Carrot Purée and Egyptian Spice Mix with Nuts and Olive Oil
I discovered this Egyptian spice mix called dukkab when I had the pleasure of working with Claudia Roden during a lecture she delivered on Middle Eastern food at Boston University in November 2000. Together, we gave culinary students and friends of the university a sense of the flavors and history of Arabic cooking. With the addition of coconut to the spice and nut mixture, we offered a twist on the more traditional dukkah.
Dukkah is incredibly versatile. I’ve seen versions that include nigella seeds and dried mint. It can be eaten as a simple bread condiment along with olive oil, but it’s also delicious on seared sea scallops and duck, or in a salad of raw fennel and orange. Dukkah is also fantastic in the summertime sprinkled on sliced tomatoes.
At Oleana, our menu begins with the pret-a-manger, which are bread condiments. This recipe is for two of the most popular ones.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Equipmentmortar and pestle, spice grinder
Taste and Texturegarlicky, hot & spicy, savory, spiced, sweet
Type of DishCondiments, dip/spread
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for dipping
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 4 teaspoons harissa
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- Torn pieces of french baguette
- Salt and pepper to tase
- ½ cup blanched almonds
- 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- ¼ cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To Make the Carrot Purée
In a large saucepan over high heat, cover the carrots with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the carrots and return them to the saucepan. Cook for 30 seconds over medium heat to thoroughly dry them. Remove the carrots from the heat and coarsely mash them with a fork or whisk. You should have a coarsely ground carrot puree that sticks together but still has rough pieces throughout.
Stir in the olive oil, vinegar, harissa, cumin, ginger, and garlic. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
To Make the Dukkah:
In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds until golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer the almonds to a work surface to cool, and then finely chop them.
Put the coriander and cumin seeds in the same skillet and toast, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a spice grinder and allow them to cool completely before coarsely grinding.
In a medium bowl, combine the almonds with the ground spices.
Put the sesame seeds in the skillet and toast them over medium heat, stirring until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the spice grinder.
Toast the coconut in the skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the toasted coconut to the grinder and let it cool completely.
Grind the sesame seeds and coconut to a coarse powder. Combine with the almond and spice mixture and season with salt and pepper.
Serve the dukkah and carrot puree in separate bowls with torn chunks of crispy baguette and olive oil. Dunk the bread in the oil, dredge it in the dukkah, and spread on the carrots.
2006 Ana Sortun