Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews with a heavy emphasis on San Diego. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Chili Yogurt

Jerry Stratton, June 9, 2006

I lucked into this salsa recipe because I ran out of thyme. I decided to try something completely different, some spice that I rarely use. So I went to the spice rack and pulled down some ajwain. The subtle interplay of flavors in this yogurt salsa has quickly made it one of my favorites.

Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon’s juice
  • 1 green chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dill seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ajwain “seeds”
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt

Steps

  1. Mix together the lemon juice, chili, onion, and garlic.
  2. Rub the seeds between your fingers and stir into the lemon mix.
  3. Let sit for one minute.
  4. Add yogurt and salt.
  5. Mix well.

As it turns out, ajwain is similar to thyme, although I can’t taste the similarity. You may need less ajwain than I use, simply because I’ve had this spice on my shelf for a long time without using it. The wikipedia entry claims it is also similar to cumin, so I may also try some on popcorn. I’ll definitely be making a lot of this salsa!

The strength of this salsa is its subtlety. If you add more spices or chili, be careful not to add too much. Adding too much chili, or too much of any of the spices, will mask the subtle flavor mix. It’ll still be good, but it won’t be as intriguing.

This salsa greatly benefits from a half an hour to an hour of rest to let the flavors settle.

In response to Tzatsiki and other yogurt salsas: Tzatziki is just one form of yogurt salsa that makes for a great change of pace on tortillas and other spicy foods. Yogurt is a very versatile ingredient to have on hand.