Cucumber-tomato-onion Raita

There’s a reason why I didn’t bother with a nicer presentation of this dish in the bowls. This is just so good there’s no time to arrange it or take multiple photos, you just want to eat it immediately! I tasted this type of raita around two years ago in Masala Restaurant in Prague and I absolutely fell in love with it. It was not a side dish for me, it was the star of the whole meal.  Not only the flavour combination was surprisingly tasty but also its soothing effect when eating spicy biryani won me over completely. And perhaps that’s how it works best, in combination with extremely spicy dishes. This raita, biryani of your choice and garlic naan together make a perfect meal. Unfortunately I moved out of Prague and started to miss Masala’s special raita. I decide to recreate it basing on what I remembered. Results totally knocked me over. After experimenting a bit I perfected the ratio of ingredients. Behold the perfect raita! Continue reading

Dada Carrots

Simple and yummy recipe. Since you fry the carrots for a longer time the natural sweetness comes through and almost caramelises the carrots. Also garlic becomes soft and gives just a hint of a different taste. Beautiful side dish for almost any meal. Recipe found here. Continue reading

Plain Basmati Rice

I used not to know a lot about cooking rice. In fact I was practically dependent on those rice packets which you shove directly into boiling water and leave there until it overcooks, becomes mushy and inedible. All that until I discovered basmati rice, which at this point is my favourite type of rice. I had to do a thorough research before I actually learned how to handle that fellow. It all paid off in the end. My current knowledge in this topic comes from different sources, starting from my parents and ending on the Internet. Here are a couple of simple steps you have to take in order to cook a decent basmati rice. Don’t treat them as strict guidelines though. Experiment and decide which way works best for you. This post gets dedicated to my fiancé who always says he can’t cook rice the way I do ;) Continue reading

Cacık

Cacık is similar to the Greek dish Tzatziki, differing mainly in consistency. Tzatziki is usually a bit thicker since you add a little bit of water to cacık to make it thinner. In the end in depends on the type of yogurt you are using. Mine was already fairly runny so I didn’t need to add water. Good thing about this dish is that you can adjust practically all the ingredients to match your taste. If you want extra garlicy taste you can just add one or two more cloves of garlic, or if you don’t – minimise the amount of garlic cloves to one. Mint works really great in this combination and although some recipes call for dried mint, if you have fresh use it, it will make such a difference. A splash of lemon or lime juice will just boost the freshness of mint. It’s a great yummy side-dish that works well with everything practically; veggie dishes, meat dishes, rice, bulgur etc. Continue reading

Eggplant Dip (Patlıcan Babaganuş)

And here we have another side-dish. For me it’s one of those things you do when you have extra free time and just feel like treating yourself to a restaurant experience at your own dinner table. Eggplant is one of my favourite …erm plants (I’ll avoid the fruit/veggie controversy here)… but to my disappointment it doesn’t have any useful nutritional values. It does seem to contain a high amount of nicotine though…Recipe modified from this one.

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Hummus

I suppose hummus is like marmite. Either you love it or hate it. For me it’s a new and interesting taste. Not something I would devour every day but it just gets my taste buds engaged a lot. In the end you can adjust hummus for your taste, again a matter of spices. If you can’t find a ready tahini you can make one, it’s really easy. Recipe for hummus is quite standard and apart from some spices you can’t go too crazy here, my reference recipe was this one. Continue reading