Wednesday, 23 January 2013

We Should Cocoa: Cocoa Dukkah

This month, We Should Cocoa is ringing in the new year with a sugar free challenge hosted by Choclette. You can read all about We Should Cocoa and the rules on Choclette and Chele's blogs. Last month's Christmassy cinnamon challenge, can be found here.

I have a spice rack. Like a normal person.

Then I have a whole bunch of other herbs and spices that don't fit on the spice rack and just sort of hang around in a basket. Now the point of a spice rack is to store and display your spices so you know what you have, what you need and what you don't.

The problem with a spice "basket" is that you duplicate. Or triplicate. Or have half open packets of paprika which explode like a spore flinging funghi. I also tend to bulk buy my spices from a local Indian cash and carry so as well as the spice rack and the spice "basket" there are bags of whole spices lurking in the back of our cupboards.

It has to stop.

So as part of my to-do list blitz, I did a spice audit. Threw out that jar of marjoram that I swear has moved house with us. Moved house with us twice. Coughed and choked in a paprika cloud. Refilled the jars from the cupboard bags of spices. I had a small crowd of duplicate spices so set about using them up.

Dukkah is an Egyptian dry spice and nut mixture that is served as a side dish with bread and oil for dipping. It is heady with spices and I first had it sprinkled on soup. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and used on roasted vegetables, meats and baked into bread. This is not an authentic recipe (mainly because I stuck cocoa in it...) You can read more about dukkah here.


40gr whole almonds
35gr pumpkin seeds
5gr coriander seeds
5gr cumin seeds
3gr fennel seeds
1/2tsp rock salt
1/2tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1tbsp dried mint
2tbsp cocoa powder

1, In a dry frying pan, toast the almonds and pumpkin seeds until the pumpkin seeds start to split and pop and the almonds start to darken. Tip them into a large mortar and pestle.
2, Repeat the process with the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds until they start to brown gently and smell aromatic. Add these into your mortar and pestle.
3, Add in the salt and pepper and gently start to pound it all together. You want a kind of gravelly texture. Aim for some largish chunks of almonds. Alternatively, you can quickly pulse all the toasted ingredients in a blender.
4, Stir through the mint and cocoa powder and serve with plenty of bread and dipping oil.

(I also made flatbread, but I'm not 100% happy with the recipe. If anyone has a good one, a link popped in the comment box would be most appreciated!)


  1. Oh yes, I know all about spice audits and clear outs. I'm always buying them forgetting I've got an unopened packet somewhere or other or a jar of it somewhere or other. Or I get tempted into buying weird and wonderful stuff that I use once and then forget about. This is such a great way to use up some of them and it sounds like a lovely mix, especially with the cocoa. Thanks for another creative recipe for We Should Cocoa.

    I've made flat bread a few times, but I've not yet managed to make one I'm happy with.

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one, I'm trying to be more economical with them so this is a great way of using up some! The cocoa adds just a touch of bitterness which works well with the nuts and oil.

  2. I have a similar spice problem. Some in bags, some in a box, in a jar, in those spice storage tins. Whichever it's in the spice I'm after seems to elude me constantly! This sounds like a wonderful use of all those spices.

    1. Thank you Caroline - I share your pain in hunting for spices! I once spent a good 20mins looking for some star anise, only then to find it the next day!

  3. What a great idea - I'm always leaving my spices too long!
    Happy to follow :)
    Mary x

    1. Thank you for your comment and follow Mary - It's a delicious blend, handy for using up spices that wont fit on the rack :)

  4. Well I've never seen cocoa added to this kind of spice mix before - very interesting addition of flavour. I bought a new spice rack recently and put the spices in a sensible order. I now can't find anything. I've made lots of flatbreads over the years and, on the whole, they've been OK but not perfect. There was one that I made for a party years ago that was lovely and I've completely forgotten the recipe and from whence it came.

    1. Thank you Phil. I think you have to hit a happy medium in between total disarray and perfection when it comes to order. Thank you about the flatbread, my search continues :)

  5. Sounds fantastic! I have to do a spice audit too - I have a feeling when I do that I will find industrial quantities of cumin, some rather aged cinnamon, and a similarly explosive bag of paprika, as well as the more useful and usual stuff - perhaps I should make some 'unauthentic' dukkah too!

    1. Thank you Ruth, I'm with you on the industrial sized bags of cumin! I dont think I'll ever learn but I'm trying to change :)