13 February 2007


For a while now, I have been making Egyptian Dukkah (a seed and nut-based spice mixture) at home, and the recipe calls for roasted hazelnuts. Whilst dukkah is not Turkish, roasted hazelnuts are very common in Turkey.

One of the food specialty shops in Turkey is the Kuruyemişçi. These shops sell nuts and dried fruits, displayed behind glass counters, and sold by the gram, filled in paper pags. Children grow eating nuts, especially sunflower seeds, which one has to deshell (requiring good mouth and hand coordination, and dexterity). Having grown up in Turkey, I am often amazed to find out how home-grown Australians are into lollies (Jaffas in particular), but nuts are served often with "drinks" rather than being considered as snacks.

My favourite nuts are walnuts (hence my nickname ceviz), and hazelnuts. Having discovered that the roasted hazelnuts I prepared for dukkah were no different to kuruyemisci-bought ones, I now roast extra hazelnuts, which I fill in a jar for (healthy-) snacking.

I should also add that hazelnuts are grown in the north, the Black Sea coast of Turkey. A recent event regarding hazelnut growers led to Turkish foodbloggers to join hands, and compile over a hundred hazelnut recipes on a website called Fındık Fındık (hazelnuts hazelnuts). The recipes are now in the process of being published as a book!

To roast hazelnuts:

Spread any amount of hazelnuts in a flat oven tray. Roast in 180 degrees for 5-8 minutes keeping an eye not to burn them. Once slightly browned, remove the tray. Wrap hazelnuts in a teatowel while warm, and rub them so that the brown skin falls off. Once cool, store in an airtight container.

Try mixing equal amounts of hazelnuts and dried white mulberries (or walnuts and mulberries).

1 comment:

neil said...

I make a cake with a hazelnut topping. The biggest problem I have is roasting enough hazelnuts so that some actually make it to the cake.