So, now you know my dirty secret. The pita I made last week end was just a vehicle to eat this.
This being a Turkish dip called Yogurtlu Havuc Salatasi. Or at least I think it is.
I have been reading up on it and found it spelled so many different ways and with so many variations, that I cannot be sure. Sometimes it is just called yogurtlu havuc (spelled with a variety of letters that I cannot even find), other times the word salatasi is added. Also, like so many popular dishes, there seem to be a variety of versions out there. Some leave the carrots raw, others quickly sauté them; some only add garlic and perhaps some dill to the yogurt mix. Others add different spices and herbs.
It seems this dip is a very popular meze in drinking holes and restaurants and is often accompanied and strongly associated with raki, the Turkish national alcoholic beverage.
I have never been to Turkey (yet, I'd like to add) so I cannot even say what the most popular version is (any Turkish readers out there to tell us more about it? I know you're there, I have seen you stopping by). I didn't even know this dip existed until a few weeks ago, but if Lorraine puts the words easy and delicious in the same title, I cannot resist.
Also, I love me some dips with some warm bread and a cold glass of sparkly prosecco with friends. I like the idea of using the
boring humble carrot to make something a little glamorous. I like that you are tricked into thinking you are indulging in something creamy and decadent while you are actually ingesting vitamins and boosting your immune system thanks to the carrots, the yogurt and the raw garlic, whilst keeping your calorie count very low.
Well, minus the pita. And the prosecco, the inordinate amounts of hummus and guac with chips and the chocolate dessert. But I digress.
When we were invited to a practically vegetarian household for dinner last week end, I knew this was what I would make. I'm telling you, with this dip, nobody cared about the pita not puffing completely.
Ingredients2 cups grated carrot
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 cups Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, grated
mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Toast the caraway seeds and cumin in a small frying pan until the aroma starts filling your kitchen, making sure not the burn them. While the stove is working its magic, grate the carrots.
When the spices are ready, transfer into a mortar and pestle and crush until pulverized. Set aside.
Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan (yes, just one pan and a bowl to wash!) and sauté the carrots until slightly soft, but still toothsome. If you need to, add a little water. In the meantime grate the garlic. I used half the amount required because we are not huge raw garlic eater, but I think one actually would not have been too aggressive.
Put the carrots into a bowl and mix in the yogurt while still hot, to ensure that all the flavor and colour from the carrots gets mixed into it. Add the spices, the garlic, salt and pepper to taste and the mint.