You may not have heard of Dukkah before, and the word may scare you into thinking ‘oh my lord this recipe looks lovely but it’s impossible because what on earth is dukkah aaah’. That was my thought process when I first saw a recipe for potato chips with dukkah. I could do potato chips, but WHAT ON EARTH IS DUKKAH.? Fear not, avid readers, soon you will be so clued up on the tasty world of dukkah you won’t remember your life without it.
Dukkah is an Egyptian condiment which is generally a mix of toasted nuts, spices and herbs. It tastes incredible; an earthy, toasty, warm, spicy, aromatic mixture. I like to dip pitta bread in hummus then dukkah. You can add it to your sauces, salads, have it on toast or with your baked potatoes. As it’s made with nuts it’s full of essential minerals and omega 3. I love to use toasted hazelnuts as I love the hearty and slightly-reminiscent-of-chocolate taste. I make my own dukkah, and I will provide the recipe for you in this post. (Hint: it’s really, really simple, and will last you for ages).
The salsa is an incredible mixture of raw fruits and vegetables, lime and green chilli. It’s a radiant rainbow of colors. It’s energising and happy – inducing; how can you have this rainbow bowl in front of you and not feel pleased about yourself?
This takes zero effort – it’s simply some chopping and chucking and sprinkling and away we go.
Ok, so why raw food?
I am not sure how scientifically proven eating raw fruit and vegetables for depression and anxiety is, but let me tell you what happened to me when I began incorporating more raw meals into my diet.
I was 19, in the middle of my teaching degree and on school placement. I was drowning under paperwork and stress. I was living in a shared household, which was incredibly taxing. I had so much to do, I was under so much stress and I had no respite when I got back.
I used tumblr at the time and somehow I stumbled across lucyeatsraw.tumblr.com. She was also undertaking studies yet eating a primarily raw diet. I remember thinking, huh? Why would you want to do that?! I liked fruit, but nothing beats warm toast or a hearty mug of soup. I dived into my research, as I do, and found a lot of people recommending eating raw for energy, health and happiness. So I decided to eat more fruit in general and aim for 1 fully raw meal a day to see what happened.
Let me tell you this: during teaching placement, I was a zombie. I would wake up at 6, get to school, teach, come back at 6 and then do paperwork until 1am and repeat for 7 weeks. It was hell. I was so wobbly, close to tears and had tension headaches all of the time. I had no energy. It was horrible.
I changed my packed lunch from sandwiches to huge salads full of spinach, green onions, avocado e.t.c and snacked on bananas and apples so that whilst I was at school I was only eating raw food. The change was AMAZING- when I woke up, I felt awake instantly. My energy sustained throughout the whole day and I felt less groggy. I felt clearer – when I got back from school I could do my work without feeling completely brain dead. The biggest change was when I realised I hadn’t been on the verge of tears for over a week! All of this gave me such a boost in confidence and achievement – and therefore my happiness. It was truly amazing. I really, really recommend eating more raw meals. I try to when I can, as it can be expensive – but even if it’s something like swapping your snack foods for fruit, you’ll be really doing yourself a favor.
This is something I have been making for a while. With raw food I find that rigidly following recipes can sometimes result in disappointment; this is normally down to the food that is seasonal and available where you live. So follow the recipe with what works for you and what is available to you. But don’t leave out the dukkah!
How to make dukkah
- 150g hazelnuts
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tbsp dried mint
- 1 tbsp peppercorns
- 1 tsp salt
- In a small pan, toast the cumin, coriander and mint until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle with the peppercorns and grind and pulverize until they are a fine-ish powder.
- In a small pan, toast the hazelnuts for 10 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. Put on a teatowl to cool.
- Fold the teatowel over the hazelnuts and rub until most of the skins have dropped off.
- Whizz the hazelnuts in a food processor until slightly chunky (you don’t want to whizz them for too long, as they’ll start to release their oils and we don’t want that!)
- Transfer the hazelnuts and spices into a small jar and add the salt, to taste. You can keep this up to 2 months or longer in the fridge. Enjoy!
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 mango, diced (if you don’t have a mango, any stone fruit will do)
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/2 a cucumber, diced
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/4 green chilli, finely chopped
- 1/2 lime, squeezed
- 1 tsp dukkah
- Dice and chop all of the ingredients and transfer to a bowl. Stir.
- Squeeze in the lime juice and teaspoon of dukkah. Stir.
- Garnish with another sprinkling of dukkah and parsley.
- Serve with lettuce or tortilla wraps with further vegetables, beans or hummus!
Anna x x x