From Nutrition resident: Jacquelyn Lombari
Adapted from: Cannelle et Vanille
The nutritional importance of spices can often be overlooked; however, they are a great way to add both flavor and medicinal benefits to your home cooking regime.
Dukkah (derived from the Arabic word “to crush”) is a versatile spice blend originating from ancient Egypt and is known as an aid for digestive problems. While ingredients vary depending on region, Dukkah recipes most often contain roasted nuts, coriander, cumin, fennel, and salt.
In this particular Dukkah recipe, the Brazil nuts are the main ingredient. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and vitamin E. Selenium is a key factor for antioxidants that help protect cells from oxidative damage. Additionally, selenium is important for healthy thyroid function. Coriander is often used to treat gastrointestinal problems while reports also suggest it has anticancer, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory effects. Coriander is a rich source of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. Cumin seeds contain phytosterols, flavonoids, and genistein contributing to cumin’s cholesterol-lowering and anti-inflammatory effects. Fennel is aromatic and perennial herb, its seeds lend to familiar flavors such as anise. The seeds themselves are an abundant source of beta-carotene and vitamin C and have shown to exhibit analgesic effects (minimizing pain) along with reducing spasms as it has been used for gastrointestinal symptoms (such as colic).
This spice blend is a great topping for a variety of foods and meals such as eggs, hummus, salads, and fish.
|Ancient Dukkah Spice Blend|
- 3/4 cup raw Brazil nuts
- 1/2 cup hulled sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds or ground
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds or ground
- 1 tablespoon Fennel seeds or ground
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 teaspoons Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Spread brazil nuts on a baking sheet and roast until fragrant (about 10 minutes). Transfer to food processor.
- Toast sesame seeds in a dry skill over medium heat until lightly golden and fragrant (about 1 minute). Transfer to food processor.
- Repeat step 2 if you are using seeds for your cumin, coriander, and fennel. If not, transfer ground ingredients, salt, and pepper into a food processor.
- Pulse all ingredients to a consistency of your liking.
- Transfer ingredients from the food processor into a sealed jar for up to 1 month and enjoy!
Alternatively, you may use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle to grind the sesame seeds, cumin, coriander, and fennel.