What’s In A Name

Country of OriginMexico

When DID the Avocado become an international culinary craze?

For the life of me, I can’t picture ever having tried an avocado until the late 2000s. And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t until the early-to-mid 2010s that it became such a staple in every breakfast joint in the world. Not to mention it being featured on every second post on social media – especially in the culinary sphere! And that’s nearly three decades after the USofA lifted its ban on avocado imports! Smashed, Sliced, or even plain Scooped – it’s EVERYWHERE!!

In truth, the avocado has been a staple in Mexican culture for centuries. The Guacamole, a famous Mexican dip made from avocados, was invented by the Aztecs! In fact, the word Guacamole in the Aztec dialect – Nahuatl – literally translates to ‘avocado sauce’.
‘Āhuacatl’ (avocado) + ‘Molli’ (sauce) = Āhuacamolli

Seriously though, it is perplexing how a dip this good and nutritional took ages to find and gain the popularity that it has. The rising consumption of avocados, especially during Latino festivities and grand American sporting events, comes as no surprise. Long may the avocados grow and fill our bellies!

Our Connection

Where (Dónde) – Waka Restaurant & Bar, Dubai, UAE
When (Cuando) –
March, 2019

It was the end of March and the weather in Dubai was nothing like I had seen before, for this time of the year. That’s Climate Change for you!

It certainly set the mood for a nice night out. The choice to dine at Waka was fairly straightforward. Neither my dad nor I were in the mood for something too heavy, and Waka’s tapas menu was just the right antidote.

Before we ordered our main courses, we decided to share an appetizer to start off the meal. No second guesses as to what it was. No Latin American meal ever began without a large bowl/portion of Guacamole.

Given that I was aware that the restaurant – Waka – was in fact a play on the term, Guacamole (Guaca, pronounced Waka), it wasn’t outside the realms of possibility to expect that the dish would be something special. Right? What I was not ready for, however, was how profound an impact this green dip was about to make on my tastebuds.

From the moment the waiter removed the basket of freshly baked corn tortilla chips off of the mortar and the dry ice smoke dissipated in the air, I knew we had made the right decision. The smoked guacamole slowly traversed through my oesophagus, hitting all the right notes on its way to my belly. The journey was immense! It took us two baskets of tortilla chips to polish off the guacamole from the mortar. That’s how much we savoured each bite.

Dare I say it – the appetizer was by far the best course of the night! The restaurant was truly deserving of the name – Waka!


Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 mins Cook Time 5 mins Total Time 15 mins
Servings: 4
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


And for the last time sir, Shakira's "Waka Waka" has got NOTHING to do with smashing avocados and eating it with tortilla chips! 



  1. Slice an avocado1 in half, length-wise, cutting around the pit. Twist and pull away to create two halves. Repeat the same for the rest of the avocados

  2. Remove the pits from the avocados. Using a large spoon, scoop out all of the green flesh from within. Dice the avocado flesh into small cubes and place it in a large mortar2

  3. With the help of a pestle, mash the avocados until they turn mushy and attain a paste-like texture3

  4. Finely chop the onion and green chilli. Extract and discard the pulp from the tomato and dice into even cubes

  5. Add the chopped onion, green chilli, and diced tomato to the mortar. Stir until all of the ingredients are combined 

  6. Squeeze the juice of half a lime into the mortar. Season the Guacamole with a pinch of salt, to taste, and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.4 Stir until the Guacamole is infused with the spices and lime juice

  7. To Serve (per serving)5: Scoop a large tablespoon of the Guacamole and gently pour it into a small dipping bowl. Serve the Guacamole either with a large plate of Tortilla Chips or as a side dish to a Tex-Mex/Mexican main course (e.g. Burrito, Tacos, Fajitas, or Quesadillas)


1. For this recipe, you will need ripened avocados. Ripe avocados are neither too firm nor too soft and when you remove the stem at the top, the inside should be green in colour. If unavailable, leave unripened avocados outside, or next to a banana. This will help fasten the ripening process.

2. If you do not own a mortar and pestle, you can place the scooped flesh of the avocados in a large bowl. To mash the avocados, you can use the back of a large spoon instead of a pestle. 

3. Personally, the best guacamole has a few pieces of avocado as is (un-mashed), as this provides a different texture to the dish. If you like it fully as a paste, then mash the avocados thoroughly

4. If smoked paprika is unavailable, substitute it with either regular paprika or red chilli powder

5. Guacamole has a very short shelf life. If not consumed on the same day, the green flesh of the avocados starts to turn brown due to oxidisation. There are several methods of preventing this - such as adding a touch more lime juice or sealing them in an air-tight container - with varying degrees of success. It is not harmful to eat guacamole that has turned brown. However, if you don't want to, then scoop and discard the brown portion and eat the remaining dip.

6. The prices of the ingredients (table below) are only rough estimates and are subject to change!

7. As certain ingredients are common household items - salt, pepper, oil - you may not be required to purchase them, and so the cost of preparing this dish is lower.


Keywords: Avocados, Sauces Syrups and Dips

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