And with that, Christmas was over.
And, a few stomach-filling, chocolate-stuffing, christmas-jumper/sweater-wearing days later, so was New Year’s.
That passage of time between December 24th and January 1st always seems to go quick but throw in a chockablock family Christmas and a decent amount of travelling and it feels even quicker.
It didn’t help that – after a 12 hour and then a 3 hour flight to Kuala Lumpur, from London and via Vietnam, followed by the need to be awake (level of coherency unspecified) for the dawn of 2016 – the Paramedic and I started 2016 in a jet-lagged, sleep deprived and, sporadically, alcohol infused haze.
But all this didn’t matter because at midnight, champagne in hand, we saw in the New Year with the pearly Petronas Towers as a magnificent backdrop.
So how was your New Year’s Eve? Did you do anything special?
And now, almost 22 hours later, I’m sitting amongst the chaotic brilliance of Jalan Alor; Kuala Lumpur’s legendary night market (Read: food, food and so much more food).
The jet lag is still playing havoc with my body and soul (it’s 11pm but feels like lunchtime. Like, wah!?!?!?! ?) but having filled myself with Beef Rendang, “Thai King” Chicken, stir-fired water spinach, and a host of other sumptuous delicacies that are sure to make it to my “to cook” list, my puzzled inner body clock is the least of my worries.
And of course, surrounded by the intoxicating flavours of South East Asia it feels mildly strange that I am about to start talking about a non-Asian dish but ’tis the work I have to do.
So, without further ado, please give a warm welcome and a round of applause for this ^^^ Tzatziki; the (sort of) ketchup of the (Greek) Mediterranean world.
This dip/ condiment/ plate/ yoghurt-and-cucumber-creation may be a humble and simple food item but do not let its simplicity persuade you to underestimate its greatness and importance at the Greek Dinner (Mezze) table.
Tzatziki may be a staple food item which will appear on a dinner table as automatically as plates and cutlery but, serve anything less than a great Tzatziki, and you’ll be bombarded with the complaints
Tzatziki is like the comfort blanket of Greek Food. A meal just doesn’t feel right if it isn’t there. Without it there is nothing to dip your bread into, smear your meatballs wth, or coat the ever so tasty Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftethes – recipe coming later this week). It would be like a roast dinner without the gravy; the chips without ketchup; pepper without salt…
You get the picture
And it has to be right.
It has to be that perfect ratio of Cucumber and Yogurt with a dash of flavour in the form of dill (not too much) and garlic (quantity varying but, generally, the best homemade tzatzikis, and my own personal preference, rely on a “the more garlic the better” approach) all culminating in this taste-pleasing little dish.
And, luckily for you I’ve had more than enough practice to perfect what, I beleive, is one tasty Tztakiki. It’s even been taste tested by (real) Greek people and they give it the thumbs up too so you know you’re in good hands.
Happy New Year Everyone!
Greek-Style Tzatziki (Yoghurt, Cucumber & Garlic Dip)
Prep Time: 5 to 10 mins || Makes: 1 1/2 cups
Rate this recipe:
- 1 Cup of Plain Greek (or natural) yoghurt
- 150g Cucumber, grated
- 3 – 5 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Dill, finely diced
- pinch of salt, to taste
- In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients together until well combined.