Yogurt with Cucumber, Garlic and Dill

Cacik or Yoghurt with Cucumber Garlic and Dill (9560)

So I promised you I would be back in September. A little later than I had planned originally before J and I moved back to Malta, but better late-ish than never. I am so happy to be back with my blog. I missed writing and I missed cooking. I still miss it to a certain degree to be honest, because only yesterday we managed to set the kitchen up properly, so until then meals were modest and simple. Not that I regret that. The produce here is generally very good and the heat doesn’t make me that enthusiastic to be in front of the stove! I am still getting used to the markets and shops, and the best places to buy ingredients, so I’m finding planning meals to be one of the many little challenges since the big move. I won’t bore you with the details. All I can say is this: it was stressful and I can almost promise myself not to do it again. Ever. Almost. I cannot count how many times we did that and it becomes tougher every single time. Change can be a good thing though.

Having said that, I miss living in the UK. I recently got an email with an invite to a food fair in Woking. You might get my disappointment at not being able to go when I read that one of the guests at the fair was none other than Sabrina Ghayour. I am beyond disappointed actually; I would have so liked to meet her in person. I count myself lucky – I have met my share of legends during my years in Surrey, but I am still sad to have missed Sabrina.

To get myself reacquainted with C&T once again (it takes me ages to get into a good writing routine) I have this little gem, great for the warm Maltese weather, from Sabrina’s book Persiana. I wrote all about it earlier this year. This is the recipe for Cacik, a concoction between tzatziki and raita. The garlic and fresh dill really give it a nice kick. I found that grating the cucumber by hand rather than using a food processor makes all the difference in reducing the amount of water. (I grate carrots by hand when making carrot cake too. It makes such a difference in the cake batter.) Squeezing the excess water through a sieve also helps but trust me on this one.

**Before I give you the recipe I want to send all my kind and lovely readers a huge thank you through the blogosphere for putting up with my absence. I know I have not lost you and you cannot imagine what that means to me. I’ll stop here before I get all emotional.

  • 1 large cucumber, grated
  • 500ml Greek yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 25g fresh dill, both stalks and leaves finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling over the dip

Grate the cucumber, preferably by hand. Don’t bother to peel it, just wash it thorougly and start grating away. Then squeeze it to remove and discard all the excess water.

Tip the cucumber in a large mixing bowl and add the yogurt.

Crush the garlic or chop it very finely, and add this to the yogurt mix. Chop the dill, set aside some of it for scattering on top if you want, and add the rest to the bowl. Mix everything together and taste for seasoning. Drizzle on the olive oil and strew the remaining dill over the dip.

Such an easy recipe to prepare for a gathering of friends and family, and it goes with almost anything. Enjoy!

Rob.

(Recipe adapted from Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East and Beyond, Mitchell Beazley, 2014)

One year ago: I am back…

Two years ago: Spice Cake.

Three years ago: Easy Breezy Pasta and Rice.

 

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