A Twist on Guacamole

A Twist on Guacamole Recipe

I'm particular about how I like my guacamole. Restaurants are typically too cheap to do it right - adding all sorts of ingredients to stretch the green gold. Pre-made guacamole products? Well, they run the spectrum from not-very-good to outright inedible. I hate to say it, but it's a rare thing to come across the perfect guacamole specimen - or guacamole recipe for that matter.

Great guacamole starts with perfectly ripe avocados (I always have to remind myself to plan ahead a day or two) - you'll know they are ready by cradling each candidate in your palm and pressing confidently against the the pebbled skin with the pads of your fingertips. If the flesh feels as if you might leave a faint mark, you likely have a good one. If the flesh feels as if it might collapse beneath your grip, move to the next - over ripe. Some people prefer the button test - you'll know an avocado is under ripe if you attempt to jostle the little stem button around a bit and it won't budge. Falls right out? It might be too ripe.

Other things to consider:

Resist the urge to over mix guacamole, it should have lots of big chunks - unruly texture bound together loosely with vibrant green avocado flesh. It is not a puree.

Tomatoes or no tomatoes? For the record, I'm against them. But more people than not use chopped tomatoes in their guacamole. They might actually work nicely in this variation I'm exploring today, but when I'm playing it straight - it's simply avocado, onions, garlic, lime and salt.

White onions, not yellow. White onions deliver a clean, sharp onion flavor that is less sweet and soft than your standard yellow onion. White onions cut through the richness of the avocado nicely.

I've been thinking about a way to put a twist on traditional guacamole, without it ending up gimmicky. I was after something familiar, yet different - a version of the chips/salsa/guac thing that happens at various social gatherings but with a fresh interpretation. It also occurred to me that if I was going to experiment, this might be the week to do it - with many of you heading to Superbowl parties and that sort of thing. So, here's what I came up with - an Indian-inspired variation of my favorite guacamole recipe. Instead of chips, I cut wedges of naan bread and baked them off in the oven for a bit until they crisped up. I subtly spiced the avocado with cumin and curry powder.

A Twist on Guacamole Recipe

Feel free to add a chopped tomato if you like, a bit of cilantro might be tasty as well. Many stores now sell reheatable naan bread - Whole Foods, etc. Totally fine for this recipe. Or, even better, stop into your favorite local Indian restaurant and pick up a stack to use for dipping.

1 small white onion
1 clove garlic, minced
4 avocados
1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
a few big pinches of cumin powder
a few big pinches of Indian curry powder

Garlic or plain naan bread, cut into wedges (not gluten free)

Heat oven to 350 and bake the naan wedges for 10 minutes or so - just enough for them to crisp up a bit.

In a small bowl combine the onion, garlic, and avocado flesh. Take the lime and give a generous squeeze or two. Add the salt, cumin and curry powder. Give everything a good stir, but don't overdo it. Taste. Now start adjusting. Do you need a bit more lime? A bit more salt? Want a stronger curry flavor? Go for it.

Serve in a bowl with a big pile of the naan wedges on the side and a sprinkling of curry powder on top (a bit of chopped cilantro would look nice as well).

Makes one party platter.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • I'm also super-picky about my guacamole. The avocado MUST be chunky. I hate biting into raw onion, but I love the onion flavor. Now I grind up the onion with some salt in my molcajete before i mix everything else in and it's perfect. Yum!

    Wendi
  • Oh no! I'm so anti garlic in guacamole recipes. The traditional recipe that my (mexican) family uses is avocado, GREEN onion, a little chopped tomato, cilantro, salt, and fresh lemon juice. Cilantro is ESSENTIAL! Well, I know there are many variatons, but I believe that garlic really masks the true fresh flavors of the avocado and other ingredients.

    Somebody
  • A restaurant here in Cambridge, Ole, has a guacamole cart. If you order guac, they bring the cart to your table and make it fresh. As you can imagine, it is delicious. The menu is pretty meat oriented, but they have an amazing vegan stew. You should check it out if your ever in the Boston area.

    brette
  • Those who are Google-searching for guacamole recipes often can´t spell the word. Here´s some examples; guccemole, guaca molle, guacamolo, guacamoule, guaccamol, guaccamole, guaccero, guaccomole, guacemala, guachamole, guackamole, guacumolle, guakemale, guaqemole, guaqomolo Well, either way, guacamole is delicious, nutritious, and - unfortunately - quite fattening.

    Karin
  • I don't like tomatos in my guacamole either--I love the toasted nan and the addition of curry and cumin give it another type of exotic flavor--I will try this next time I make guacamole-I will make my regular version-I add cilantro and scallions and lime juice and pepper-bon appetit

    melanie
  • Thank you Heidi, for the guac-guidance. I'm always disappointed with my versions, so I'll definitely be trying yours. A good avocado is one of the most wondrous things ... I buy the hass variety here in Melbourne ... but I can't bear a bad avocado: to me, there are some varieties that have a simply putrid taste... kind of soapy and... well, inedible. I'll never forget growing up with an avocado-obsessed mother in Queensland who, every time she opened one would carefully save the seed until it dried out, then plant it in the backyard, or simply throw it out there. Over the years, so many avocado trees sprang up. Sadly though, I don't think any of them ever bore fruit. Now, an avocado half with a great homemade French dressing: bliss! That's a childhood memory I love.

    Stephanie
  • Oh, Heidi, I am with you on being uber picky about the perfect guacamole. There are so many very bad versions out there! For me, lemon is essential--but your version sounds so good I may have to give it a try. I love how you reframe dishes in new ways, it always gets me thinking.

    Tea
  • Hi Heidi! Are you partial to any type of avocado? I personally think Haas make the best tasting and have even waited until they were in season before I would dare make guacamole. Since I live in Hollywood now, I can get Haas more year fround than in Northern California. I even have a great produce truck that serves our neighborhood during the week in between Sunday Farmer's Market. My close second is the smooth skinned, organically grown large, meaty avocados that I get on Kauai. My parents moved there a few years ago and their neighbors have an honor box at the end of their driveway. I feel so spoiled getting to taste these nature's wonders but I don't know the variety. Oh well I'll call them Kauai gold lol! Oh, in lieu of tomatoes I add in a teaspoon of whatever salsa I have on hand, cumin, pepper and course salt. :) Cheers, Carey

    Carey
  • this sounds fantastic. i hate how commercial 'guac' comes totally pureeed, homemade chunky style tastes sooo much better. i'm totally going to prepare this for my fraternity this sunday! thanks :D

    Harrison Powers
  • I agree with lydia about the molcajete. It MAKES the guacamole. Try seasoning the molcajete with a fresh garlic half before starting. You will be delitefully surprised at the sutle nuance of garlic flavor. I too love cilantro, scallions, jalapeno, and tomatoes, but only a little bit of each.

    cinders
  • Great ideas, Heidi. Love the idea of Indian-inspired guac!

    Eric
  • I have always seen the commerical variety make it's way into the lounge room prior to a DVD night in. Hopefully I'll be able to taste a huge difference with cornchips, oh and naan bread :$

    Jesse-Lee Stringer
  • I agree with the recipe, but crave cilantro and fresh chopped jalapeno in it

    greg
  • Guac MUST be rustic to be served in our household. However, my husband swears by adding a splash of white wine vinegar to the mix (usually two parts vinegar: 1 part lemon or lime juice ~ can you tell we are both science majors?) Its a bit odd, and perhaps doesn't sound like the best idea . . . but hey, the proof is in the pudding - or guac, that is.

    Heather
  • Ahhh rustic guacamole!! I have to admit, I have never made it, maybe coz hubby doesn't like "avo" as we call it here in Ozland. I am particularly partial to things with an Indian twist :), so I am going to try out this version. The Naan Bread looks yum, was it??

    Snehal
  • Heidi I have enjoyed your daily recipes and in fact have made the Noodle recipe of a few days ago with oohs and where did you get the recipe.

    Molly
  • this is great. i'm of the opinon that guacamole should be more like avocado salad than the creamy commercial stuff that finds its way onto shelves and in restaurants. hopefully this post will bring people around

    connie
  • That recipe is so interesting Heidi. Your tips on 'ripe' avocados, 'no' tomatoes, 'white' onions are so interesting, apart from being informative to read. Have you also written a cookbook?

    Pritya
  • My guacamole has improved 1000% since I started making it in a molcajete I brought back from Guadalajara. It's lava rock, of course, and the teolote (pestle) is heavy enough, and coarse enough, to break down the ingredients without much pressure. Perhaps something of the lava works its way into the guac, or perhaps the other way around, but it makes the very best guac I've ever had!

    Lydia
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