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Beet and carrots with cumin and haydari

Haydari is a Turkish dip made of thickened yoghurt and herbs. It is served either as an appetizer with bread or vegetables, or can also be served as a side with grilled kebabs, There are numerous variations of this dip but it is always delicious.

Here is it used very creatively as a base for the salad. The dish flashes with colour from the beets and the carrots. The accent of cumin is delicate and the creamy haydari dressing adds all the dilly flavour that is needed. The soft sweet beets pair well with the crunchy carrots and the walnuts add a perfect nuttiness. This is a lovely salad, one that I ate too much of.

One of the problems with having too many cookbooks is that there are not enough days in a year or people or reasons to cook from them all the time. I generally tend toward 275 recipes a year, see my blog. It took me some time to arrive at this recipe, one that I have eyed for some time. Like all her other cookbooks, this recipe and cookbook are outstanding. All her cookbooks bring a wonderful diversity of flavours and cuisines to my table. Go out and buy all her cookbooks, I cannot recommend them enough

For more delicious recipes from this cookbook click here.


For the haydari:

1 cup Greek yoghurt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

A generous handful of dill, chopped

2 cloves garlic. minced

Salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2-1 red chilli, seeded and finely diced

1/2-1 green chilli, seeded and finely diced

For the salad:

1 lb carrots, washed well and cut into matchsticks

1 lb small beets

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 tablespoon white or regular balsamic vinegar

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted

Dill sprigs to garnish

Mix all the ingredients for the haydari and taste for salt and spice. The dressing will develop spiciness and flavours as it sits. keep in the fridge for 2 hours overnight.

Wrap the beets in foil and bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes until cooked. I like to leave the beets a bit on the raw side. Cool and slip off the skins. Cut into small wedges.

Add half the oil to a wide frying pan and half the cumin seeds. Sautè for 10 seconds till the seeds turn a shade darker and add the carrots and a pinch of salt. Cook on a low flame for 1-2 minutes till the carrots are barely cooked, you do not want them mushy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Add the remaining oil and the remaining cumin seeds and fry like above. Add the beets and toss for 2 minutes till warmed and scented with the cumin. Set aside.

To serve, in a large wide bowl, spread the haydari on the bottom. Top with the slightly warmed carrots and beets. garnish with the walnuts and the dill fronds. Serve immediately.

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