Haydari is a mixture of strained yoghurt, herbs and garlic. I like chilli in it, too, as that way you get some heat against the coolness of the yoghurt. It’s a bit of a pain to cut the carrots into matchsticks, but it’s the only taxing thing about this recipe. You can roast the beetroots yourself, but you’re not supposed to be doing much cooking here, so buying ready-cooked stuff – as long as it’s not pickled – is fine.
400g Greek yoghurt
extra virgin olive oil
15g bunch of dill, leaves only, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red and 1 green chilli, halved, deseeded and very finely chopped
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
600g cooked beetroots
2 tsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp white balsamic vinegar
25g walnut pieces, lightly toasted
Start this dish 2 hours ahead of when you want to serve it. Line a sieve with a piece of muslin or a brand new J-cloth and set over a bowl.
Tip the yoghurt into this and leave for a couple of hours. It doesn’t need to get that much thicker. Put the strained yoghurt into a bowl and add 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, most of the chopped dill, the garlic, chillies and seasoning. Don’t overmix; you should be able to see flecks of chilli.
Peel and cut the carrots into matchsticks. They don’t have to be very neat. Cut the beetroots into slim wedges.
Heat 2 tbsp extra virgin oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add half the cumin seeds and allow them to cook for about 30 seconds, then add the carrots. Stir-fry the carrots for about 1 minute: they need to lose their rawness, but still retain crispness so that they contrast with the soft beetroot. Add the white balsamic vinegar, a generous squeeze of lemon juice and seasoning. Quickly transfer to a bowl.
Add another ½ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the pan with the rest of the cumin seeds. Cook for 30 seconds, then add the beetroots.
All you want to do is get them flavoured with the cumin and heated through a little, they don’t have to be hot. Squeeze on some lemon juice and season.
Put some of the haydari on each of 6 plates, flattening it and swirling it with the back of a spoon. Spoon some beetroots on top, then some carrots. Sprinkle with the remaining dill and the walnuts, splash with a little more extra virgin olive oil and serve.
Extracted from How To Eat a Peach by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley, approx €29). Photograph by Laura Edwards.