Condiment Series | Chef Saby creates 2 amazing Dips for us | Smoked Mango Dip and Roasted Watermelon Dip

Day 31



Yes one more to go….surprise !!! I’ve had an awesome series and to mark the end of these wonderful 30 days, my friend Chef Sabyasachi Gorai agreed to create two dips especially for this series. 


Sabyasachi Gorai better known as Chef Saby amongst friends and patrons is one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. Not only is he a Chef Extraordinaire` he’s also an amazing human being !! 🙂 

 Had it not been the knife, it would have been the paint brush, for what difference does it make when you are a born artist !! He has many accolades to his credit, including winning a national award for the ‘Best Chef of India’. He was the Director of the Kitchens of restaurants like Olive Qutub, Olive Beach, Ai- The Japanese Restaurant !! He also started the Olive Culinary Academy.


Today Chef Saby is associated with various restaurants like Amreli at the Hotel Diplomat, Soda Bottle Openerwala and Drool Waffles to name a few. He’s a man who believes in giving back to the earth. He believes in indigenous products and makes food as natural as possible. His trip in life is farm to restaurant for cooking with the freshest possible produce. 

I met Chef Saby the other day at Amreli over lunch and he created magic for me in his kitchen !! 
With the season of fresh, refreshing fruits in the air, he created two dips Smoked Mango Dip and Roasted Watermelon dip. I’m sharing both the recipes here:

Smoked Mango Dip


Ingredients

2 ripe Mangoes
2 raw Mangoes
200 ml or 1 cup Coconut Milk
2-3 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 pieces of Star Anise
3 Dried, slightly fried Whole Red Chillies
1/2 tsp Black Salt


Chef at work, creating magic !!


Directions


1. Roast the raw mangoes in a tandoor. (If you do not have a tandoor,  roast them in your oven at the highest temperature).
2. Slice the ripe mangoes, sprinkle some brown sugar, and using a kitchen torch caramelise the sugar and the mangoes. Now scoop out the mangoes both ripe and raw into a bowl.
3. Take a frying pan (if you have a small tadka / tempering pan that would be ideal), pour 1 tbsp oil and heat. Add the cumin seeds and the star anise. Once the spices splutter, pour over the coconut milk.
4. Take a blender, put the both types of mangoes, tempered coconut milk, red chillies and the black salt. Bitz  to a smooth creamy consistency.
5. Transfer in a serving dish and serve. 

This dip beautifully complements Prawns or any other sea foods. Though ofcourse you can have it the way you like !!


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Roasted Watermelon Dip



Ingredients

400g of cut Watermelon or say about a quarter of the watermelon, cut into large cubes and seeds removed.

4-5 Green chillies

2 inch piece of Ginger cut into juliennes

200 g Feta Cheese

100 g Hung Curd 

Directions

1. Thread the watermelon cubes and the chillies onto skewers.

2. On a flame grill roast the watermelon along with chillies, keep turning it around and basting it with some olive oil. 

3. Once the watermelon is roasted, remove from fire and let it cool down.

4. Take a blended, put the watermelon pieces, green chiliies, ginger and salt. Blitz to a liquid consistency. 

5. Take a pan, and pour the liquidized watermelon, add 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder and let it cook. We need to reduce it a bit and thicken the consistency.

6. Whisk together the feta and hung curd to a smooth consistency, add the watermelon reduction and mix well. Adjust seasoning if required.

7. Transfer in a serving dish.

This is a very delicately flavoured dip and goes best with crudites or fresh salad. 




Thank you Chef Saby !! It was a wonderful afternoon some amazing food at Amreli and than you so much for taking time out and creating two absolutely wonderful dips especially for my 30days30dips Series !! Cheers !!



Happy Dipping !!





The Condiment Series | Thai Peanut Sauce | Dip

Day 23


Not just on Satays I love this thai peanut sauce in many many ways, So much so i even use it with my oriental rice or even a sandwich !! I grilled chicken sandwich and thai peanut sauce is pure bliss !!

I’m reasonably picky about my thai sauce. I generally do not like the bottled sauces readily available in supermarkets. I have my favourite oriental restaurants where, I must confess, I have a chicken satay only for the peanut sauce and always end up greedily asking for more sauce :p !!


I wonder what took me so long to figure out how to make this one at home. This is a quick method a bit of a short cut. I’ll soon be trying my hands on the more elaborate traditional method too. Though this works very well for me. I did make some adjustments according to my own taste and I think i’ve got what I’ve been looking for…..


Here I’ll be sharing the recipe of the chicken satay as well, after the Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe (since my star is the peanut sauce).


Thai Peanut Sauce with Chicken Satay




Ingredients

1 cup Coconut Milk

1/3 cup Peanut Butter

2 tbsps Thai Red Curry Paste

2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tbsp Sugar or to taste

2 tbsp coarsely ground Peanuts

1 4 inches piece of Lemon Grass
Salt to taste



Directions

1. Take a pan, pour in coconut milk, add the peanut butter, thai curry paste, sugar, vinegar, and salt. Whisk it well. (Do not put the pan on the flame as yet).  Make sure all ingredients are blended.

2. Now put it on the flame and let it cook while stirring it continuously to make sure the sauce doesn’t catch the bottom of the pan. Add the lemon grass. Cook for about 7-8 minutes till the sauce coats the back of a spoon.

3. Turn the flame off let it rest and cool off to room temperature,

4. Once cool, transfer in serving dish or bottle it and refrigerate.

Note:

You can adjust the sweetness of the sauce to your taste.


The sauce ill get thicker in the refrigerator, to thin it down, remove from the fridge and let it come to room temperature and add some warm water and mix well (do this only to the quantity you want to serve).  



Chicken Satay


Ingredients

400 g of boneless chicken thigh pieces, cut into small bite size pieces (if you cannot find thigh pieces, you can use boneless chicken breasts)
1/2 cup of Thai Red Curry Paste
3 tbsp Coconut Milk
2 tbsp Fresh Coriander finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp Olive Oil or any oil of your choice
6-8 Bamboo Skewers

Directions

1. In a medium size bowl, mix the coconut milk and thai curry paste. Add the lemon zest and olive oil and mix well. Add the chicken pieces and let it rest for 15 minutes.

2. Preheat your oven to 200 degree C for 10 minutes

3. Soak the bamboo sticks in water for about 10 minutes (This is important to avoid the bamboo sticks from catching fire)

4. Now thread the chicken pieces onto the bamboo skewers, make sure the chicken pieces remain well coated with the marinade.

5. Line a baking sheet with foil and place it on the lowest shelf of the oven. Place the grill in the middle shelf and place the chicken skewers.

6. Let them grill for about 15 minutes or till well done. You may need to rotate the skewers once in between for even cooking.

7. Once done, remove from the grill and serve with the Thai Peanut Sauce !!

Happy Dipping !!



Condiment Series | Green Peas Hummus | Dip

Day 21


I’m back with yet another Hummus dish, this time Green Peas Hummus !! This is purely a vegetable hummus unlike my earlier ones.
I’ll be honest, I’m not someone who’s particularly fond of green peas, rather as a child I would run away from them. Now I have this delish way of eating these lovely beads. The Green Peas Hummus has a lovely texture and a vibrant fresh colour and very quick to make.


Like other hummus, this too is brilliant and healthy in wraps, on crostinis or to just have with crackers.

Green Peas Hummus



Ingredients

1 cup fresh or frozen Green Peas

A handful of green cilantro

2 cloves of Garlic

1 tbsp Tahini

1 tbsp Lemon Juice

1/4 tsp Cumin Powder

Salt to taste

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

1. Boil the peas in some salted water. (This should take about 8-10 minutes). Do not cover the pan or the peas will become dull in colour.  Drain and cool the peas under cold water. Strain and keep aside.

2. In a food processor, blitz the boiled peas, tahini, garlic, cilantro, lemon juice, cumin powder and salt. Blitz till you get a coarse paste.

3. Add a little olive oil and blitz some more. You should now get a creamy texture.

4. Transfer in the serving dish, dribble some olive oil if you like and serve.

This stays happy in a refrigerator for up to a week.


Happy Cooking !!

Condiment Series | Ranch Dip | Dip

Day 13



Ranch Dip, inspired by the infamous Ranch Salad Dressing !!
Typically Ranch dip is a mix of buttermilk with mayonnaise and a herb mix. I altered this recipe a bit. I reduced the quantity of mayonnaise and added hung curd and buttermilk !! It tastes awesome and is a healthier version of the classic !!


Like I said yesterday Mayonnaise is the mother dip…. add different things and get new dips 😉 !!

Here goes the recipe:

The Ranch Dip

Ingredients

For the Ranch Mix


2 tbsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried onion flakes
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried chives
1 tsp salt

For The Dip

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup Hung curd
1/3 cup Buttermilk


Directions:
Whisk all ingredients together until blended. 

If you want a more finely-ground seasoning mix, you can pulse the mixture in a food processor until it reaches your desired consistency (I did this).

Whisk together the mayonnaise, hung curd and buttermilk. Add salt and pepper and now 1 tbsp of the ranch herb mix. Whisk till well blended together.

Let it chill in the refrigerator for about an hour and serve. 
You can store the remaining herb mix in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Happy Dipping !!

Condiment Series | Chimichurri | Dip


Chimichurri !! Trying saying this word without it bringing a smile to your face. I love the ring in the word itself, imagine what the dip would actually do !!


So chimichurri is a burst of ‘Freshness” with fresh herbs like Parsley-n-Cilantro and some Jalapenos.
Originally from Argentina, this looks so much like the Pesto. Popular in South America, it is used for steaks and other grilled meats. Though obviously nothing stops you from serving with vegetarian dishes too. I love my chimichurri with grilled pineapples and grilled vegetables and cottage cheese. Incidentally that is my dinner tonight 🙂


Go ahead, experiment !! Add it to a salad or toss in a fusilli pasta. Spread it on a Crostini. The options are many.




Chimichurri

Ingredients

1/2 Cup of Fresh Parsley
1/2 Cup of Fresh Cilantro 
4 cloves Garlic
1/2 Jalapeno Pepper (I used 4 regular green chillies)
2 tbsp chopped Scallions or Onion
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper


Directions

1. Pulse parsley, cilantro, scallions and garlic together. They should look finely chopped.
2. Now add the remaining ingredients. Pulse again till well blended.

3. Serve. The way you like it. Add a little extra olive oil and it works very well as a dip with garlic bread or toasties.

Happy Chimichurri to you !!

Condiment Series | Caramelized Onion & Hung Curd Dip | Dips

The perfect sweet and sour balance – The sweetness of the caramelized onions and the tangy hung curd !!
I’m a big fan of onion dip and more so the caramelized onions. It usually is very difficult for me to resist the temptations to just polish off the onions before I add them to the dip. You can make an entire batch and store in the refrigerator. This way the onion dip takes only a few minutes to put together. It’s well matched with chips, diet chips, nachos or chicken nuggets. (These are my favourites, you can of course serve the way you like)

Caramelised onions also are amazing when added to meat sauces.
Coming back to the dip, it is a party favourite with friends literally digging their fingers in 🙂

Hung Curd Caramelized Onion Dip

Ingredients

200g Hung Curd
3 Red Onions
1 tbsp Cider Vinegar
2 tsp Cooking Oil
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Salt to Taste



Directions

1. Finely chop the onions.

2. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and cook till they start browning. This should take about 8-10 minutes. Keep the flame medium, you don’t want those onions to become very dark at this stage.

3. After about 10 minutes,  add in salt, sugar and vinegar. Make sure at any point in time the onions do not catch at the bottom of the pa. If you see that to start to happen you can give it a light splash of water and lower the flame, then increase it again. You need to cook the onions till the onions reduce in volume and are completely cooked through and have a glaze.

4. Once onions are done. Remove from heat and let it cool down to room temperature. You can always make a stock of caramelized onions and store in the refrigerator for upto a month.

5. Once the onions have completely cooled down, whisk the hung curd, add the salt, black pepper and the caramelized onions. Mix it well.

6. Serve.

Condiment Series | Cucumber Relish | Relish

So since condiments are not just dips, today I’m writing about a Relish. Cucumber Relish. 
A summer favourite at home. This a part of the 30 days 30 dips series as well.

I learnt this from my mother in law, one of her many famous recipes.




Summer time I always have two jars full of this relish stacked in my refrigerator. These make amazing homemade food gifts too. 


The cucumber relish will add zing to any meal. We at home like it with our burgers or sandwiches, though my mum’s uncle eats with his chapatis, dal and vegetables too. 
It gives a meaty burger a new dimension of flavour when added to. OOh…I want to have one now !!



Cucumber Relish

Ingredients

1 kg Seedless Cucumber
1-2 White Onions
2 tbsp Whole Yellow Mustard 
1/2 cup White Vinegar
1 cup Sugar
2 tbsp Whole Black Peppercorns
2-3 Fresh Red Chillies
2-3 sprigs of Dill Leaves
Salt to taste

For soaking cucumbers:

Water 
1 tbsp Salt


Directions

1.Wash and pat dry the cucumbers. Slice them. I use my food processor for slicing them It’s quick and convenient and I get all slices of the same thickness.

2. Peel and slice the white onions.

3. Soak the sliced cucumber and onions in salted water for 2 hours. Drain well after two hours. (We do this to remove any kind of bitterness in the cucumbers)
4. Take a deep pan or a cooking pot. Add the vinegar and sugar and 1/2 cup water. Add red chillies which are cut diagonally, yellow mustard seeds, black pepper. Cook it till the sugar dissolves.

5. Once the sugar  has dissolved, add the drained cucumbers and onions.

6. Stir gently and cook till the cucumbers become translucent. Add the dill leaves now.

7. Let it cool down completely then store in sterilized bottles and refrigerate. 

You can store these in the refrigerator for upto a year. That is if if any are left till then . 🙂 Trust me I need to hide them to save them 🙂
The more it ages, the better it tastes. 



Happy Relishing !!

Condiment Series | Parsley-n-Garlic Dip | Dip

With hung curd in my hand, I feel like a magician !! Really you can turn it around in so many different ways. Over time it has become my favourite ingredient. I use it for dips, for desserts, for kebabs, for marination and many more…
Hung curd makes the most amazing dips. 





The Parsley-Garlic Dip is a delicately flavoured one. Parsley like the way it looks also has a bright sharp flavour and works as an enhancer to any dish. 
The best way to use parsley is to dip it in warm water for just 10 seconds, rid the leaves of excess moisture and chop. The flavours of Parsley are enhanced once dipped in warm water. However never cut and dip in warm water. It should always be dipped in warm water and then chopped finely.



Parsley Garlic Dip

Ingredients

1 cup Hung Curd
2 cloves of Garlic
a small bunch of Parsley ( when chopped 2-3 tbsp)
Salt to taste
Freshly ground Black Pepper

Directions

1. Whisk the hung curd.

2. Finely chop parsley.

3. Mince the garlic.

4. Add parsley, minced garlic salt and pepper to the hung curd. Mix well to blend all ingredients.

5. Transfer in the serving dish, garnish with a sprig of parsley and serve.