On Sunday, I had some friends over for a Sunday family dinner. I thought I’d keep it simple and make some slow cooked chickpeas, a rice pilau, yoghurt raita, and a big green salad with feta and pomegranate seeds. Then, I decided to make some corn fritters because it was Sunday and some kids were coming. When I went shopping in the morning, I picked up a couple of beautiful looking eggplants, beetroot, and thought some baba ganoush and a fresh beetroot salad would round things out nicely. I bought white potatoes and orange sweet potatoes, decided to roast them; again, because it was Sunday and roast spuds never go astray for a Sunday dinner. When one of my friends arrived, I said ‘there’s a lot veggies – do you think I need to make a salad’, and she firmly said: ‘No!’ She made the right call because there was too much food to appreciate the salad but if I’d gone with the pomegranates and purple carrots in the salad as planned, I would have super-fooded the bejesus out everyone.
There was a lot of food, but the absolutely standout of them all was this spinach raita. I’ve named it ‘green goddess spinach raita’, not because it’s so much related to the traditional green goddess dressing but because it’s packed with my favourite green English spinach, and my personal holy trinity of herbs – dill, mint and coriander. I test a lot of new recipes for this blog but sometimes it’s good to just bung something together on the spur of the moment, as I did for this raita. I used a heap of spinach and an entire bunch of dill, because my sister always says they cook dill like a vegetable in India. I blanched the spinach, sauted the dill with spring onions and garlic. Bunged it all in the food processor with some yoghurt and fresh coriander and mint. When I tasted it, I really did start to hum and exclaimed a couple of time ‘Oh my god(dess), this so good!’
I seasoned it simply with salt and a teaspoon of honey. You could add a dash of cumin and cayenne, or even some black pepper but, trust me: packed with greenery and with the tang of yoghurt, this raita sings its own special song that really will make you hum.
- 1 large bunch of English spinach (or two small bunches)
- 1 bunch of dill (roughly chopped)
- 4 sprigs of mint (optional)
- 4 sprigs coriander (optional)
- 4 spring onions ( finely sliced)
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- ½ cup of yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- Olive oil.
- Blanch spinach, drain and, when cool, squeeze as much water as possible out of it and chop roughly.
- Gently saute garlic and spring onions in olive oil until translucent, then add dill and saute until just wilted.
- Place spinach, dill and onions, mint, coriander, honey and a bit of salt in processor and give a quick whiz. Add a few large dollops of yoghurt and whiz quickly until just combined. Taste, hum a little and season to taste with more honey and salt. Add more yoghurt, coriander and mint, if desired. The yoghurt really just dresses the spinach and greens, so you don’t want it to be too soupy.
- Sing a song and serve with Greek, Indian, middle-Eastern as a side, or with flat bread as an appetizer and dip.