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
2 cloves garlic
2 sticks celery
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 sesame seeds
1tbs pumpkin seeds
1dsp coriander seeds
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
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.