Sudanese Mish (spicy yogurt with feta)

My friend Tom is amazing cook. He has lived all over the world and has picked up an amazing set of recipes. One of the reasons Tom is an amazing cook is because there were very few restaurants—if any—in many of the places he has lived and worked. Including Sudan.

Yup, you can definitely have time on your hands in the evenings. Cooking becomes a pleasure, a time-killer and a necessity. While many of Tom’s recipes are complicated beyond my meager skills, I’ve happily adopted the easier ones.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ Cups plain yogurt (~2 single-serve containers)
  • 1 Tablespoons nigella seeds (or cumin seeds)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small chili or other spicy pepper, finely chopped
  • ¾ Cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Mix yogurt, garlic, chilis, nigella seeds and salt together in a bowl. I didn’t have nigella seeds (should have gone to Kalustyans!), so I used cumin.
  2. Gently mix in the feta cheese, leaving some chunky pieces.
  3. Cover and leave at room temperature for at least 2 to 3 hours before serving. I sometimes leave it out overnight then refrigerate.

You can change up this dip by adding coriander, dried chili flakes, oregano, or za’atar. Feel free to top with olive oil and fresh cilantro, parsley or oregano before you serve.

This is a fun, exotic dip that goes great with pita or dipping vegetables. It can also be used as a topping on soup or veggie chili. Or served on the side as a kind of Sudanese tzatziki or raita.

Note: The chili pepper adds heat quickly. If you don’t want it as spicy, use only half a pepper or a milder pepper. You can also seed and slice the pepper down the middle and have two big pieces rather than chopping it finely. That way there is less surface area and the spice seeps out less.

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