Saturday, February 5, 2011

Guacamole on a hot summer's afternoon

I think my favourite dip has to be home-made guacamole - or maybe I should more correctly call it avocado dip, as I am not entirely sure what an "authentic" guacamole should like.  Practically everyone you ask has a different opinion, but this is the version most like the guacamole a Mexican friend used to make, so I am still sticking with "guacamole" in my post title.  So there.

Anyway, for this recipe you need at least one nice ripe avocado, possibly two or three if you are feeding a crowd (just bulk out all the other ingredients accordingly).  But for two people - in this case Mr J and I - one avocado produces just the right amount of this lovely, zesty afternoon snack, which is especially yummy with a chilled Corona in hand (although I understand Corona is to Mexicans what Fosters is to Australians, so apologies to anyone from Mexico who might happen to come across this post!).  I particularly like to serve this with large, salty corn chips which are big enough to scoop up the chopped tomatoes and red onion mixed throughout the dip.

I guess there are some non-traditional things I like to mix through the dip too.  Number one on the list would be sumac, if you can find it, which is a Middle Eastern spice which works wonderfully with avocado and tomato.  It is a powder which is a red-brown colour and a vaguely lemony taste, and it really sharpens the flavour of the dish.  Alternatively, if it's available (usually from my mum's garden) I also sometimes like to squeeze in the juice of a kaffir lime.   They don't contain a whole lot of juice, but if you add the juice from half a normal lime too it all evens out.  The kaffir lime provides a wonderfully aromatic flavour which I love, but I have read in a few recipe books that the juice of the kaffir lime is too bitter to be used in cooking.  I heartily disagree, for what it's worth.


-  1 avocado, ripe but still firm
-  1 tomato, diced
-  1 red onion, diced (finely)
-  1/2 cup chopped coriander
- 2 pinches of salt (to taste)
- 1 pinch sumac powder
- juice of one lime

First chop up the avocado and scoop it into a medium-sized bowl, then mash with a fork.  Add the lime juice and salt and stir immediately.  This will stop the avocado from discolouring.  Now stir through the diced tomato, red onion and coriander, and then the sumac powder to taste.  If you want to use a kaffir lime instead, this would be the time to grate in a little of the zest and squeeze of kaffir lime juice, instead of adding the sumac powder.

I usually move the dip into another bowl to serve, just to make it look prettier.  Honestly, there's nothing more easy to whip up for a snack and, if you suddenly find yourself with a crowd and only one avocado, increase the amount of tomato or pop in a dollop of sour cream to bulk it out.  Just remember to add a little more of the salt and spices.   Oh, and I have heard that it's traditional to keep the avocado pits in the serving bowl, but I think it just gets in the way of scooping up the dip.

PS If anyone can recommend a Mexican beer (other than the ubiquitous Corona) to drink with this, I would be much obliged.


  1. Your guacamole looks yum!

    I got the most insane cravings for guacamole when I was pregnant, but I don't think I have eaten it since then. Hmmm maybe I should get some avocados when I am out at the shops today. I want to try your recipe out.

  2. I have a lonely avocado in the fridge and I do believe it will soon be guacamole :)