Monday, October 13, 2008

Quail Eggs with Dukkah

Have you heard of dukkah before? I had, but hadn't actually eaten any until this June, when in Bloomington, US, I had a chance to try a lovely pistachio dukkah made by Cindy Bradley, a local food blogger. Basically, it's an Egyptian dry mixture of chopped nuts (mainly hazelnuts), seeds (coriander, cumin, sesame) and possibly some other spices. It's a popular street food, where fresh wheat bread is dipped first into olive oil and then into the dukkah-mixture. But it can also be sprinkled on salads to give some crunch (say, instead of toasted pinenuts). Apparently it can be used for breading fish and meat when cooking. Quite a few bloggers have already featured dukkah on their blogs - Heidi adds black peppercorns for some heat, Jaden adds chilli pepper for an extra kick, Rosa combines almonds and hazelnuts, and my dear friend Ximena cheats a little :)

The recipe below is very lightly adapted from the British food magazine Olive (January 2007), and makes a small bowl of very simple dukkah. Feel free to play around with spices.

Quail Eggs with Dukkah
(Vutimunad dukkah-seguga)
Serves six to eight

24 quail eggs

50 grams hazelnuts
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
25 grams white sesame seeds

To serve:
Maldon sea salt flakes

First you need to blanch the hazelnuts*. Put them on a dry frying pan and roast for 3-4 minutes over a moderate heat, until they're aromatic and slightly browned. Then place on a clean kitchen towel and rub with the towel, until the brown skins come loose. Chop the nuts as rather finely (best done with a knife, as there's a danger of processing the nuts into a paste, when using a food processor).
Place coriander seeds, sesame seeds and cumin seeds on a dry frying pan and toast also for 2-3 minutes, until the seeds start to brown and smell fragrant. Cool, then mix with the toasted and chopped nuts.
Tip into a serving bowl and put aside.
Cook the quail eggs in simmering water for 3 minutes. Drain and run under cold water for a few minutes.
Serve with the dukkah and Maldon sea salt flakes. Each person peels their own eggs, then dips them into salt flakes and the dukkah mixture.

* If you can get blanched hazelnuts (I can't here in Estonia), then simply toast them for a few minutes and then chop finely.

Other recipes using QUAIL EGGS at Nami-Nami:
Small "mushrooms" of quail eggs and cherry tomatoes
Rye bread canapés with wild mushroom 'Caviar' and soft-boiled quail eggs
Soft-boiled quail eggs with dill and lightly salted whitefish roe
Spicy fried quail eggs


Anonymous said...

I love dukka simply dipped in oil with fresh bread, but the quails egg variation sounds really delicious and would make lovely finger food.

Pille said...

Freya, try indeed the quail egg version - it's a great alternative to the more typical bread!!

Jesse said...

I too love dukka... but it's a terrible before dinner snack for me. I always ruin my appetite. trying it with eggs sounds beyond delicious!

Jeanne said...

Do you know just last night I discovered a little tin of dukka at the back of my kitchen shelf (while cleaning up after the boiler man aaarrrgh). I love the idea of pairing it with quail eggs (of which I don't eat enough!).

Unknown said...

Your Middle East recipes are just really good-looking : can we add them on ?

Pille said...

Jesse - how come you ruin your appetite? You eat too much of dukkah?

Jeanne - no wonder you don't eat quail eggs - they cost an arm and a leg in the UK and US!!!