Dips are a great way to get over vegetable phobias. I think in a way they are less threatening than the vegetable, whole. That is f vegetables could be considered threatening, And when you add a fragrant mix of spices, a dollop of yoghurt and roasted garlic to the mix you have a beautiful and addictive dip that is far too easy to devour.
I’d not heard of Egyptian Beetroot Dip before, until a recent family get together when my mother in law brought out her special “homemade” (her code for shop bought) Egyptian Beetroot Dip. Quickly devoured by my stepsons (where do young boys put all that food?) I managed to try some, before it was gone completely, so I could recreate a homemade version.
I’m assuming the Egyptian prefix for this beetroot dip comes from the use of cumin, coriander and cinnamon, which were all well loved spices in ancient Egypt. The scent of cumin was thought to ensure conception, so ancient Egyptian women would inhale their scent when trying to get pregnant. It was also believed to be a sign of faithfulness and was carried by soldiers as they went off to battle, as a reminder of their partners awaiting their return. Coriander was also thought to be an aphrodisiac and a symbol of eternal love and passion.
Whether those beliefs are accurate or not, it’s a delicious dip and is wonderful spread on crackers, and is a great addition to sandwiches or wraps.
- 2 large beetroots, scrubbed and stalks trimmed
- 4 cloves of garlic
- ⅓ cup yoghurt
- 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- juice of half a lemon
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- toasted pistachios, roughly chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180 celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and wrap each beetroot in foil, along with a teaspoon of water. Place on a baking tray and roasted for 40 to 60 minutes, or until the beetroot is tender. Wrap the garlic (leave the garlic in its paper skins) in foil and add for the last 10 minutes of cooking, and cook until soft and golden. Leave the beetroot to cool before peeling.
- Place a frying pan over a medium low heat and add the cumin and coriander seeds and cook until fragrant. Place the spices in a coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle and grind until a powder.
- Roughly chop the beetroot and place in the bowl of a food processor. Squeeze the garlic from it's skin and add to the food processor along with all the remaining ingredients, except the pistachios and olive oil. Process until smooth. Check the seasoning, and adjust as necessary.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and the chopped pistachios, if using.
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