Monday, May 14, 2012

Spiced Yogurt Dip

As promised, here's a highly-spiced dip to pair with the flatbread (Chapatis) that I made last night.  If you prefer to skip the bread-making, serve this dip as an easy appetizer with store-bought pita wedges or crisp veggies.  It's simple to make, and the toasted spices will infuse your kitchen with their scent.

  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 cups plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1. Place the coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds in a spice grinder and process until finely ground.

Note: Freshly grinding whole spices will guarantee the best flavor, so I recommend purchasing spices in whole form whenever possible, and grinding little bits at a time like this.

2. Transfer the ground spices to a small skillet, along with the turmeric and ground red pepper; cook over medium heat for 1 minute.

3. Combine the spice mixture in a bowl with the yogurt, green onions, lime juice, agave, and salt, stirring well to combine.

Note: you can prepare the dip ahead of time too, but if you do so, I recommend adding the green onions just before serving, so their strong flavor doesn't overwhelm the rest of the dip.

Nutrition Info:
8 servings (1/4 cup), Calories 33 

Tasting Notes:
Incredible flavors of cumin and caraway, but also a note of caution - this is spicy.  In addition to serving with flatbread, I thought it would make a nice compliment to Indian-spiced eggplant and potato dishes, but that was the wrong choice; usually yogurt is a cooling condiment to spicy sauces in Indian cuisine, but this one only added spice to spice!  So it's definitely best with the cooling contrast of bread.  To tame the spice, I'd use more yogurt next time, and a touch more agave nectar.


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