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Free to Feed · Herb Yoghurt and Beetroot Dips

Food

Today we welcome back Hamed Allahyari of Free to Feed and Julia Busuttil Nishimura of OSTRO, who teach us how to make two of the tastiest dips going around – a traditional yoghurt dip and a textural beetroot dip.

The yoghurt dip is a family recipe passed straight down from Hamed’s father who would often make it as a snack for his children. The beetroot dip is Julia’s ode to Iran’s culinary love of beetroot and yoghurt, pairing the two together seemed like an obvious choice to her.

Hamed will soon be teaching a series of classes at Free to Feed featuring these recipes and other traditional Persian delights!

16th August, 2016
Hamed Allahyari & Julia Busuttil Nishimura of Free to Feed
Tuesday 16th August 2016

This dip is packed full of herbs and is so fragrant – it’s my new favourite! The name for this dip is Dadami, which means ‘from my father’ as the recipe belongs to Hamed’s father. Whenever Hamed and his sisters were hungry, his dad would scurry off to the kitchen and emerge a little while later with this beautiful dip. It is his family’s favourite, and once you make it, you will see why!

By straining the yoghurt, you remove most of the whey and are rewarded with thick, cheese-like yoghurt that makes for a wonderful base for the dip. Other soft herbs like parsley or coriander would work well in this dip too. Although we’ve suggested half a bunch of each herb, feel free to adjust as you like, perhaps adding more of your favourite and less of another.

We’ve paired this yoghurt dip with a beetroot dip, because the more dips the better, right? I wanted to make something vibrant to contrast with Hamed’s Dadami dip and am currently rather obsessed with the pink tones of beetroot, so it was a perfect choice! You could roast the beetroots if you prefer, but I think it’s actually a lot easier to boil them. If pink isn’t your thing, source some golden beets for a yellow-hued dip instead.

We made some amazing Persian bread called Barbari, to accompany the dip but any store bought flat bread or even crudités would suit.

Ingredients

For the herb yoghurt dip (serves 6)

1kg natural yoghurt
1/2 bunch each of mint, dill and basil, roughly chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 long red chilli, finely sliced

For the beetroot dip (serves 6)

500g beetroot (approximately 2 large)
500g natural yoghurt
1/2 bunch mint, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
1tbsp dried mint
1 tsp caster sugar
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
1tbsp toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

Method

For the herb yoghurt dip

The night before you want to make the dip, strain the yoghurt. To do this, place the yoghurt in some layers of muslin or cheese cloth, and tie up into a bring bundle. Tie with string and hang over a bowl or sit in a sieve and put in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight.

Remove the yoghurt from the muslin and transfer to a bowl. Discard any liquid that has accumulated in the bowl overnight. The yoghurt has now become a soft cheese and will be wonderfully thick.

Add the herbs, red onion and chilli and stir to combine. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

Transfer to a serving dish and serve with flat bread as part of a larger meal.

For the beetroot dip

Scrub and trim the beetroot of any leaves, ensuring that you don’t cut into the skin. It’s better to top and tail the beetroot once they have been cooked to avoid losing too much colour as they cook.

Place the beetroot in a medium pot, cover with water and bring to the boil on a high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered with a lid, until tender when pierced with a knife (approximately 40 minutes). Drain and allow to cool slightly.

When cool enough to handle, peel the skin from the beetroots and trim any ends where necessary. Dice into 2cm pieces and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, mix the yoghurt, fresh and dried mint, caster sugar and garlic together until combined. Add in the cooled beetroot, reserving approximately 1tbsp for later. Mix gently, season to taste and transfer to a serving dish. It will turn the most amazing pink colour! Pop the remaining beetroot pieces atop of this dip as a garnish.

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