Doah, pronounced Do-ah, is the mixture of spices and nuts that is pounded together after being dry roasted to a texture. It is an Egyptian delicacy of a spice that has been around for a very long time....
It is less well known than the mix of spices called Za'atar which has made its way out of the Middle East to other countries and is served in restaurants with pita bread and sold in many stores on the spice shelves.
Doah is available in spice markets in Israel and was brought over to the country by Egyptian jews such as my Grandmother Rosa.
I remember her making this from scratch, it was not available ready made in the 50's. The uniquely amazing aroma from the spices and the nuts she roasted whole were so delightful I can still smell them now. Specially the roasted whole cumin! Oh my, the best!
It was served on a small plate loosely, with olive oil or butter on the side. You spread the butter on pita bread (or any bread) and sprinkle Doah with a spoon on top. Or dip the pita bread in oil, then dip it in the Doah! You can also put some olive oil on bread, then sprinkle it with Doah and toast it!
Another delicious way to eat it is sprinkled on feta cheese, very Israeli! With some cold sliced watermelon on the side.
I now also use it as a general spice to add when cooking. It really enhances my dishes!
I sometimes see the recipe today made with hazelnuts. Who in 1950's Israel could afford hazelnuts? My grandmother Rosa always made it with peanuts which I believe is the original nut used for this recipe. That's the way I know it and it is the way I make it!
The actual composition of the spice mix can vary from family to family, though there are some common ingredients, such as sesame, coriander, cumin, salt and black pepper.
I have wanted to share this simple recipe for a while, sometimes the simplest recipes take me the longest to write out.
Ideally whole spices are best roasted first then crushed in a grinder but outside of Israel it is difficult to find them whole so I have tried to create the same flavors with what could be found locally and it came out amazing!
What you will need is:
75 grams peanuts, preferably raw.
140 grams sesame seeds - raw
30 grounds of ground cumin, if you can get the cumin seeds all the better or freshly ground is fine.
30 grams ground coriander, if you can get the whole coriander seeds all the better or freshly ground.
3/4 - 1 teaspoon salt. Taste to determine if more salt is needed
½ -3/4 teaspoon black pepper - according to tatse
A nut grinder or food processor
In a dry pan, heat the peanuts and dry roast them turning for about 10 minutes. Keep turning being careful not to burn, just roast. I taste them to see when they are ready and roasted.
Do the same with the sesame seeds.
If you have whole cumin and coriander seeds do the same as you did with the nuts.
In a nut grinder or food processor grind all roasted items together. Not to a complete powder, just finely ground and a little bit coarse, specially the sesame seeds. I always have some sesame seeds stay whole and some crushed. Just keep an eye on it during the processing.
Don't over process or you will get a paste.
In a bowl add all other dry ingredients and mix ground nuts and seeds or ready crushed ingredients with a fork until well blended together.
Don't mix it with a wooden spoon or spatula as it will bind the ingredients to a paste-like consistency. A fork will keep the blend separated and fluffy.
Enjoy this on bread dipped in olive oil or sprinkle it on salad, feta cheese, roasted vegetables or meat dishes.
I am in love with these little spice jars I have found recently. I just reorganized my spice draw and wrote about it on my blog section of Blog Stories. Here is the link for the details on them below.
The link for them is also provided under the photo. They are a perfect size for keeping spices fresh and a spoon fits in through the top unlike the narrower types of spice jars.