Wednesday, December 2, 2009


By: Lorena Uriarte

An Arabic chick pea (hummus) dish perfect for vegetarians.

Serves: 6 (as part of a meal)
Preparation: 20 minutes
Refrigeration: 30 minutes (minimum)


1 ½ cup chickpeas, canned or soaked and cooked chickpeas
1 clove garlic, crushed
50ml olive Oil
1tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 lemon, juiced
¼ cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

Virgin olive oil
Sweet paprika

1. Blend the chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, tahini, cumin and lemon juice in the food processor till just combined
2. Whilst the motor is running slowly add the water till the desired consistency is reached. Thicker for a dip, runny for dressing a salad or serving with falafel etc
3. Cover and chill till required

To serve:
Scoop into a dish, make a small well in the center and pour in a little olive oil.
Sprinkle with the sweet paprika.

A smoky eggplant dip

Serves: 6 (as part of a meal)
Preparation: 20 minutes
Refrigeration: 30 minutes (minimum)

Oven: set oven to 180C to roast eggplants.
A gas flame is required or alternatively, use a char grill or BBQ for best results.


1 eggplants (large) washed and dried
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
½ lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Dukkah ( a mixture of crushed hazelnuts, seeds and spices)
or chopped pistachios, chopped parsley, diced tomato etc

1. With a sharp knife cut skin of each eggplant about 4 times and place directly over a flame with tongs or skewered on a fork
2. Turn till charred on all sides. This gives the eggplant smoky flavor
3. Place eggplants on a baking tray and bake for 20 to 30 minutes till soft
4. Set aside to cool
5. Once cool peel away the skin
6. Place flesh in a large bowl with the garlic, tahini and the lemon juice and oil
7. Using a whisk beat until the eggplant is mashed and ingredients are combined
8. Taste and season with salt and pepper

To serve:
Scoop into a bowl and sprinkle with dukkah or your choice of garnish.

This earthy beetroot dip makes a colourful addition to your dip selection!
Serves: 6 (as part of a dip selection)
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Refrigeration: 30 minutes


3 beetroot, washed, trimmed and wrapped in foil squares
1 small onion, peeled and wrapped in foil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoon plain/ Greek yoghurt
Salt and pepper to taste

Sumac powder (optional)
Olive oil (drizzle)

1. Roast beetroot and onion for 40 -50 minutes till tender
2. Cool and peel beetroot. Chill in freezer till cold
3. Chop beetroot and onion roughly
4. Place beetroot, onion, garlic and in a food processor and blend quickly till just mixed through.
5. Add yoghurt and blend till roughly combined
6. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, cover and chill before serving.

To Serve:
Sprinkle with a pinch of sumac powder or cayenne pepper and then a light drizzle of olive oil.

This Tunisian dip is tangy, spicy and slightly sweet.

Serves: 6 (as part of a mezze spread)
Preparation: 20 minutes


500 grams carrots, peeled and cut into quarters
2 tablespoons lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon harissa, chilli paste or paprika (optional)
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste

Pinch toasted cumin seeds

1. Gently boil the carrots in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and gently fry the garlic, harissa and cumin, set aside
3. Drain carrots well and place pot back over a low heat to dry the carrots well
4. Place all the ingredients in a blender and pulse till mix is smooth.
5. Taste and adjust salt, lemon juice and chilli to your taste

To serve:
Scoop into a bowl and sprinkle with roasted cumin seeds.
This dip is best served warm or at room temperature.

A refreshing and garlicky yoghurt dip
Serves: 6 (as part of a meal)
Preparation time: 20 minutes.
Cooking time: 0

2 cups plain yoghurt (preferably Greek)
1 cucumber peeled and grated.
¼ cup mint leaves, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ lemon, juiced
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

Toasted cumin seeds

1. Place cucumber in a colander and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt, drain over a bowl for 10 minutes.
2. Squeeze as much water out of the cucumber as possible.
3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
4. Taste and adjust seasoning (remember cucumber will be salty!)
5. Cover and chill till ready to serve

To serve:
Scoop into a bowl and top with toasted cumin seeds

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