Dip-pingly delicious – Middle Eastern Dips

Middle Eastern Dips – Hummus, Baba ganoush, Tzatziki and Garlic Yogurt Sauce.

middle eastern dips

Earlier this year, in January, we used to get takeouts from a Lebanese Restaurant – Shawarma Falafel in Downtown Boston. It was on our way home.

hummus prep

hummus in blender

hummus

I used to order the Beef Shawarma Platter and my husband always ordered Soujouk Platter. We loved it so much that we ordered every Friday. Very soon we found out that because their food was so delicious, we were overeating. I gained ten pounds. Then it was the time; I decided to stop getting takeouts no matter how much I was tempted. Each platter from them came with a choice of two sides: Tabbouleh, Fattoush, Hummus, Baba Ganoush, et al.

eggplants 3

baba ganoush prep

baba ganoush

This month ‘my cooking with friends’ team decided to try Middle Eastern. All of you know, besides Indian food, I love Middle Eastern the most. However, all of my Middle Eastern recipe posts are about kebabs and shawarmas. I add some dip recipes to them, but I want to devote this entire post to middle eastern dips (tempted by Saveur’s dip recipe idea). These are ideal with chicken or beef kebabs, falafel, shawarma, or rice dishes. Here is my recipe for beef kebab, chicken kebab, and chicken shawarma.

tzatziki preparation

tzatiziki

Over the last few years, I have made a few dips that are loved by my friends and family. A few of them are Hummus, Baba Gannoush, Tzatziki and Garlic yogurt sauce.

garlic yogurt

Dips
I am sure all of you food bloggers know how to make hummus, However, there are some folks that like my Abhishek Da that wants to learn a basic hummus recipe, so this recipe is dedicated to them. Whenever we are on the road traveling somewhere, we prepare some hummus and take it with us. My food editor shares a secret about making creamy hummus from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem. If you’re using canned chickpea, save the liquid and use that to make hummus. If you’re using dry chickpeas, simply use the cooking liquid. I do add a lot of cayenne pepper for extra heat, but basic hummus does not require it.

middle eastern dips 3

Baba Gannoush is not prepared much in my household, as my darling husband hates eggplant from the bottom of his heart. I have made it quite a few times for myself and order it whenever I eat out. If you have gas burners or an oven, eggplants get charred perfectly. If you live in a modern housing complex like me, you have no choice other than broiling. Broil the eggplant, until it is fork tender. Insert a metal skewer close to the stem, and if it enters without force – your eggplant is done. Then blend it well with garlic, tahini, et al.

I learned Tzatziki from my Greek friend Kiki 2 years ago. She suggests, and I love, adding a lot of garlic to my Tzatziki sauce. Also, remember to strain the water from the cucumber by squeezing it hard. Otherwise, your Tzatziki will be too watery. It is perfect and summery, and we never eat our kebabs without this.

Garlic Yogurt Sauce is something I do when I am in a rush and need to make a dip for kebabs. Just mash some garlic together and whip it up with yogurt, salt, olive oil, cayenne pepper and lemon juice.

middle eastern dips 2

Serving Suggestions:

These middle eastern dips are versatile. If you’re thinking of a romantic dinner, prepare a falafel or rice dish, or kebabs and serve with a salad, dips, and pita. If you’re thinking of a quick and easy lunch, prepare some grilled veggies or Middle Eastern spiced baked chicken and serve it with tzatziki or hummus in a pita.

middle eastern dips 4

Good News:
As the festive season is just around the corner, we decided to share a camera backpack with all of our readers. However, this is only limited to US participants, so do not forget to participate in this giveaway. Here is the sneak peak of the backpack.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:

Cooking With Friends: This blog post is part of the monthly “Cooking With Friends” themed blog post challenge. This challenge was started by a bunch of virtual friends united by their love of food, with the aim of tackling a different food related theme each month. If you want to try this month’s theme, please feel free to do so and link your recipe in the comments section. We’d love to check it out. Meanwhile, check out what the others in the group have come up with this month.

Anjana from At the Corner of Happy and Harried, Jyothi from Curry Tail, Meena from Elephant and the coconut trees, and Sujatha from Spice n Treats.

Here is a recap of my previous months’ posts.

Pad thai 

Spicy Rumballs

Roasted cauliflower fennel bechamel gratin

Mango Kulfi

Mango Lassi Martini

Jhalmuri

middle eastern dips

Recipe for Middle Eastern Dips

Hummus

If you’re using dried beans, you can boil and prepare, but don’t discard the liquid

1 can garbanzo beans, drained but reserve the liquid*

salt to taste,

1 tablespoon tahini paste,

3 cloves garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

1 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 sprig of fresh parsley (for garnish)

In a food processor, add the garbanzo beans, salt, tahini paste, garlic cloves, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper and cumin, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid and blend it until smooth. For creamier consistency add more of the reserve liquid. Drizzle rest of the olive oil and sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and fresh parsley to serve.

Baba Gannoush

3 medium size eggplants, poked with fork

1 tablespoon tahini

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

3 garlic cloves

Juice of 1 lemon

  1. Broil the eggplant for 12 to 15 minutes, or until it is fork tender. Insert a metal skewer close to the stem, and if it enters without force – your eggplant is done.
  2. Take it out and let it cool down. Peel the skin off and scoop out the flesh.
  3. In a blender add eggplant, tahini, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic cloves and lemon juice. Blend it smooth – take it aside.

Tzatziki

3 persian cucumbers, peeled and shredded

1 cup plain green yogurt

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

salt and black pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

juice of 1/2 medium size lemon

  1. Squeeze the shredded cucumbers, until every ounce of water is out. Squeeze it hard.
  2. Add that to the yogurt. Add olive oil, crushed garlic cloves, salt and black pepper, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. With spoon mix it well. Serve chilled.

Garlic Yogurt Sauce

1 cup plain greek yogurt

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

salt to taste

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a mixing bowl add greek yogurt, crushed garlic, olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper. Mix it thoroughly and serve chilled.

9 thoughts on “Dip-pingly delicious – Middle Eastern Dips”

  1. What a lovely spread Dolphia! Have to admit u are a dedicated blogger.Love all the dips, hummus and tzatziki I make often but baba ganoush doesnot run well here but I love brinjals to the core. Sometimes I fry them just for myself but often trick my herd with baingan bharta though. 🙂
    What an ideal gift for ur reader!I have a Lowepro backpack and single lens bag so looking forward to ur next giveaway. 😀

  2. I’m not able to leave this page as these dips are just to much and beautiful pics are tempting me to just put a finger and lick through…. Interesting thought of give away . Rock on girl !

  3. What an amazing spread Dolphia. I love all the dips and have made a few of them myself recently. Your clicks are tempting me to try them all again. Enjoy your weekend.

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