Do you have some cucumbers hanging around?
We LOVE the humble cucumber as a side dish for different cuisines or a dip! It’s one of the first dishes my kids made, as it’s so simple.
The beauty of this is that the children learn how different spices added to the same base mixture changes the flavour of a dish so much.
What ingredients do you need?
1 cup of yoghurt or sour cream
a pinch of salt
a large glove of garlic
Spices- mint or dill or chopped parsley leaves or chopped coriander leaves
Step 1) Do you like your cucumbers peeled or not?
It’s up to you! We prefer ours peeled.
If you are like us- peel the cucumbers, otherwise, wash them well.
Step 2) Grate the cucumbers
With very young children, you can use a kitchen machine to do this, while you keep an eye on them.
With slightly older kids, it’s as easy to grate with a large hole cheese grater.
Step 3) Optional- Squish the juices out of the cucumbers with your hands
There are 2 reasons to get rid of the excess juices in the cucumbers:
– to make a thicker side dish, as the juices will dilute the dip more
– some people get indigestion from the cucumber. By getting rid of the juices you reduce this effect.
You can discard the juice or drink it. (It can even be stored in the freezer to add to refreshing summer drinks)
Step 4) Mix in the yoghurt or sour cream.
We have used a variety of yoghurts and sour cream to make this. Our favourite way to make it is using a thick Turkish Yoghurt.
Step 5) Spice it!
Add salt, to taste.
… and this is where the fun comes in: what are you making the dish to go with?
- If it’s an Indian curry, then add mint and garlic
- If’s an Arabian feast or a kebab then add garlic and parsley
- For wonderful Tzatziki, a Greek treat add garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil
- As refreshing salad to go with fish, use dill
Step 6) Mix well and (if you and the kids can resist) leave in the fridge for the flavours to blend together.
Step 7) ENJOY!
The beauty of this dish is in the simplicity and the flexibility in the ingredients- plain yoghurts or sour cream- you can use. You can really make it compliment your meal, depending on the cuisine.
This is a perfect side for a spicy dish, like a hot curry, as the acidity of the yoghurt and cooling effect of the mint, really help bring out the flavours of the curry, aside from the heat of the chillies.
With any flavouring it is also a great dish for a snack: use some flatbread for kids to dip and scoop.
Do you have any other variations of this simple cucumber dish? Share them in the comments