Here are some recipes for Cyprus dips...

...to remind you of every meal in Cyprus!

Almost every meze in Cyprus will include several Cyprus dips or orektika as a starter.

They are very tasty but you do need to be carefulnot to eat all the dips before the rest of the meze arrives!

Many of the busy restaurants now just serve dips straight from a huge, factory produced tub. They just don't have the flavours of a fresh home made dip.

Here are a couple of our favourite dips using authentic home-made recipes to tantalise your taste buds.

TAHINI

- Dip made from sesame seeds (serves 4 people)

Almost every meze in Cyprus will include this dip made from tahini paste which is readily available in all Cyprus supermarkets.If you can't get hold of tahini paste, you can make it yourself but it is a long-winded process.

You have to soak a large bowlof sesame seeds for 24 hours, then crush them to loosen the kernals. You then have to soak the seeds again in salty water untilthe kernals float to the top. Finally, you have to roast or grill the kernals and grind them to form your paste.

Far better to just buy a jar of the stuff!

Tahini dip

So, here is our recipe for tasty home-made tahini:

Ingredients:
180ml tahini paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
juice of 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon flat leafed parsley, finely chopped
water to loosen
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

How to prepare it:

Put your tahini paste and lemon juice into a small bowl and beat well. The mixture will curdle a little but don't worry.Add the garlic, cumin and parsley and beat again. Add enough water to make a smooth, creamy paste then add salt and pepperto taste and finally the olive oil and mix once more. Tuck in!

Tips: Drisel a little more olive oil on top and add a sprig of parsley before serving. I also like to use toasted, crushed cumin seeds rather than ground cumin as the flavour is better.

TZATZIKI

Dip made from yogurt, garlic and cucumber (serves 4 people)

This wonderful yoghurt based delight is another of our favourite Cyprus dips. Refreshing in the heat of Summer, it is wonderful served with a glassof crisp, dry white wine.

Tzatziki dip

Here's our recipe for tzatziki:

Ingredients:
180ml strained natural yoghurt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
juice of 1 large lemon
2 small cucumbers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon flat leafed parsley or mint, finely chopped
black pepper, crushed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

How to prepare it:

Put your yoghurt and garlic in a small bowl. Add the cucumber, parsley and lemon juice and beat well. Add pepper to tastethen finally add the olive oil and mix once more. Tuck in again!

Tips: Drisel a little olive oil on top plus a shake of paprika for an added zing.

These Cyprus dips are quite addictive and will have you and your guests begging for more...






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