The History and Cultural Significance of Dukkah

Dukkah, a fragrant and flavourful blend of spices, nuts, and seeds, is a testament to the rich tapestry of Egyptian culinary tradition.

Its origins trace back to ancient Egypt, where simplicity, nutrition and preservation of seasonal produce dictated the dietary habits. The word “dukkah” itself, derived from the Arabic for “to pound,” encapsulates the essence of the blend—ingredients crushed together to release a symphony of flavours.

A Journey Through Time

The traditional composition of dukkah includes nuts (most commonly hazelnuts or almonds), sesame seeds, coriander, and cumin, though regional variations abound, reflecting the local palette and available produce. This adaptability has allowed dukkah to traverse beyond its Egyptian roots, embedding itself in various Middle Eastern cuisines and, more recently, captivating the global culinary scene.

In its home country, dukkah served not just as a seasoning but as a staple, often eaten with bread dipped in olive oil, a practice that continues today. This combination, simple yet rich in flavours, speaks to the blend’s humble origins and its role in communal and family settings, embodying the spirit of sharing and hospitality that is central to Egyptian culture.

The Global Table

The international journey of dukkah reflects a broader trend of culinary fusion and globalisation. Chefs and food enthusiasts around the world have embraced dukkah, drawn to its versatility and unique taste profile. From a crust for meats and vegetables to a sprinkle over salads and soups, dukkah has found new life in dishes far removed from its traditional uses.

Read our blog about how international restaurants are transcending local recipes with fusion flavours.

At Cheeky we have added our own twist to the traditional dukkah and introduced it to a wider audience, innovating with ingredients like pumpkin and sunflower seeds to offer a modern twist on the classic blend. These variations not only cater to contemporary tastes but also highlight the adaptability of dukkah, making it a fitting addition to the modern pantry.

Our superseed dukkah is a blend of slow roasted seeds, coconut and aromatic middle eastern spices like fennel, coriander and cumin seeds.

With our mission to make our sprinkles more allergen friendly, we have replaced the traditional seeds with more nutritious sunflower and pumpkin seeds. As such our dukkah is gluten-free, nut-free and peanut free.

Nutritional and Health Aspects

Beyond its culinary appeal, dukkah offers nutritional benefits, a factor that has gained importance in today’s health-conscious society. The nuts and seeds in dukkah are rich sources of healthy fats, protein, and fibre, while the spices contribute antioxidants and have been associated with various health benefits. It is also a simple and effective way of preserving seasonal seeds and nuts that can be roasted, blend and enjoyed throughout the year.

Cultural Resonance

The resurgence and global embrace of dukkah are emblematic of a larger appreciation for cultural heritage and culinary diversity. As people seek to connect with different cultures through food, ingredients like dukkah offer an accessible and enjoyable means of exploration. The story of dukkah, from ancient Egypt to contemporary kitchens worldwide, is a testament to the power of food to transcend boundaries and bring people together.

The history and cultural significance of dukkah are as layered and complex as the blend itself. From its roots in ancient Egypt to its place on the global culinary stage, dukkah has endured as a symbol of cultural identity, communal dining, and culinary innovation.

As we continue to explore and blend culinary traditions, dukkah serves as a reminder of the rich histories and cultural significances that flavors can carry, enriching our meals and our understanding of the world.

Talk to us at Cheeky Food about our Dukkah products!

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Frequently Answered Questions

What are Sprinkles ?

Sprinkles are seasoning mixes of superfood seeds, spices and herbs that are an easy way to add flavour, texture and nutrition to everyday meals.

While a spice mix is usually used during cooking, sprinkles are ready to eat and can be added on top of finished meals to improve the flavour and visual impact of the dish.

A Sprinkle a day keeps the bland away. Sprinkles can be your chef’s new best friend to quickly add layers of flavour to a base recipe.
For example, the same base soup can be flavours with a Coconut Thai Sprinkle or a Japanese Shichimi Sprinkles creating two completely unique end dishes.
Our sprinkles are also premixed in the right proportions to cut down cooking time for your kitchen staff.

We only use BRC certified suppliers and contractors for our entire supply chain.
We also do positive release for evert batch produced ensuring full quality assurance.

Yes. With 5 years of development experience for some of the leading food manufacturers and restaurant chains across UK.
We can take your sprinkle/seasoning brief from an idea to samples and finally to production.
Please see more here

We take approximately 4 weeks for our bespoke service.
This includes collecting brief, creating 2 bespoke sprinkles and fine tuning your preferred one to a final recipe.
Of course, based on any specific requirements like specialised ingredients or delays in feedback can make the process longer.
Please see more details here

We usually take 4 weeks from acceptance of purchase order to delivery.
If your lead times are shorter, please do discuss this with us.

All our products are Nut Free. We offer Allergen Free alternatives to some of the usual commercial ingredients like our Gluten Free Crispy Fried OnionSesame Free Togarashi and Nut Free Dukkah.
To see our full range of allergen free opliions, please see here