Spice up January with a little bit of Dukkah

Posted on: 15th January, 2018

Category: A Flavour of West Cork

Contributor: Karen Austin

January always seems to have a hint of frugality about it. A mix maybe, of over indulgence, stretching the budget for the festivities, and the inclination to tighten our belts to compensate for both of the above.

Dukkah is an Egyptian spice mix, which can liven up our food without breaking the bank. It’s been around for a long time and in its original incarnation was used together with olive oil to dunk bread; the nuts and seeds giving a little protein to what was otherwise plain bread, which may have been all that was available to eat.

It is made with nuts, seeds and spices. The recipe is very variable. It’s one of these ancient recipes that households use, depending on what is at hand.

We use hazelnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, coriander, cumin and fennel, all gently toasted, then ground together to make a coarse condiment that enlivens not only bread but also salads, roasted vegetables, soups and bakes

This month’s recipe was an emergency lunch that I made when some friends called by and all that was left in the house were carrots. I roasted them with garlic and ginger, tossed them with dukkah then mixed them with chickpeas and vinaigrette. They were delicious.

Roasted Carrot, Ginger and Dukkah Salad


4-5 carrots

2 cloves garlic

2 sticks celery

5cm ginger

1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed

1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped

small bunch mint, chopped

1 dsp dukkah

1tsp dijon mustard

1tbs white wine vinegar

100ml olive oil



Pre heat the oven to 190c.

Peel the carrots, cut into halves or quarters lengthwise, depending on how fat they are then chop into a 1cm dice. Toss the carrots with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper then roast for 15 minutes. Peel and finely chop the garlic and ginger, toss with the carrots then roast for a further 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle over the dukkah, then mix well.

Put the rinsed and drained chickpeas into a bowl together with the red onion, mint and carrots.

Whisk the mustard, vinegar and olive oil together, pour over the carrot and chickpea mix, then toss together. Taste to check the seasoning before serving.



40g hazelnuts

40g sesame seeds

1tbs pumpkin seeds

1dsp coriander seeds

1tsp cumin seeds

1tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp black peppercorns

1/2tsp salt


Pre heat the oven 180c.

Roast the hazelnuts on a baking tray in the oven for 15 minutes or until the skins loosen and the nuts are golden. Tip them onto a clean tea towel then rub to remove the skins. Discard the skins.

Toast all the seeds one by one in a dry pan until fragrant – they each take different times to cook.

Put all the ingredients into a pestle and mortar or pulse buzz in a food processor until you have a coarse mix. Don’t over-process.

Store in an airtight jar and use frequently!

We have a new series of cooking classes ready for the spring kicking off with a Vegan class on February 10 – lots of healthy and fun recipes without dairy, meat, or eggs – there’s a surprising amount of good eating out there.

The full list of classes is in our advert and also on our website.

If you are interested or would like more information, please drop into the shop or email me.

Happy January!


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This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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17th February, 2018  ·  

Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.

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