A good piece of meat requires very little work to make it taste truly delicious. A bit of seasoning, the right preparation and correct cooking and you’re onto a winner! However, that’s not to say that a little something here and there isn’t allowed… A flavoursome sauce can really elevate a dish, however they can often be quite tricky and time consuming. A great alternative is a delicious yogurt-based dip. By adding different herbs and spices you can whip one up in next to no time! Here are some of our favourites.
Perfect with blushing pink lamb chops
Most commonly found in Middle-Eastern cuisine, tahini is a thick paste made from ground sesame seeds. It’s got a deliciously savoury flavour and lends itself to a whole host of dishes and dips – most commonly found in hummus and baba ganoush. For a quick and flavoursome dip, simply combine 1 part tahini with 2 parts classic natural yogurt. Different brands vary in strength of flavour so try a few varieties to find your favourite. Top your yogurt with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and you’re good to go!
Serve with roast chicken
Harissa, a hot aromatic paste, is widely used in North African cuisine and can vary hugely in flavour and heat. The main component ingredients are generally red peppers, chillies, garlic, herbs and spices, however there are a whole host of recipes out there. You can now buy a wide variety of ready made harissas, many of which contain added floral notes like dried rose petals or orange blossom water. Harissa can be very spicy so the combination of the hot, aromatic paste with cooling yogurt makes it a lot more manageable. Add as much as you can handle – the more harissa, the more flavour and punch. Top with a handful of toasted chopped pistachios, fresh pomegranate seeds and dried rose petals.
Mint, cucumber & garlic
Great with a spicy lamb curry
The best bit about a real Indian feast are the chutneys, pickles and dips that go alongside the curry. This is a great dip to go alongside particularly fiery numbers like a madras or jalfrezi to cool some of that heat! Using a box grater or microplane, grate the cucumber and the garlic. Squeeze out any excess water and combine with the yogurt. Stir through with a handful of freshly chopped mint and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Oregano, lemon & saffron
Pair with pork souvlaki
Fresh oregano can be tricky to find in the UK so if you can’t find it the dried variety will work, however fresh is really very good! So much more than a pizza herb, fresh oregano has a lovely floral flavour which works really well alongside combined with lemon and saffron. Saffron is fairly pricey, but the colour and flavour it brings to this dip is very much worth it alongside chargrilled pork! Soak a pinch of saffron in a tablespoon of water for roughly 5 minutes before adding it to the yogurt with a pinch of fresh/dried oregano and the zest of half a lemon. Top with a sprinkle of oregano.
A great dip for rare chargrilled steak
In it’s raw form, garlic is seriously intense and has the nasty habit of lingering. When roasted however, the cloves go soft, sticky and sweet and lose all of the raw harshness. Lightly rub the whole bulb of garlic with olive oil and wrap in foil. Bake in the oven for around an hour until the cloves are fully softened. Once cooled, squeeze each of the cloves out of their skin and mash with the back of a fork with a good pinch of salt. Add a big squeeze of lemon juice and a crack of black pepper and then combine with the yogurt. The more garlic, the punchier the dip will be so don’t be afraid to really go for it.