In the world of epicurean delights, dukkha is a blend of exotic Egyptian spices redolent of sunshine, fertile terrain, and Middle Eastern flavors that excite the sweetness of carrots and showcase the walnutty, plumpness of chickpeas.
Our easy carrot dip with dukkah blend is bursting with complex flavors from the desert sunshine to the shady groves of the river Nile; the sweetness of carrots and fullness of chickpeas.In classical yogic philosophy the word duhkha means unremitting sorrow. However, in the world of epicurean delights, dukkha is a blend of exotic Egyptian spices redolent of sunshine, fertile terrain, and Middle Eastern flavors that excite the sweetness of carrots and showcase the walnutty, plumpness of chickpeas.
Carrot dip, dip dip hooray!
In our easy carrot dip with dukkah blend we use carrots and chickpeas asthe star ingredients. Carrots have a sweet, aromatic and juicy texture, reminiscent of summer and autumn. Their taste profile is quiet and moderate, but they are far from bland! They are related botanically to anise, caraway, celery, root chervil, coriander, dill, fennel, parsley, and parsnips. In our carrot dip recipe we use baked carrots. Naturally sweet, bakedcarrots come alive with a smoky, caramel flavor. Carrots are low in calories but high in carotenoids, beta-carotene inparticular, which our body converts to vitamin A. Carrots are good not only for your eyes but for your overallhealth!(3) Moreover, this vibrant little root vegetable so abundant in autumnand winter is vital for building good immunity.
The health benefits of chickpeas
Slightly sweet and subdued, with earthy and starchy notes of nuts, and a creamy texture, chickpeas love to dance with flavor affinities of apricots, pistachios, and tahini. This quiet little powerhouse also revels in the spicy, loud, and hot world of Middle Eastern Cuisine.Importantly, beans are thought to be amongst the healthiest foods on the planet. For example, health professionals list chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, as one of the ten top health enhancing foods. Those who enjoy chickpeas and/or hummus are thought to have highernutrient intakes of dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals than non-garbanzo eaters. Chickpeas contain bioactive compounds, such as sterols and polyphenols.(1) Not bad for a voluptuous and firm little legume, which is shaped a little bit like a human heart.Furthermore, research suggests that chickpeas and hummus may play a beneficial rolein weight management, as well as glucose and insulin regulation. They may also havea positive impact on some markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD).According to Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga philosophy, the sweet flavor of chickpeas could be beneficial to the pancreas, stomach, and heart. However, we need more research to support these claims.
Dukkah, a Middle Eastern spicy knockout
Chickpeas and dukkah seasoning have been bedfellows for centuries. Egyptians have been eating legumes on a daily basis for thousands of years, sometimes even for breakfast, and the rest of the world has been asked to do the same. Is it dukkah,dukkha or duqqa? Take your pick! Though, it’s pronouncedsomething like Dooh-kha. Translated from Arabic, it means “to pound.” Traditionally, the herbs, nutsand spices used to make dukkah werepounded with a pestle and mortar to resemble a powder nearing a paste.Many cooks still use this method.When dukkah spice first came about, Egypt was at the interchange of theancient spice road and had access to a vast range of spices from aroundthe world.These spices included coriander and cumin. Combined with salt, they form the basis forthe dukkah spice and are included in most dukkah recipes. However, there are many iterations to the base ingredients, with families keepingtheir recipes secret for generations.The eclectic seasoning of spices, herbs, nuts, and seeds is thought tooriginate from a throwing together of available ingredients for peasants whohad little access to nourishing foods.Dipping flat bread into the spicy, crunchy fare was a great way to boost itsnutritional value, not to mention the taste of bread. Today, the dukkah spice isa popular street food in the Middle East.
Celebrating the Middle Eastern cuisine
In the West, Middle Eastern cuisine is a firm favorite, too. Many portrayit as part of a Mediterranean diet of pita, hummus, kebabs, falafel and evenstuffed vine leaves, which are Greek. The Middle Eastern diet, however, is a rich tapestry of flavors patchedacross North Africa, Arabia, Persia, the former Ottoman Empire to India!Egyptian-born British cookbook writer and anthropologist Claudia Rodenhas been championing the food of the Middle East since 1968 when shepublished her mother’s recipes in what food critics call a masterpiece: ABook of Middle Eastern Food.Roden, who has just turned 85, has inspired a legion of chefs includingMiddle Eastern food sensation chef Yotam Ottolenghi, the Israeli-bornBritish chef who co-owns delis and restaurants around London. He was born in Israel in 1968, the year Roden wrote The Book of Middle Eastern Food - an alluring serendipity.While it was writer Claudia Roden who introduced dukkah certainly to theUK in the 1960s, it has been Chef Ottolenghi who has inspired a newgeneration to bust out their pestle and mortar and pound up the dukkahspice.Rich in flavor, it was aphenomenon just waiting to happen.Often people say, 'Oh, you introduced the UK to these ingredients,"Ottolenghi is quoted as saying, which is completely wrong and I say: “No,actually Claudia Roden did.” It just took maybe another 35 years or so… forthe penny to drop and for people to realize how wonderful theseingredients are.
How to use dukkah in recipes
Curious about how to use dukka in recipes? For example, Ottolenghi says he uses the nut andspice blend to bring crunch to dishes that need a little texture. Moreover, he usesit as a topper for everything from grilled vegetables to eggs and pan-friedwhite fish.Traditionally, the dukkah spice is served with olive oil, raw bread, or khubz,the flat bread, and raw vegetables. Plunge the bread or veggies into thesilky extra virgin olive oil. Then, dunkthem into the zingy spice.You can, of course, also sprinkle it over salads or add to various dips, thetraditional being the labneh yogurt dish. Labneh is a soft goat cheese m