Spiced Garlic Yogurt Dip with Mint

This lively dip gets big flavor from just a handful of ingredients. Serve it as a dip with crackers or flatbread or as a sauce over tacos or roasted vegetables.

Spiced Garlic Yogurt Dip with Mint

The next post up is on a subject that’s near and dear to my heart; but first I’m sharing the accompaniment that goes with said mystery post because it holds its own as a dip to serve at a party, or a sauce to keep around for times when you need to turn a bowl of grains, vegetables or beans into a meal.

I’ve been making a sauce of this ilk for ages since finding a recipe in Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors, a book that has shaped the way I cook more than just about any of the zillion titles now gracing my bookshelf. Her version uses goat’s milk yogurt, toasted coriander, and jalapeño, and it turns out a liquidy sauce more suited to drizzling than to dipping. Rather than get the book out each time, I usually throw it together from memory, adjusting the ingredients to taste and paring the ingredient list down the most dominant flavors and using Greek yogurt or skyr to turn out a thicker sauce. These ingredients happen to be some of my favorites at the moment. There’s thick skyr, an Icelandic style of strained yogurt similar to the Greek variety. There’s toasted, ground cumin, which I’ve been throwing into just about everything lately. There’s lemon zest and juice for zip, plenty of crushed garlic for kick, and a few handfuls of mint leaves to brighten things up. Pomegranate arils and a drizzle of olive oil add a little pizazz if you’re making up a bowl to dip things into (spoiler: they make an appearance in the next post, too).

Spiced Garlic Yogurt Dip with Mint

This is a sauce for all seasons, though I find it particularly welcome in the winter to break up the rich, mild foods associated with the cooler months. Think of it as an off-season tzatziki. It keeps well in the fridge for at least a week and is a welcome addition to many foods. We dollop it over tacos filled with chickpeas and roasted sweet potatoes. We scoop it up with crackers for a quick snack. We slather it on veggie burgers, sweet potato oven fries and toast. It would be lovely in a lentil soup, with falafel, or over a bowl of grains, legumes and vegetables.

Sometimes I’ll add a handful of cilantro leaves or parsley in addition to the mint, or a hefty pinch of cayenne. However you gussy it up, I know you’ll love this little number as much as we do. And stay tuned for an equally lovable recipe, up next!

Spiced Garlic Yogurt Dip with Mint

Spiced Garlic Yogurt Dip with Mint
Yields: 2 cups
 
This dip has flavors that hail from the Middle East and can star as a pretty bowl of dip for crackers, flatbread, or crudité; or use it as a sauce to dollop on roasted or grilled vegetables, soups, falafel, or sandwiches.
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1 ½ cups (350 ml) whole milk Greek yogurt or skyr
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup mint leaves, chopped
  • For garnish (optional): pomegranate arils, flavorful olive oil, mint leaves
Instructions
  1. Place the cumin seeds in a small skillet and toast over a medium flame, shuffling the pan frequently, until fragrant and slightly darkened in color, 2-3 minutes. Cool, then grind in a spice grinder, clean coffee grinder, or with a mortar and pestle.
  2. Place the yogurt in a medium-sized bowl. Squeeze the garlic cloves through a garlic press and directly into the yogurt. Stir in the lemon zest and juice, salt, and mint until combined. Serve immediately, or cover and chill. The dip will keep, refrigerated airtight, for up to 1 week.

Spiced Garlic Yogurt Dip with Mint

14 thoughts on “Spiced Garlic Yogurt Dip with Mint”

  1. i’m alll for an off season tzatziki! my dad has been on a huge tandoori chicken kick since before summer, so this sounds like the perfect accompaniment to the aggressively spicy chicken i know will be shoveled into my mouth when i go home. the falafel idea also sounds really good- especially now that i know how easy it is to make!

  2. What a delicious dip. I like skyr so much. I never thought to combine it with toasted cumin. Yum! And I’m with you about Deborah Madison. She’s a genius. Great recipe. BTW, I sent that “upstairs neighbors” vid to all of my friends who also live in apartments. It’s hilarious that not only are we the downstairs neighbor, but we fear we’re also the upstairs neighbors, especially when I drop all of my pans.

  3. oh deborah madison, her book Vegetable Literacy is one of my most used. and i was able to meet her in person last year when she visited minnesota. so humble. just like you in fact. this dip looks so pretty and delicious. will look forward to your next post too, xo.

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