Dukkah is an Egyptian spice mix traditionally made of various nuts, sesame seeds, herbs and spices like coriander and cumin. It is typically served alongside bread as a savory dip, but can also be sprinkled on many dishes to add texture and spice – think salads, roasted vegetables and pasta.
Having tried and completely fallen in love with traditional, savory dukkah, I had an idea to make a sweet dukkah mix. Mine consisted of pistachios, hazelnuts, black sesame and poppy seeds, with plenty of bright spices like cardamom, coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg, sweetened with dates.
To stick with a Middle Eastern theme, I rolled up the dukkah into spelt dough cigars. The ‘cigar’ or ‘sigara’ is a traditional Turkish pastry shape, usually made with filo dough, cheese and herbs.
The great thing about dukkah is that you can add or substitute nuts, seeds and spices based on your preference and what’s on hand. For this particular mix, I suggest to keep sesame seeds and cardamom as a constant, building around them. The result will be a fragrant, chewy, slightly crunchy, and subtly sweet pastry. A topping of chocolate is optional, but adds that perfect touch for all the chocoholics out there.
Sweet Dukkah Cigars
makes 20 cigars
for sweet dukkah
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts or walnuts
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons poppy seeds – optional
4 green cardamom pods – crushed in mortar and pestle, green shells removed
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
2/3 cup raw, unsalted pistachio nuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 soft dates – pitted and chopped
pinch of sea salt
to make dukkah
1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Spread hazelnuts or walnuts onto a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Add sesame and poppy seeds, if using, and continue to toast for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
2. Toast cardamom and coriander seeds in a pan over medium heat until fragrant, for about a minute or so. Grind them in a mortar and pestle.
3. Add hazelnuts/walnuts and pistachios to a bowl of a food processor, pulse a few times. Add sesame and poppy seeds, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, dates and salt to the food processor. Pulse to combine to the consistency of coarse bread crumbs.
1 1/2 cups sprouted or whole spelt flour
1 1/2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup very warm water
to make dough
1. Put the flour into a medium mixing bowl, add oil and work it in. Make a well in the center.
2. Combine miso paste and 2 tablespoons water in a separate bowl and mix until smooth. Add the mixture into the flour well, followed by the rest of the water.
3. Start mixing with a fork, slowly incorporating flour into the liquid. Continue by kneading the dough with your hands until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
4 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil plus more for brushing finished cigars
4 tablespoon honey
about 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate
to assemble and bake cigars
1. Melt 4 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil with 4 tablespoons of honey on a double boiler, combine well and keep warm.
2. Divide the dough into 2 even parts, keep one of them wrapped in plastic. Flour your working surface. Form a rope from the first part and cut it into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a very thin wrapper, keeping the surface floured.
3. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Brush each wrapper with coconut oil/honey mixture and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of dukkah. Roll the cigar tightly, tucking the sides in as you go. Repeat with the second part of the dough.
4. Place cigars on a parchment paper covered baking sheet and brush with melted ghee or coconut oil. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool. Melt chocolate on a double boiler and sprinkle the cigars with melted chocolate. Enjoy!
Note: although these pastries are delicious right away, I found them improving in texture after resting for several hours or even overnight.