Dessert Dukkuh Parfaits

Dukkah. DOO-KAAH. Isn't it a fun word to say? If you're unfamiliar with dukkah, it's an Egyptian spice blend, generally consisting of cumin, coriander, sesame seeds, ground nuts, salt, and pepper. The mixture can be sprinkled over meat, fish, or veggies, but is most commonly eaten as an appetizer. Fresh bread is dipped in olive oil, then dipped into the aromatic dukkah for a rich and flavorful appetizer. However, the concept of dukkah is much more versatile than just a dip for bread and olive oil. The word "dukkah" is derived from the Egyptian word "dakka" which means "to crush," lending itself to many different variations of crushed nuts and spices. 

After one "meh" attempt with savory flavors, I took an untraditional route and tried it in dessert form. Things rarely fail when you've got chocolate in the recipe, but I was delightfully surprised with how the texture and flavors complimented each other to create this uniquely sweet and crunchy topping. The addition of smoked sea salt amped things up even further, and it was a rare recipe where things fell together with ease. A simple addition of Greek yogurt and fresh strawberries added brightness and a luscious texture, creating a dish that works any time of day, from breakfast to dessert.

Fresh and light with a good dose of salt, this effortless dish is more than enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, without going overboard. Roasted almonds and sesame seeds give the dukkah a traditional backbone, with bittersweet chocolate, coconut, and smoked sea salt taking things into decadent, dessert-like territories. Perfect for a refreshing breakfast or a healthy dessert, keep some of this dukkah around to toss on anything that needs a sweet and salty kick! 


Dessert Dukkuh Parfaits

Servings: 4


1/4 cup raw almonds

2 tbsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tbsp chopped semi-sweet chocolate

1 tsp flaked smoked salt

1 1/4 cups Greek yogurt

1 cup thinly sliced strawberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 325º. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and cook for about 8-10 minutes, until fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Roughly chop, then combine with sesame seeds, shredded coconut, chocolate, and smoked sea salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

  2. Place roughly two tablespoons of dukkah on the bottom of four small serving jars. Top with 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup of sliced strawberries. Add another dollop of yogurt (about one tablespoon), then top with remaining dukkah and a few strawberry pieces for garnish.


  • Make sure to cool the almonds completely so you don't melt the chocolate. To speed things up, gently cool the almonds in the fridge or freezer. It won't take long.

  • Look for Maldon brand smoked sea salt flakes. It comes in a 4.4 oz gold box. 

  • I used semi-sweet chocolate because I didn't want this to be overly sweet. But if you have a bigger sweet tooth than me, by all means, do you. 

  • I used 8 oz. mason jars, but a wine glass, or other clear container will work fine. 

  • You can use the dukkah as a topping for whatever you desire, or simply serve it with some good quality olive oil and a sweet and soft bread like challah or brioche.

Ben Mastracco