Time for the Muslim Food Blogger Challenge post! After a couple of dull months as far as participation was concerned, I thought it best to keep the theme simple this month. It is “Cooking with an Ingredient – Cucumber”. Cucumber is something that everybody likes to eat. The beauty of this humble vegetable is that it doesn’t need anything to go with it, and makes a healthy filling snack whenever hunger pangs decide to hit you. I have cucumbers in my fridge all the time. My girls eat at least one every day, so I have to make sure I stock up. Did you know that cucumber was one of the favorite foods of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)? He used to eat it along with dates. During Ramadan, my Iftar used to be a salad of lettuce and cucumbers, along with the mandatory dates. I tried the combination and it is delicious!
For this challenge, I had nothing in mind apart from this very easy dip from Eastern Europe. Tzatziki is a thick yogurt and cucumber based dip that is usually served with grilled meat. Tzatziki is basically from Greece, and has a Turkish counterpart called “Cacik”. The whole point is to mix up the ingredients and allow it to rest as much as possible so that the flavors develop. I love having this without any sides – you know, eat it with the spoon. You can also dip in your crackers or store bought khubz when you are short of meals or just lazy to cook. I even make it as side of rice when I get bored of our normal raita. If you love mint, you can add some dried mint or minced fresh mint as well, but I wanted the dill to be prominent and hence left it at that. Off to this simple recipe…
- 1 large cucumber
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup full fat yogurt
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp finely chopped dill leaves
- Grate the cucumber. Drain excess liquid.
- To this, grate the garlic. Add in the remaining ingredients and give a good whisk.
- Allow it to rest in the fridge for an hour for the flavors to mingle. Serve cold as dip.