Guilt free decadence | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 07, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 07, 2018

Flavours of Middle East

Guilt free decadence

A chart-topper when it comes to super foods, yoghurt is nutritious and widely used by almost all cultures in the world. The recipes that follow use the dairy product to add a unique texture to the suggested salads and drinks, and can complement any meat recipe that you are planning to prepare on Eid day.

BANANA SALAD

Ingredients

3 bananas, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

½ cup coconut, shredded 

½ tsp cumin powder, toasted

1 wedge of lemon

Mint leaves to garnish

1 cup plain, or vanilla yoghurt

 

Method

Toast coconut in a small pan.

Squeeze lemon juice over the bananas to keep them from browning. Coat bananas with the yoghurt; add cumin powder. Now mix and sprinkle the lightly toasted shredded coconut on top. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.

 

RAITA

Ingredients

1 large cucumber 

1 large tomato

2 cups plain yoghurt 

1 tsp cumin 

½ tsp ground coriander seeds 

1 onion, chopped (optional)

Lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper 

Fresh mint, chopped

Salt to taste

Pita wedges, for serving

 

Method

First strain the yoghurt for 10 min. Slice cucumber and tomato in half. Remove seeds, cut into julienne strips, or cubes and place on paper towels. Squeeze the paper towel to remove moisture and set aside.

In a bowl, stir — yoghurt, cumin, coriander, cayenne, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add tomato, cucumber, mint, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you desire. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours to allow the flavours to combine. Serve as a dip with pita bread wedges, or as a side to your favourite dishes.

CUCUMBER YOGHURT SALAD

Ingredients

3 medium cucumbers (peeled, seeded and diced)

1 tbsp fresh minced mint

1 garlic clove, minced

½ tsp dried oregano

500ml plain yoghurt

½ cup sour cream

Black pepper to taste

Salt to taste

 

Method

First strain the yoghurt in a thin cloth, for about 15 min. Place cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let it stand for 5 minutes, and then rinse the cucumbers. Drain on paper towels.

Combine mint, garlic, and oregano in a large bowl. Mix yoghurt and cream in another bowl. Add cucumber and stir to coat. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve garnished with mint leaves.

 

LABAN

Ingredients

1 cup yoghurt

1 cup cold water

Fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Sea salt, to taste

4 to 5 ice cubes

Mint sprigs

Method

In a blender add cold water, yoghurt, salt and fresh mint leaves. Serve in a tall glass. Garnish with mint sprigs.

MIDDLE EASTERN LABAN

Ingredients

1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into cubes

1 cup plain yoghurt

1 cup water

1 tsp cumin powder (or crushed)

1 tbsp lemon/lime juice

5 ice cubes

Salt to taste

Mint to garnish

 

Method

Combine yoghurt, water, cumin, cucumber, salt and lemon/lime juice in a blender. Blend well. Garnish with mint and serve chilled.

 

TURKISH YOGHURT DRINK

Ingredients

½ cup yoghurt, full fat

½ cup water

Salt to taste

1/3 cup crushed ice

Mint to garnish

 

Method

Combine all of the above except mint and blend well. Put into a tall glass and garnish with mint, serve chilled.

 

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Naan: Khazana

Food preparation and styling: RBR

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