I discovered Dukkah at the height of the Melbourne brunch cafe explosion. At the time, almost every weekend there would be a new cafe open that served it’s own take on smashed avocado and poached eggs with mint variations, or truffled eggs or fritters instead of toast. One particular trend that I fell head over heels with is a middle eastern dish called Shakshuka. Shakshuka. How good is that name? It sounds kinda sexy. Hello I’m your escort for the night, my name is Shakshukaaaa.
Shakshuka, from what I have tasted on various occasions, is quite simply a dish of eggs poached or baked in a spiced tomato sauce. It is hearty comfort food with complex flavours. Sometimes other things get thrown into the mix: spicy sausages, peppers, minced meats etc. Being Indonesian, I can happily eat something so rich and flavourful for breakfast – so Shakshuka was my saviour from the mild world of scrambled eggs and eggs benedicts.
Around the third or fourth time I ordered Shakshuka from a Melbourne brunch cafe (I can’t quite recall the restaurant, bummer), I was served the sizzling plate of molten spicy eggy goodness with a sprinkling of dukkah on top. What is this magic? It is nutty, and salty, and spicy, and sweet and smoky all at once. It brought out the flavours of the harrisa and the sweet capsicums and added a nice texture to the dish. I decided that I needed to know how to make it and put it on everything. What’s salt and pepper? Bring me the dukkah!
The following recipe is for a fairly traditional French eggs en cocotte which I’ve adapted to complement the flavours of Egyptian dukkah. It is a lovely dish you can whip up quickly to impress someone you love on a lazy weekend, or even indulge in on your own. A good variation can be made by adding pipérade to the bottom of the ramekins before pouring in the main ingredients.
Happy feasting, and do mind your table manners.
Eggs en cocotte with homemade smoky dukkah
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Eggs en cocotte Ingredients (makes 4 baked egg cups)
- 150g crème fraîche
- 4 tsp black garlic salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
- 1 cup sautéed mushrooms (optional)
- 1 cup caramalised brown onion (optional)
- 4 free-range eggs
- 1 cup of grated tasty cheese
- ½ cup pine nuts
- ½ cup coriander seeds
- ¾ cup sesame seeds
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp baharat (white and black pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg)
- Prepare the optional bed of mushrooms and brown onion by heating a pan of olive oil and sautéing chopped mixed mushrooms on high heat until they shrink in size and the moisture has been cooked out.
- Remove the mushrooms and in the same pan with a little more olive oil, cook sliced brown onion on medium heat until they are soft and caramalised – roughly 8 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- In a bowl, mix the crème fraîche, black garlic salt and pepper together to season.
- To assemble, place a spoonful of the sautéed mushrooms and a spoonful of the onions on the bottom of a ramekin (optional).
- Sprinkle a teaspoon of the chopped coriander.
- Place a heaped tablespoon of the crème fraîche mixture on top of the coriander, and spread out create an even surface.
- Crack an egg onto the mixture and place another tablespoon of the mixture on top of the egg.
- Sprinkle a handful of cheese over the top and repeat for the rest of the ramekins, and place into the oven to bake for 15 minutes or until eggs are cooked to your liking (I like my yolks super runny).
- For the dukkah, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and combine pine nuts and coriander seeds.
- When the mixture has become fragrant and slightly coloured, add the sesame seeds and continue to toast until golden brown – about 2 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and pour the mixture into a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, chilli powder and baharat mix and pulse roughly (you DON’T want it to become a powder).
- When the eggs are out of the oven, sprinkle a good pinch of the dukkah over the top.
- Serve with toast soldiers, turkish bread or your favourite bread.
Organic eggs from the market sometimes surprise you with double yolks! You can avoid surprises by cracking your eggs into separate cups before pouring into the ramekins for this recipe.
I purchase my black garlic salt, which is locally sourced, from Otway Fields. It is absolutely delicious and addictive! You can purchase it online here: https://www.farmhousedirect.com.au/otwayfields/black-garlic-salt