It’s night duty and I’ve got garlic breath. Thankfully my two patients are sleeping, I have no need to lean over their beds, startling them from their sleep with garlic emanating from my pores. With two staff down on sick leave this could be a bad night, but for now the maternity ward is quiet. I’m propped up with homemade Haydari, a Turkish dip made of strained yogurt, feta cheese and garlic and I’m certain I tucked a pack of mints in my bag. Dip- check, pile of crackers- check, olives- check! Thus far the night is smooth sailing and will definitely be vampire free.
Night duty produces strange behaviour, my prime example – happily eating banana and peanut butter for almost every meal, and needing to complete bedtime rituals in a certain order. I will say no more except that my husband finds ‘Night Shift Laura’ a strange woman indeed. So while in night duty limbo with a family gathering at our place I made not one but three Turkish inspired dips from Silvena Rowe’s book ‘Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume’, which is why a day later I’m at work sharing the leftovers with colleagues, and subsequently sharing my mints.
At the family dinner my niece proceeded to show us how it was done: pick up cracker, shove cracker into dip, eat, repeat. Only just learning how to ‘dip’, Claire in true toddler fashion ate the dip off the cracker and proceeded to double dip. The Pumpkin Za’atar ‘Hummus’ was polished off before all of my large family had arrived. The others, Haydari and Avocado Sumac Whip had strikingly contrasting flavours but worked well together, the avocado being soft with a hint of cinnamon and nutty tahini, while the Haydari was total garlic punch.
All three recipes were uncomplicated and I’d make them again. The Haydari would be easy to adjust as it’s essentially crumbled feta combined with strained yogurt. Silvena’s recipe recommends mixing through mint and garlic, with a sprinkle of sweet paprika, walnuts and olive oil on top. I think it would be grand with za’atar, dukka, olives or any combination of fresh herbs mixed through. Because I made Silvena’s recipes without adjustments I will not post them here but the base of the Haydari is as follows:
100g crumbled fetta
300ml strained yoghurt
Follow the link ‘how to strain yoghurt’ to get a quick tutorial and how to.