Re has a unique relationship with dips. It started quite by accident, when I had once served up a huge bowl of tsatsiki to my guests with some lavash bread and some soup sticks. He was ten months then, and attempting to walk. He sensed the excitement on the platter and began to help himself. At first, he used the soup sticks to dig into the divine dip and then later perhaps thought, “Well, let me waste no time and elegance over this, let me just use my fingers.”
Soon, he was wearing a tsatsiki mask of sorts and everyone was like, “Can he eat dip at this age?”
Yes he can. The best thing going for it is that it is not baby-food. And we all know how babies hate baby-food. It is the biggest insult to them. If I were a baby and you served me up some gooey mush everyday, I’d order in (much as I hate ordering in).
I will be writing a lot about food soon, but here is my favourite dip to start with. You can serve it with toasted/plain multi-grain bread, baguettes, rusks, brun pav (sliced), soup sticks, lavash, carrot and cucumber sticks. Your kids will love it. And they will love you a wee bit more for treating them as adults.
Well, I got the original recipe from my foodie friend Matthew (who incidentally is a purist and prefers to chop the cucumbers fine, although I grate them–it’s just easier). Then I added a bit of George to it (from Master Chef) and I am pleased as punch with the result. And so is Re. We normally put our feet up in the evenings, and sometimes polish up an entire bowl of tsatsiki, dipping our favourite bread into it, watching our favourite food shows.
Two medium sized cucumbers, grated, or finely chopped
One tub of dahi (400 gm)
A small bunch of dill, with stalks removed
One tsp paprika
One tbsp (actually as much as you like) Extra Virgin Olive oil
Juice of one lemon
One tsp of honey (this is George’s tip)
Five cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated
Salt to taste
How to make it:
1.Hang the curd in a sieve or tie it loosely in a cloth and let it drip till it has lost all its water.
2. Salt the cucumber slightly and let it stand for half hour. This will help exude all the water from the cucumbers, which you can then drain/squeeze out.
3. In a bowl, mix the hung curd, the cucumbers, the dill and the garlic well. Add the lemon juice, the olive oil, the paprika and the honey and mix well. If you don’t have paprika, you can use some white pepper powder as well.
4. Dig in.
You don’t have to be chef to make this. It takes no time at all, but the above picture is a great reward. Go try and it and let me know what happened. And yes, if you have a dip recipe to share, please do. Coming up are guacamole and hummus, also Re’s favourites.