© 2017 Green Kitchen Stories Savory_yogurt_bowl_1

Savory Yogurt Bowl + London

We love yogurt in our family*. The unsweetened, thick, creamy and tangy kind.

We enjoy yogurt for breakfast (with fruit) and sometimes dessert (with dates + chocolate + nuts). We top our soups with yogurt, we add it to smoothies and ice pops and we also dress our salads with it (Isac likes to dress himself with it as well). Yogurt works remarkably well both with sweet and savory flavors. And yet, the thought of making a yogurt bowl with savory toppings instead of sweet, had never struck us before.

But as we were playing around with this crunchy cucumber and melon salad with spiced chickpeas, we (and with we, I humbly mean ME, MYSELF and I – as in, not David) had the simple idea to put them on a bed of yogurt instead of doing the usual yogurt dressing. In theory, it’s more or less the same thing but in reality it’s so much better. The warm, rich and spicy chickpeas on a bed of cold, thick and tangy yogurt, with the addition of a fresh salad with lots of crunch. It’s simple but yet so very good. And quick too. I’m sure there are plenty of savory yogurt bowls all over internet, but now they are also in our kitchen.

*David and Isac are actually intolerant to dairy but yogurt is their weak spot. We buy oat yogurt for them but David often chooses a day of stomach ache just to enjoy a bowl of plain yogurt. And Isac has literally been caught with his hand in the yogurt jar more than once. Coconut yogurt has a fantastic taste and consistency but is simply too expensive to enjoy more than as an occasional treat (very keen on giving Ashley’s versions a try though!).

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Hey hey hey, wait a sec. This is David acting as proofreader today and I just noted Luise’s attempt at hijacking my idea. This recipe = my idea. Just wanted to make that clear. I’ll give the word back to her now.

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The salad is super quick as you just need to chop everything up. We found that crunchy vegetables like cucumber, celery, sturdy roman lettuce and radishes work really well here, with the avocado and melon adding softness and sweetness. The yogurt is, well, just yogurt. It needs to be quite thick to hold up the topping – our preference is Greek yogurt but choose whatever you prefer. The only thing that needs a little more preparation and heat are the spiced chickpeas. Even if the ingredient list looks long, it’s simply spices, oil and chickpeas and the result tastes way better than just using plain chickpeas. They have a rich, spicy and slightly nutty flavor which works so well with the freshness from the yogurt and the crunchy and sweet salad.

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VARIATIONS
There are plenty of ways to vary this recipe and we’re going to leave you with a few ideas.
 Whisk some creamy goat’s cheese into the yogurt. It will dissolve, become smooth and give the yogurt a more mature flavor.
 If you don’t have all the spices at home for the chickpeas, use what you find. A bread spice mix works great along with a little cayenne. A turmeric or curry version would be interesting too.
 You can skip the salad and pour the yogurt into small sealable jars with spiced chickpeas on top. Store them in the fridge for a quick snack.
 Vegans can of course use a vegan yogurt option or simply settle for the salad with warm chickpeas stirred through.
 Roasting the chickpeas in the oven together with eggplant or pumpkin could be amazing on top of the yogurt as well.

Let us know if you have any other favorite variations on savory yogurt bowls and we can include them in this list.

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Savory Yogurt Bowl with Spicy Chickpeas & Cucumber Salad
Serves 4 as a lunch or 2 for dinner

Cucumber & Melon Salad
1 cucumber
1 small (or 1/2 regular) melon (we used Piel de Sapo but honeydew would also work)
1 spring onion
2 celery stalks
10-15 fresh mint leaves
1 avocado
6 radishes
½ roman lettuce
½ lemon, juice
1 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil

Spiced warm chickpeas
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds 
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cardamom seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground cayenne
1/2 tsp ground cumin (or 1 tsp cumin seeds)
1/2 tsp ground paprika powder

1/4 cup – 1/2 cup cold-pressed olive oil
1 x 14 oz / 400 g can 
cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

For serving
2 cups plain full-fat Greek yogurt 

For the cucumber & melon salad: Wash all produce. Cut cucumber and melon in large bite-size pieces. Trim and finely slice spring onion, celery and mint leaves. Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone, then cut into cubes. Trim the radishes and thinly slice them. And chop the roman lettuce. Place all prepared ingredients in a mixing bowl, squeeze over lemon juice, drizzle with olive oil and a little salt, give it a good toss and set aside.

For the spiced warm chickpeas: Add all seeds and spices (except for the ground spices) to a dry skillet, heat gently for a couple of minutes while stirring. When the spices starts to pop and smell fragrant, they’re done. Pour into a mortar and give them a few bashes with the pestle (alternatively on a cutting board and use the back of a chef’s knife). Transfer the seeds and spices back to the skillet. Now add oil (start with the lesser amount and add more later on if it looks dry), ground spices  and chickpeas and heat on low temperature for 2-3 minutes. Stir to combine. When the chickpeas are warm and covered in spices and seeds, remove from the heat.

Dollop the yogurt into four bowls. Use the back of a spoon to smooth it out. Arrange the salad on one side of the yogurt and the spiced warm chickpea on the other side. Drizzle a little extra oil on top. Enjoy immediately while the chickpeas are still warm.

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LONDON + BATH
In all my excitement over a simple bowl of yogurt, I almost forgot to mention that we are coming to London and Bath next week for a couple of book events. We’re very excited and can’t wait to meet some of you!

We’re having a supper club at Grace Belgravia on Monday 5 June, 7-10 pm. More info here.
We’ll do talk and Q&A at Whole Foods Market in Kensington on Wednesday 7 June, 6.30 pm. More info and tickets here.
We’ll also do a talk and cooking demo at Topping & Company Booksellers in Bath on Friday 9 June, 7.30 pm. More info and tickets here.
Finally, we’re having a hands on cooking class at Bertinet Kitchen in Bath on Saturday 10 June, 10 am. Tickets here (only one left).

Big love!

35 Comments

  1. Emma
    Posted 1 Jun ’17 at 22:06 | #

    Oh really love this idea! Also a big fan of yogurt. And chickpeas!

  2. Jonna
    Posted 1 Jun ’17 at 22:14 | #

    This sounds so interesting! Can’t quite imagine what it tastes like, but I love how it looks and think it must be amazing! I’ll give it a try as soon as possible! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Claire
    Posted 1 Jun ’17 at 23:23 | #

    What a great idea-the combinations of the textures sounds really good…
    Looking forward to meeting you both next weekend as I’m one of the lucky ones signed up for your cookery class in Bath!

  4. Pamela
    Posted 1 Jun ’17 at 23:43 | #

    In Indian cooking they have a seasoned savory yogurt dish called Raita. The classic version is sliced cucumber and tomatoes with salt and various other seasonings. But one of the things I have noticed that really makes it taste better is to make it up with all the seasonings and the vegetables and then to leave it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or several hours if possible before serving. The flavor really does improve. And Raitas come in all different versions with different vegetables evidently.

    I wonder if your yogurt and savory chickpeas would benefit from being left in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to a few hours,….perhaps adding the salad fixing just before eating…..

    • Posted 2 Jun ’17 at 08:34 | #

      Hi Pamela, yes you are right that raita is a bit similar to this.
      Since we don’t mix anything into the yogurt but rather use them as toppings, I don’t think that it will benefit from resting in the fridge first. But do let us know if you try it.
      /Luise

  5. Posted 2 Jun ’17 at 01:56 | #

    Do we open the cardamom
    Pods first ?

    • Posted 2 Jun ’17 at 06:47 | #

      Yes, if you can’t find a packet of cardamom seeds. Get the pods instead and pick the seeds out.
      /D

  6. Robin Law
    Posted 2 Jun ’17 at 12:30 | #

    Hi, thought you might like to know about the Edinburgh Festivals which take place each year. One of the main ones is the Book Festival and is very popular. You should try that out. https://www.edbookfest.co.uk

  7. Jane Gurney
    Posted 2 Jun ’17 at 12:32 | #

    I love the idea of serving warm checkpea salad on tangy youghurt. Never thought of it before.
    I only started using chickpeas when flat sharing with an Indian Vegetarian, who made THE most delicious chickpea salad. YOU COOK CHICKPEAS FROM SCRATCH. They taste so much better than canned, if you can make the time. Overnight soak then about 2 hours or so cooking, depending on how old they are. Once cooked immediately drench in your old based dressing. Your spicy dressing is far nicer than mine which was much simplier. My friend then used to add them to a crunchy radish salad, sliced finely, with coriander leaves and some fresh green chili finely sliced (no seeds). Divine. I am now going to combine my approach with yours. I love how we learn

  8. Posted 2 Jun ’17 at 12:51 | #

    Oh what fun, fun blog post. Love it!
    Afraid I can’t make the London events on such short notice (insert crying face), but hope you enjoy my city <3

  9. Bri
    Posted 2 Jun ’17 at 13:23 | #

    I love toasted whole cumin seed–it has a gorgeous warm flavour so I’d skip the ground cumin in this recipe {which is rarely fresh anyway) and sub in 1-2 tbsp whole seeds. Toast these until darker and fragrant (1-2 min in a dry skillet) and then you can crush it easily with you fingers or better in a mortar and pestle. It tastes so much better than preground…try it on yogurt in a raita, on hummous with some olive oil, with thyme, sesame seeds on feta cheese topped with a little olive oil…

    • Jane Gurney
      Posted 2 Jun ’17 at 13:43 | #

      Brilliant. Thanks for the idea of toasting the cumin seed.

    • Posted 2 Jun ’17 at 14:36 | #

      Hi Bri, yes that’s a good idea! We actually only used ground cumin because that’s what we had at home at the moment, but next time we’ll use the whole seeds instead.
      Thanks!
      David

  10. Sophie
    Posted 2 Jun ’17 at 14:26 | #

    I just made this for lunch! 10 minutes. Easy and delicious. Thank you.

  11. Erica
    Posted 5 Jun ’17 at 07:21 | #

    Are the intolerant to dairy because of lactose or allergic to milk protein? If it’s lactose, I have good news: they can eat all the yogurt they want without tummy ache. It requires making the yogurt at home, but that’s easy enough – find whatever instructions on the internet or in a cookbook. The only thing you have to change is the culturing time – it’s typically 4-8 hours for recipes (and for commercial production for that matter) – to 20-24 hours. Long fermentation converts essentially all of the lactose to its component sugars which don’t cause problems. I know this because I’m lactose intolerant and often have a mighty need for some yogurt – I’ve been making it myself for years. :) I hope that’s helpful and not totally presumptuous!

  12. Posted 5 Jun ’17 at 14:06 | #

    I love all the vegetables and seeds in this savory bowl! So nourishing and delicious!

  13. Posted 5 Jun ’17 at 14:54 | #

    I loved this recipe and i must say loved it with fruit at breakfast. The taste is super delicious!! Thanks for this funny and delicious recipe.

  14. Constanta
    Posted 5 Jun ’17 at 19:59 | #

    Made this today. I didn’t expect such a wonderful taste :) Thank you for the great recipes! Cheers, Constanta

  15. Posted 6 Jun ’17 at 00:14 | #

    For me was kind of a revelation the use of greek yogurt as a substitute for Mayonnaise in salad dressings. And it’s a great way to cut calories!

  16. Posted 6 Jun ’17 at 04:06 | #

    I need to get some probiotics in my life … great post!

  17. Marie Frank
    Posted 6 Jun ’17 at 04:38 | #

    I love your website and recipes. Would you consider providing a tab to print a user-friendly recipe?

    Thank you!

  18. Johanna
    Posted 6 Jun ’17 at 22:31 | #

    You should have a look at Mandira when you are in London. It´s a new Greek-Yoghurt Bar a friend of mine just opened up in Covent Garden. They have the most delicious variations – both savory and sweet. Really worth a try!
    Here is there website: http://www.mandiralondon.com/

  19. Posted 7 Jun ’17 at 15:53 | #

    Chickpeas are a staple in my cooking. Thanks for sharing your unique spin on them!

  20. Posted 7 Jun ’17 at 22:24 | #

    I just made this, well sort of, actually with roast veg rather than salad, but, absolutely delish . Thanks

  21. Posted 8 Jun ’17 at 01:28 | #

    I would love to try this with a really yummy soy or cashew yogurt! I haven’t found a favorite yet, so I’ll have to get going! Otherwise, this idea looks like the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack!

  22. Posted 8 Jun ’17 at 05:03 | #

    I’ve never added savory toppings to yogurt. Like you, I’ve never thought of it before. I’ll have to try this. We all love our yogurt in this household so I think it’s a great idea. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  23. Posted 8 Jun ’17 at 05:48 | #

    I really enjoy chickpeas sautéd with merguez spices in dishes like this. Merguez is a Spanish sausage, and while I am vegetarian, I think this spice mixture full or smokey and paprika flavours is just too brilliant not to use in veggie dishes. It’s a mixture of cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, caraway and a couple peppercorns, toasted then ground with sweet smoked paprika. Really delicious, I think you would enjoy it!

    Have a fun time in London!

  24. Posted 8 Jun ’17 at 18:14 | #

    Wow, I just love this super unique dish!!! So healthy and beautiful at the same time:)

  25. Lilsen
    Posted 9 Jun ’17 at 10:09 | #

    Hi guys – looks amazing!! I’ll give it a try soon. It seems suitable to satisfy my current craving for Fatteh and Fattoush, two typical Syrian/Arabic dishes, in an easy-to-throw-together combination – thanks!!

  26. Posted 10 Jun ’17 at 07:01 | #

    So delicious!!! My kids really love this

  27. Posted 11 Jun ’17 at 15:29 | #

    This is really an awesome yogurt recipe. Oh wow, i can not type anymore just going to kitchen to try this. Be back soon :)

  28. jony
    Posted 15 Jun ’17 at 13:21 | #

    I’ve been a reader for the last 6 years and have always loved you recipes. But don’t really write comments on the interweb. But after making this I had to – this is such a great idea, and those chickpeas taste out of this world – so so good.
    Thanks for surprising me over and over again with great ideas!

  29. Posted 19 Jun ’17 at 14:29 | #

    LOVED what you did with the chickpeas! We often use lots of spices, like cumin, coriander, paprika, garam masala etc to flavor chickpeas, and we’re both huge fans of Greek yogurt. So, naturally, we fell in love with this recipe, that’s awesome now that the summer is here:)
    Excellent work guys.
    Greetings from Athens, Greece
    Mirella and Panos

  30. Mirte
    Posted 21 Jun ’17 at 09:43 | #

    Wanted to make this recipe this morning but didn’t have chickpeas and a few other ingredients. So I went for a simple version of the salad and swopped the warm chickpeas for some savory granola from you guys, which i made last weekend. Fast version and Yum!

  31. Bri
    Posted 28 Jun ’17 at 13:34 | #

    Definitely use whole cumin seed and toast it with the other spices (vs using raw and almost always old pre-ground). Cumin seeds will become fragrant, darken slightly and the flavour of toasted is so much better than raw. When toasted you can powder it easily with a mortar and pestle or even with your fingers, and it is fabulous on feta with herbs, on yogurt (w salt and pepper and maybe some fresh garlic–will only be better with more spices/seeds). I typically eat my yogurt (or hummous) spiced this way.

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