This post is very much related to the one about onion bhajis. As regular readers will know Total Yoghurt have very kindly sent me a tray of samples with which to cook. So far I have made scones and buckwheat pancakes and this is recipe number three, giving the yoghurt centre stage.
This dip is a bit of a twist on a cucumber raita. It’s not the time of year for mint in my garden and last year I failed to make my usual jar of mint concentrate and I refuse to pay the price of a pot from the supermarket when I have it rampant in my garden for most of the year. So this is a winter version of a raita, replacing the fresh herb with a spice. It was very good and suited the onion bhajis perfectly.
200g Total Greek Yoghurt
8-10cm chunk of cucumber, diced
1½ tsp cumin seed
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat until hot and add the cumin seed. Cook for a few seconds until the smell is released. Pour straight into a mortar and grind with the pestle to a rough powder (you still want the bite of the seed in there).
Mix the cucumber, yoghurt and cumin together and enjoy as a dip for crudites or bhajis or samosas, as a side for a curry or however you fancy eating such a delight.
As a result of my membership of the UK Food Bloggers Association I found out that Total yoghurt were giving away a selection of their yoghurt in return for bloggers coming up with recipes that use yoghurt. Having been a long-time fan of Total yoghurt I had to put my name forward for this one. Sure enough a hefty delivery of yoghurt arrived, including the full-fat version, 2% and 0% fat, and even ones with corners of honey to drizzle straight into the waiting yoghurt pot. My first foray into yoghurt cooking are these scones. I have wanted to make soda scones (or indeed bread) with yoghurt instead of buttermilk for a while, so this was the perfect opportunity. I had made minestrone soup and left it to simmer gently in the simmering oven of the Aga whilst I took the girls to the local play pit for an afternoon of racing around with their friends. So, when we came in all I had to do was add the pasta, warm the soup bowls and make these scones to go with the soup.
They take very little time to make and are a delicious accompaniment to soup. They were also good the next day, reheated and refreshed by a five-minute burst in the oven, and spread thickly with marmalade.
You could do almost endless variations of these; leaving them plain, or adding olives, chopped crispy bacon bits, chopped Peppadew peppers, your favourite herb or spice, or you could add currants and raisins for a fruity scone.
The addition of yoghurt made them more dense than I think they would have been had I used buttermilk (or milk with added lemon juice, if you don’t have any buttermilk, see my post on soda bread for an explanation) but I think in this case this was a bonus as it suited the minestrone soup perfectly. You may not be quite so happy with your tea-time scone being this heavy, though.
I used half plain and half spelt flour as I love the nuttiness of the spelt, but you could use all plain flour for a lighter scone or use half plain and half wholemeal. Feel free to experiment.
220g (8oz) plain flour
220g (8oz) spelt flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (bread soda or baking soda)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp dried thyme
50g (2oz) grated cheese (I used Red Leicester)
500g Total yoghurt
juice of ½ lemon
Mix the flours and salt in a bowl and sieve in the soda. Sprinkle in the thyme and the cheese and mix well with your hand to get it all evenly mixed.
In a jug or bowl, mix the yoghurt, milk and lemon juice and then pour this into the flour mixture. Mix with your hand until combined. Place on to a floured surface and roll to a depth of about 2-3 cm. Using an 8cm cutter cut out scones with one tap. Don’t turn the cutter or the scones will fail to rise. Try to do this as quickly as possible as you need to get these in the oven whilst the soda is still doing its magic. Place onto a floured baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 220°c (gas mark 8) (or on the floor of the roasting oven of the Aga) for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for five minutes, but they are best served warm, with lashings of good butter.
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