Sunday, December 27, 2009
For this month's Taste & Create, hosted by Nicole of For the Love of Food, I was paired with Simran of Bombay Foodie. I was all set to make her Pav Bhaji, some authentic "street food" from a place called Juhu Beach. All I had to do was order the pav bhaji masala from ishopindian.com. The holidays distracted me and I didn't get the spice mix ordered.
So I decided to take one more cruise around Simran's blog. And I found this very interesting blend of spices and almonds that Simran had been looking for while in Dubai, called Dukkah.
And when she mentioned Dubai, I just had to laugh, because this blog gets a lot of hits from Dubai, believe it or not, but they are not searching for recipes--nine times out of ten they are searching for "bad indian girls." Hee hee. I'm sure they're disappointed when they click over here, but some of them actually look around for a few seconds!
In case you didn't know, we eat a lot of bread. I usually try to have at least one fresh loaf of Artisan bread around. We love bread with olive oil. And this Dukkah is something you eat with bread, dipped in olive oil, then dipped in dukkah. I think it's fate. I can't wait.
I started off toasted everything at about medium heat, but that proved to be a bit hot for some of the more delicate spices, so I ended up down at low, then just dumped everything into my nearby Black & Decker Handy Chopper (mini food processor)~perfect size for this job~as it came out of the pan! I can honestly say I had never toasted peppercorns before, but I did it...I started to "toast" the salt, but it just didn't seem right, so I stopped. Also, if I couldn't tell if the spices were getting toasted, I really just went by smell--when they were fragrant enough to smell, but weren't burned, they were done. You really have to pay attention!
When I blended everything together, it looked like some grainy sort of sand in a bowl, but it smelled interesting.
And I can tell you...it also tastes interesting. I think it may be an acquired taste, but I'm doing my best! There is something about it that makes you want to eat more and more (that would be the highly addictive quality Simran mentions below!). Just a little salty, but I know that's my fault!
I think...I think I like it! Yes, I like it. It just takes a little while to decide.
Did I grind everything up small enough? I don't know...maybe one of the Dubai guys can break away from their porn search to let me know!
1/4 cup almonds (I used slivered almonds)
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/2 tablespoon peppercorns
8-10 dried mint leaves (I used just under 1 teaspoon of mint flakes, not sure the leaf to flake equivalent)
1/2 teaspoon fennel (I used fennel seeds, aka anise seeds)
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
The key to making dukkah is : line up all your ingredients, toast each of them separately in a heavy non-stick pan till they are fragrant and lightly roasted, then put everything in a blender and grind coarsely. This is your dukkah. Now dip your bread in olive oil, then dip it in dukkah and indulge. A final word of warning: this can be highly addictive.