This is not the sort of dip to whip up for impromptu drinks – shelling the pistachio nuts takes time, but this is not any old dip, so the effort is well worth it.
6 kaffir lime leaves 1 long red chilli 125g (4-5 oz) shelled toasted and salted pistachio nuts Finely grated zest 1 lime 1 Tbsp lime juice 1 cup chopped coriander (cilantro) 2 Tbsp chopped dill or tarragon 1 clove garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped ¼ cup thick unsweetened yoghurt 300g (about 10 oz) creamy-style feta cheese ½ cup extra virgin olive oil Hot water to thin Toasted pide or flatbreads for serving
1 Snip out the spines of the kaffir lime leaves with scissors. Roughly chop leaves then blend to a fluff in a spice grinder (or chop very finely with a sharp knife).
2 Slice a few pieces of chilli for the garnish and set aside. Coarsely chop the remainder. Finely chop a few pistachio nuts for the garnish and set aside. Put the rest of the nuts in the bowl of a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Add kaffir lime leaf fluff, lime zest and juice, chopped chilli, coriander, dill or tarragon, garlic, yoghurt, feta and oil. Blend to a coarse purée. If the mixture is too thick, thin to a ‘dip-able’ consistency with a little hot water. Taste and add a little salt or more lime juice to brighten the flavours if desired.
3 Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the reserved sliced chilli and chopped pistachio nuts. Serve with toasted pide or flatbreads.
Shelling the pistachio nuts takes time but it’s an easy job to do sitting down of an evening while watching television. Well, that’s what I do! The nuts will keep fresh for up to a week in a sealed container. What about those stubborn nuts that won’t open? Take to them with a hammer! You don’t have to be precious about keeping the nuts whole, and unlike walnut shells, the shells of pistachio nuts don’t smash into smithereens.
The heat of the chilli is up to you, but I usually opt for a mild-to-medium-hot long red chilli, rather than a searingly hot one. Chilli flakes can be used in place of fresh chilli.
The dip will keep well for 4-5 days covered and refrigerated.