Middle Eastern-inspired Garlic Parsley Lemon Yogurt dressing

My beautiful wife and I visited Egypt for almost 25 years and were impressed by its beauty and history. Only Greece can rival or perhaps challenge historical sites, although Egypt has a much richer and deeper impact on World history. People we met were very friendly and open to sharing their culture, and it allowed us to taste some truly amazing food.

The flavors that we encountered, and the combinations, were amazing. Everything was freshly made, sourced locally, and prepared (most likely) as if they were cooking at home.

One evening we attended a cultural event, experiencing Egyptian food, drinks, dancing, and stories. It was hosted alongside the historical river Nile. What better setting for an Egyptian evening under the stars.

At the event, we sampled all kinds of foods. One item stood out, and I regret not taking more photos from the event. Unfortunately, digital cameras were still very new (and expensive(, not smartphones, so I had to rely on old school camera rolls.

Anyway, what impressed us was a small group of older women sitting around a large clay oven. They shaped small dough balls and then flattened them, baking them on the wall inside the clay oven. They only spent a few minutes before they were removed again and dropped into a basket. Visitors could take as many as they wanted.

As I placed a few warm pieces of bread on my plate, I smiled at the women and said “shukraan,” which a guide had told me earlier meant “Thank You.” Their faces lit up, and they waved to me, nodded, and returned my smiles.

Why do I tell this story?

Well, they also had this amazing dressing, for putting on the cucumber/tomato salad, or the fried eggplant, or for dipping your bread into. It was a smooth yogurt-like consistency, but with a strong garlic taste and lemon hint.

I recently attempted to recreate that dressing, and I believe I came fairly close. Honestly, I would not be able to compete with the Egyptian women, but I think it is similar. Interestingly, it only has a few simple ingredients.

5 ingredients. Simplicity is key; no need to overcomplicate things!

  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1 handful of fresh coarsely chopped parsley
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped, and the juices
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

I’m not going to bore you with many steps and wise comments. You simply throw all the ingredients into a small bowl and mix it well.

If you are using fridge cold yogurt, I would leave the dressing on the kitchen counter for about an hour to get the yogurt a little smoother and runny.

We use this dressing when we have falafels or Sahib, but I’m certain you can use it on all kinds of salads, salmon, and potato dishes. The garlic, lemon, and parsley give is a wonderful combination.

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