I simply love planning menus when we have people over - to me, half the fun of cooking is in the planning. This time I planned a Middle Eastern theme centred around a Moroccan Meatloaf (I had seen on Simply Recipes) accompanied by a Carrot, Black Olives and Orange Salad, Rice Pilaf and this Chickpeas & Apricot Tagine. I also made Cumin Flavoured Chicken Patties with Muhammara Sauce as an appetizer - the only thing I was left looking for was, something to go with toasted pita bread triangles.
Which is when I came across Labneh, Tzatziki and Jajik- the first is a hung curd dip which is served with olive oil while the second and third are Greek and Lebanese versions of a kind of raita made with yoghurt and cucumber. I decided to go with a version which had very little cucumber (I wanted it to remain thick through the evening) and included garlic, mint and coriander gently mixed into hung curd. It was perfect for the evening and the creamy goodness of it balanced the slightly grainy muhammara sauce which is made of roasted red peppers and walnuts.
This picture below is going to this month's edition of Click where the theme is Wood. Click is the monthly food photography event hosted by Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi.
Its sheer coincidence that they have also posted Jajik in their entry for Click!
1 big clove garlic, minced
4 tbsp cucumber, chopped fine (seeds removed and pieces left to drain for about 5 minutes)
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp chopped mint
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1. Hang the curd in a clean, thin cloth for about 2 -3 hours with a bowl beneath to collect the whey. Since it's turned warm here, I preferred hanging it inside the fridge by rigging up a sort of pulley contraption.
2. Turn the hung curd into a bowl and gently mix in the cucumber, garlic,salt,mint and lemon juice.
3. Keep in the fridge for a couple of hours till the flavours all meld together. Serve with toasted triangles of pita bread or carrot sticks.