Friday, 7 January 2011

tzatziki-inspired lemongrass yoghurt dip

lemongrass yoghurt dip, garnished with a lemongrass stirrer and a pinch of lemongrass-garlic paste.

Sometimes I just have days when I feel pretty lazy and unmotivated. New Year's Day was one of them. Luckily, the supermarket was open and I managed to pick up some great bargains for a quick lunch - a pack of garlic naan bread and a tub of lentil salad from the Indian deli section for $1 each!

Even though I wasn't in a cooking mood, I thought I'd still put in a little effort somehow, so whilst at the supermarket I also picked up a few fresh ingredients, thinking that perhaps I would make a quick and easy dip to go with lunch - tzatziki, in particular, was on my mind. But when I got home, I started to think about a stalk of leftover lemongrass I had tucked away in the fridge.

You know what that means - it's time for another one of my spontaneous creations!

grinding the chopped green parts of the lemongrass stalk into a paste.

I love lemongrass. What I don't love is how the green part of the stalk is so often neglected and discarded. Yes, it's a little tougher, and a little less fragrant... but it's a big, big world. There's gotta be a place for it, right? So I came up with the following recipe. The white parts should also work nicely, and you can use a mix of the two, but I only used the green parts of the stalk here. Try it! You may be pleasantly surprised.

adding the garlic, lemongrass and lime juice to the yoghurt.

seasoning my lemongrass garlic yoghurt dip with salt and pepper medley.

tzatziki-inspired lemongrass yoghurt dip

1/2 cup natural or greek yoghurt
the green part of one lemongrass stalk, tough outer husk removed
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
salt and pepper, to taste

- Chop up the green parts of the lemongrass stalk, and grind with a mortar and pestle, breaking down the fibres until it forms a green paste. You may add a few drops of water or lime juice to assist the process.
- Add the chopped garlic and continue grinding. This should create a juicy and pungent pale green mixture.
- Combine this into the yoghurt along with the lime juice, then add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
- Use this as you would tzatziki - as a dip, sauce or salad dressing - with lamb, pita, crackers, or fresh vegetables such as carrot and cucumber.
- If you make it in advance you can cover and place it in the fridge for several hours or overnight. The flavours will develop even further.

This healthy, zingy lemongrass yoghurt dip was lovely, tangy and aromatic. But the important question is, how did it go with that garlic naan?

Well. This was how it went:

Garlic Naan: You... complete me.
Lemongrass Yoghurt Dip: Shut up. Just - shut up. You had me at hello.

I had my lemongrass yoghurt dip with garlic naan, lentil salad and fresh Lebanese cucumbers.

18 comments:

  1. This looks like a very refreshing and tasty dip! Good work!

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  2. what a refreshing idea to add lemongrass into yogurt based dip!

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  3. Wow you really did work your muscles on the lemongrass eh? :) I love lemongrass too. Not everyone enjoys it though.

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  4. Thanks everyone! It really was refreshing. Come to think of it, now it reminds me of raita too.

    Haha Michelle, surprisingly it didn't take too much effort to break down the lemongrass! And for some reason it was actually quite therapeutic and satisfying to do. :D

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  5. That looks fantastic. I don't think I have ever had lemongrass...

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  6. Yum, so refreshing!Perfect for summer :-)

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  7. "Sometimes I just have days when I feel pretty lazy and unmotivated. New Year's Day was one of them." Uh, yes. I second that.

    And the dip looks fantastic enough to almost completely replace my version of tzatziki.

    And tying it all up with a bow of Jerry-Maguire-style romantic dialogue? Brilliant.

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  8. Catherine, lemongrass has quite a unique scent and taste. It's often used in Asian (especially Thai) cooking. Hope you get to try it one day and like it!

    Anonymous - I lovesd it too. ;)

    Maria, oh yes! Especially with the hot weather in Melbourne today.

    Thanks Rich! Actually I probably feel pretty lazy and unmotivated all the time. But even more so on New Year's Day. And I did rather amuse myself quoting Jerry Maguire... I do think your incredibly witty blog inspires me to push the envelope with my own posts!

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  9. Olá, amigo!
    Passei para ver as novidades.
    Gosto de suco de capim limão... numa receita como essa eu nunca pensei!...
    Bom fim de semana! ♫♫
    Beijinhos °º
    •*• ♫° ·.
    ♫♫°
    °º♫

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  10. lemon grass huh? nice and refreshing.

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  11. Oh, brilliant! I'm distraught at the thought of all the green ends of lemongrass I've thrown away over the years...

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  12. Obrigada, Magia da Inês! :D

    Thanks for coming by Mira!

    Oh Hannah, it's never too late to make amends!

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  13. That looks refreshing and delicious!

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  14. oh! I love this dip and I hate to waste foods as well. I usually keep it and chuck it in stock :)

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  15. Haha, I'm so glad the naan and the dip found one another and lived happily ever after!

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