It’s Diwali time! The Indian festival of lights takes place this Wednesday 11th November and I just can’t wait. I have been busy creating some delicious recipes inspired by the rainbow of colours and flavours that Indian food has to offer. These dishes are perfect for a celebration with friends and family and are all really quick and simple to prepare.
I first came across dukkah whilst in Egypt with my family. We could smell it as we walked into the restaurant. You tear off a chunk of warm freshly baked flatbread, dunk it in quality olive oil and then into this amazing blend of roasted nuts, spices and herbs and devour. It is such a simple but fabulously tasty dish to plonk in the middle of the table over drinks and chats.
So, I have adapted this great dish that I first tried in Egypt and given it an Indian twist. The great thing about dukkah is that you can put in any nuts, whole spices or seeds that you like – pine nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, rose petals, dried mint or marjoram. I use toasted cumin, coriander, fennel and nigella seeds – classic Indian spices that give an earthy and powerful aroma.
You can’t have dukkah without freshly baked bread (shop bought just won’t do it!). These are the easiest flatbreads in the world, they take 10 minutes to make, use only 2 main ingredients (yoghurt and flour), and there’s no need for yeast, proving or kneading. They taste authentic and with added smoked salt, the flatbreads taste like they have been cooked on charcoal and have a lovely tandoori flavour.
I use the Indian clarified butter ghee as a dip. It’s rich and buttery and like olive oil, the better quality you buy the better the taste. Get hold of some top quality ghee from an Asian supermarket. If you can’t find ghee salted butter or good olive oil would work too.
Makes 6 flatbreads
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp nigella seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp smoked sea salt
- 160g self-raising flour
- 140g full fat greek yoghurt
- 2 tsp smoked salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 100g good quality ghee (or salted butter/ quality olive oil)
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
Preheat the oven to 180’c. Spread the chopped hazelnuts sesame, coriander, cumin, nigella and fennel seeds on a baking tray and toast in the oven for around 4-5 minutes until aromatic and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and pour into a pestle and mortar. Grind until the mixture is course. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, mix all the flatbread ingredients together with a wooden spoon until a dough is formed. Knead gently on a lightly floured surface for 1-2 minutes until the ball is smooth. Divide the dough into 6 equal sized balls.
Take one dough ball and roll into a rough circle shape, around 1/2 inch thick. Heat your griddle pan on a medium high heat for around 1 minute. Carefully sit the flatbread on the griddle and leave for around 45 seconds until the sides begin to puff up and the underneath is charred. Flip over and cook for a further 1 minute until both sides are cooked. Keep checking to make sure the flatbread doesn’t catch and burn. Repeat with the rest of the dough
When the flat breads are cooked, keep them in a bowl covered by a clean tea towel to stop them from drying out.
Serve with a bowl of ghee, your toasted dukkah and a squeeze of lime.