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dead easy dips

This really is very, very simple... but we used to buy dips, and never, ever, thought to make them (doh!).

One evening we went to dinner with Sean Hooper, who is a percussionist (wot we used to call a drummer before we got posh) and saw him whip up the following very simple but very nice dip. We were so pleased we called it...

"Thank You Sean"


A dollop of yoghourt in a suitable dish or bowl - say five or six dessertspoonfuls
Lime pickle - one or two teaspoonfuls to taste. Chop or mash up the lumps before adding,


Add lime pickle to yoghourt, stir well and serve. That's it! If, like us, you always have plain yoghourt in the fridge, give it a go if you haven't already.

Other simple dips: use mango chutney, or small amount of tahini, or well chopped mint. If you have a favourite 'shop bought' dip you like, crib the recipe off the label and give it a go.


Mine's an espresso
Same with me. If I eat the dip to be a bit thicker, I strain the yoghurt in a sieve lined with kitchen paper first, so that the water drains out and the yoghurty goodness remains.

There are endless variations on this. You can use soured cream in place of the yoghurt, or use a mixture, to taste. I am fortunate in that I have told myself, whether based on truth or not, that soured cream is a sort of health food with almost magical health benefits. I am not going to research it now in case I am hopelessly wrong, though I tend to use yoghurt, preferably something that's not 'fat free'. Greek yoghurt is good.

If you have the patience or a mandolin (not the musical instrument, please) finely chopped cucumber is excellent in it. It needs to be salted and set aside to drain for half an hour or so beforehand if you don't want the dip to be soggy. Some fresh chopped coriander or mint (or both) and a pinch of ground cumin, coriander, or garlic, lemon juice and a splash of olive oil, and you have something akin to a raita or tzatziki, depending on what you add and what you feel like calling it.

A ripe avocado mashed with a decent salsa can make a passable guacamole. I usually add coriander leaves and lime juice if I have them. That guacamole in turn can be mixed with yoghurt to make it more, er, dippy.

As kernewegor suggests, being inspired by commercial dips can be a good starting point.

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