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Samin Nosrat writes so well about the trinity of salt, fat and acid. These holy three come together quite unexpectedly in this delicious Middle Eastern spice blend.

Hazelnut oils combine with cumin seed citrus and flecks of sea salt in this super versatile dip. Take good bread, dunk in fine oil and then into dukka. It’s quite simply delicious. The mix also works well scattered on soups and salads for texture and flavour.

In essence, this formula is an exercise in the benefits of toasting. The addition of heat to whole spices, seeds and nuts releases their aromatic oils, and amplifies flavour. This is definitely a formula to have in your repertoire.


100g hazelnuts

2 tbsp sesame seeds

1 dsp coriander seeds

1 dsp cumin seeds

1 dsp fennel seeds

½ tsp whole black peppercorns

A few good pinches of sea salt

Fresh mint leaves, finely shredded.

1 dsp is 10ml


Over a medium heat, toast the hazelnuts in a small frying pan until golden. Remove from the heat and when cool, remove the papery, hazelnut skins to discard.

Set the nuts to one side and toast the spices and sesame seeds. Once they start to pop and you can pick up their aromas, remove from the heat and toss in with the hazelnuts.

Allow to cool for five to ten minutes, and then transfer to a pestle and mortar with good pinches of salt. You can use a small food processor at this stage, but the pestle and mortar is best as it retains the texture. Smash the nuts and seeds into an irregular rubble, with visible chunks of hazelnuts.

Transfer the mix to a large bowl and stir in the mint leaves.

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