add the cinnamon pieces and grind to a powder then add this to the same bowl.

Put the nuts in a food processor with the sharp blade attachment and blitz until you have a coarse texture; some of your nuts can be in bite size pieces.

Put all the ingredients into the bowl including the poppy and sesame seeds. Mix all the ingredients together and then fill two small sterilised jam jars or one large jar and keep refrigerated for up to one month.

Sweet Dukkah on Gooseberry Muffin and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Sweet Dukkah on Gosseberry Muffin and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream





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