A meal is often made by those who cannot afford luxuries of bread and a mixture called dukkah, which is commonly composed of salt and pepper with za'atar or wild marjoram or mint or cumin seed, and with one or more, or all of the following ingredients- namely, coriander seed, cinnamon, sesame, and hummus (roasted chickpeas). Each mouthful of bread is dipped in this mixture.
Lane, Manners and customs of the Modern Egyptians,1860
Little bits of food always always make me happy. Its almost a ritual at our home to savor some dips and bread before we start our dinner.At the risk of spoiling our and our guests appetite a combination of dips is something I always like to have in my kitchen.
There is something really beautiful about dipping a pita wedge or a carrot stick or an olive or whatever one fancies into a communal bowl. Lovely company, unhurried eating and seductive flavours to open one's appetite. The riot of colours is also a feast for the eyes.
Don't you just love how the cream, peach and hot pink look together on a single platter?
From left to right: Hummus, Charred bell pepper, pitted dates, toasted walnuts and a pomegranate dip. Beetroot dip.
Charred bell pepper, pitted dates, toasted walnuts and a pomegranate dip.
3 red bell peppers
4 pitted dates
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Char the bell peppers over a gas burners turning frequently. Transfer to a medium bowl and top with a plate. Let cool slightly. Rub off skins and remove stems and seeds. Set aside.
2.Soak dates in hot water for 10 minutes until softened. Drain.
3. Pulse pomegranate seeds in a food processor. Strain liquid, discarding solids. Return to food processor and add roasted peppers, softened dates, walnuts, and red pepper flakes. Process until smooth. Slowly add olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove,peeled and crushed
5 tbsp greek yogurt
apinch of salt
1 tbsp olive oil
pita bread to serve
1. Boil the beetroot for approximately 15 minutes or until cooked, or microwave with 2 tablespoons of water 4 minutes.
2.Place the beetroot,lemon juice and garlic in a blender and blend together until smooth.Add the yogurt and salt,and blend again until smooth.
3.Transfer to a serving dish,drizzle with the olive oil and serve.
All of the above dips go really well with pita bread or pita crisps.
Herb pita crisps
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
8 pitas cut into 6-8 pieces
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs and/or sumac
Salt and pepper
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter pitas and sprinkle with herbs and/or sumac, salt, and pepper.
2.Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.
Recipes : The mezze cookbook and Martha Stewart living
Images : Personal Album
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