Cucumbers and summers have a story going on for themselves. The soothing crunchy water-laden cucumbers feel the best in summer. I guess it is their water-rich nature of them that appeals to most of us making them the sought vegetable during this season.
When it comes to quick appetizers for this season cucumbers are what I love to reach out for. The ease of just cutting a cucumber, adding some topping and just placing them on a plate makes it my favourite low-effort starter. Plus if you are coming in the heat, the soothing chilled cucumber is a blessing. Here is my 10-minute dukkah-crusted cucumber that can be a starter, a snack or a salad.
What is dukkah?
A lovely spice blend from the Mediterranean cuisine which is nutty and aromatic at the same time is dukk0ah or duqqa. It is savoury, zesty and crunchy to taste. Thus fabulous condiment is perfect for dipping bread and crudites. The reason we love dukkah us it is so easy to add flavour to a dish with just a sprinkle of dukkah. One of my quick brunch bites is sliced Turkish bread topped with creamy cacik and a sprinkle of dukkah on top. In this recipe we have made an almond cashew dukkah.
What type of cucumbers is best for this recipe?
Any type of cucumber with a crunch will work for this recipe. Commonly we get Lebanese cucumbers. It doesn’t really matter if you are using Apple cucumbers telegraph cucumbers, variegated Indian cucumbers or even zucchini for this recipe. The cucumbers should be fresh and crisp so the bites feel the crunch. It is not necessary to slice the cucumbers into chunks, you can slice them, cut them in strips or just long logs based on your preferences. You can use a peeled one or one with the skin we have.
Ingredients and substitutions
This dukkah-crusted cucumber recipe comes together with just five ingredients. However, you should have the dukkah handy. If not, follow the dukkah recipe first and then proceed with making the cucumber bites.
For the Almond cashew dukkah
Almond: From an early age, almonds have caught human tastebuds. the nutty mix packs in a lot of crunch with almonds. I love to use whole almonds, you can use silvered ones too.
Cashewnuts: There is a bit better creaminess with the added cashews that tastes fabulous with the crushed almonds and against the cucumber
Sesame seeds: Classic to any Dukkah, the white sesame seeds are key to this spice mix.
Coriander seeds: the smokey undertones for this spice mix are from ground coriander. You can pound the coriander seeds to add to this spice mix. However, I have chosen the shortcut and used the powdered one.
Cumin: Though not a lot the cumin along with the coriander seeds provides a flavour profile that matches Egyptian cuisine.
Fennel seeds: find some sweet undertones? that come from the fennel seeds added to the mix.
Lemon Zest: the fresh citrus zing in the spic mix that makes it so tasty is the lemon zest.
When combines it is these ingredients that make dukkah that can be used on vegetables, bread or coated on nuts and seeds.
To make the cucumber bites
Cucumber-Wash and cut the cucumber into chunks. If in hot summer used chilled cucumbers. Alternatively, you can slice the cucumbers or thread them on a skewer as thin strips.
Salt -Sprinkle some good-quality salt over the chunks of cucumber along with the Dukkah.
Lime- The lime just perks up the whole thing and adds to the freshness. The recipe card below this image provides the details to make this almond cashew dukkah and the dukkah crusted cucumber bites.
Dukkah crusted cucumber bites
- Cutting board
- mortar and pestle
For the almond cashew Dukkah
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup cashewnuts
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds white ones
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp fennel seed powder
- 1/4 tsp lemon zest
For the cucumber bites
- 2-3 medium cucumber trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces.
- 2 tbsp dukkah spice mix made above
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp lime juice
- In a frying pn on low heat, lightly toast the almonds and cashews till they are ready for a snap.
- Remove this from heat and add to a plate.
- Now add the sesame seeds to the pan and lightly toast till they start popping.
- Add the spice powders cumin, corinader and fennel to the warm pan.
- Mix it around and remove this mix.
- Using the mortar and pestle pound the cashews and almonds till they are crushed.
- Add the warmed seasme seeds, spice powders, pinch of salt and the lime zest and mix the spice blend well.
- Remove the spice blend into a glass bottle to be used as needed.
To make the cucumber bite appetizer,
- Wash and dry the cucumbers, trim them. Peel if desired.
- Cut the cucumbers into bite sized pieces.
- Place this on a serving plate.
- Sprinkle the salt and lemon juice.
- Toss this mix well.
- Now, sprinkle the dukkah spice mix all over the cucumbers.
- Place some salad picks poked into the cucumbers so that it is easy to serve.
- The dukkah crusted cucumber bites are ready to be served.
Meal prep and leftovers
As far as this cucumber recipe is concerned there are two parts that you can meal prep. The dukkah mix ofc9urse stays well for up to months. Store this mix in an airtight container to use in salads or bread with some good olive oil. The second part that you can prepare ahead of is the cucumber. Wash and dry, then cut the cucumbers into chunks. This can stay in the fridge for a couple of days. If meal prepped this dukkah cucumber recipe takes less than two minutes to put together.
Have more cucumbers?
Cucumbers are our summer favourites for us so there are a good number of recipes on this blog too. Here are my trending ones
As summer heats up and we all begin to talk about the changes in weather patterns, such low-effort recipes are a huge boon. Within just a couple of minutes, you have yourself ready for a potluck or barbecue or just to chill out at the beach. The dukkah cucumbers are a fabulous idea to use at camp too as dukkah is easy to carry, then all you need is some cucumbers that you can carry.
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