My friend Tim's birthday was last week and he celebrated by way of a cook out. I definitely wanted to bring something to share with the crowd, but what. Tim's wife, Becky, is vegan so i wanted to make sure what I brought appealed to all in attendance both in taste and content. I remembered some drunken conversations I'd had with Tim in the bast regarding a mutual love of Indian food and it hit me: spinach avocado dip with Indian spices!
I love this recipe. It's so simple and easy and it turns out great every time. I originally had this at Justin and Lisa's Indian thanksgiving a few years ago when Kyle's then girlfriend, and current wife, brought it to share. I loved it instantly. I hunted down the recipe and first made it for a vegan thanksgiving feast I attended about two weeks later.
This is one of the easiest things to make, especially if you have a full size food processor and don't have to work in batches:
- 4 cups (about 6 oz.) spinach leaves
- 1 large avocado, peeled, pit removed
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/4 tsp curry powder
- 1/8 tsp minced fresh ginger
- Dash chili powder
- Dash cayenne pepper
- Dash cumin
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. And not only is it simple and ridiculously delicious, but it looks amazing too, like a leftover Double Dare substance, making it great for holiday parties, especially Halloween!
Having made this several times, I've done some tinkering with the formula. Some great additions and changes I've made in the past:
- Lemon juice is fine, but I prefer lime for flavor. An acid is needed to keep the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown.
- Add in a hand full of cilantro to round out the flavor
- A few dashes of hot sauce will kick this into authentic Indian territory, I use a sauce made from Scotch Bonnet peppers that adds a ton of heat but doesn't skew the flavor.
- The smokiness of chipotle is also a welcome addition to the party
- If you don't have seasoned salt use your favorite herb/spice blend, but if it's sodium free like the Two Brothers' season mix I used you'll definitely need to add some salt
- If your food processor is bitsy, like mine, you'll need to work in batches and mix thoroughly at the end to incorporate all the flavors
And how does one serve this? Any dippable side will do: chips, crackers, etc. But I like to whip up a batch of home made pita chips thustly:
- Cut pita rounds into: quarters for small pitas, eighths or sixteenths for full sized
- Place on baking sheet
- Brush with a 1:2 mixture of lime juice and water
- Sprinkle with salt
- Bake at 350 for about ten minutes, flipping about half way through. They're done when they're crispy, golden-brown and the moisture has baked out
This would also make an interesting pesto if one were to sub olive oil and some sort of nut--traditionally pine nuts--for the avocado!