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 !! ūüôā¬†

¬†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


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 !!


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 !!


Roasted Watermelon Dip


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 


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 !!

Condiment Series | Cheesy Beer Dip | Dip

Day 29

When I read about this dip, I thought it was unusual, though very simple. I often cook with wine but have never used beer for cooking. Yes I’ve heard and had the beer batter fried fish and I love it but have never cooked myself. So I wanted to give this a shot.

I love all the ingredients including my beer so this has to be a yummm dip !! The name says it all; but but but, it’s not something I want in my fridge all the time. It is perfect for those days when you want a sinful gooey cheese rush ! On days when it’s raining and you are home, tucked in bed with your favourite book or a movie or when you want to impress your guests at a party !! (it makes quickly and easily and you can make lots and lots of it.) ¬†

I told a friend about it and her instant reaction was “oh the boys will be very happy” !! ūüôā Why only the boys I’d be happy too. ūüôā

The beer and cheese blend in beautifully and the beer adds a mild malty sweetness to the dip . It has a hint of the fermented fragrance. Enjoy it with a french baguette or bread sticks or even crudites. 

The original recipe had asked for a lot more cheese but I did not have the guts to add so much of it so I have reduced the quantity. You can of course add as much more as you like. 

Cheesy Beer Dip


2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Flour
¬ĺ cup milk, divided
¬Ĺ cup beer (beer of your choice)
1 tsp English Mustard
¬ľ tsp Salt
A pinch of sweet paprika (plus more for garnish)
150g Processed Cheese (the original recipe asked for 300g of cheese)

1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter. Whisk in the flour.

2. Take the pan off of the heat, once the aroma rises, whisk in 2 tablespoons of the milk until smooth.

3. Then whisk in 2 more tablespoons. Add ¬ľ cup of the milk and whisk that until smooth followed by the final ¬ľ cup of milk. All this needs to be done quickly and make sure there are no lumps formed.

4. Stir in the beer, mustard, paprika and salt. Return the pan to medium heat and stir until thick and bubbling, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Add the cheese and continue to whisk. Once blended in, adjust the seasoning.

6. Transfer in serving dish and garnish with sweet paprika.

Happy Dipping !!

Condiment Series | Soya Granules Dip | Dip

Day 27

This actually, originally was made by my mum as a sandwich spread ! That too of the leftover soya granules. She transformed the cooked ‘nutri sabji’ into an amazing sandwich dip and surprised all of us one fine morning for breakfast. This dip is an inspiration from that spread !!

Though of course this recipe is tweaked as per my taste and sensibility and is not made from leftovers.

The granules lend a very interesting texture to the dip. It is again healthy and not so bad for your waistline.
It of course can be used as a spread in sandwiches but otherwise goes well with crackers, pita, salted toasties etc.

Soya Granules Dip


1/2 cup Soya Granules (washed and soaked in water for 20 minutes)

1 small Capiscum finely chopped

1 small Onion finely chopped

2 cloves of Garlic, minced

For the White Sauce

1 tbsp Butter

1 tbsp Flour

1 cup Milk

1/2 tsp Pepper 

Salt to taste


1. Take a pan pour, 1 tbsp oil and saute` the garlic and onions till they sweat. Add the capsicum, saute` for another minute.

2. Now add the soya granules and season with salt. Mix well and saute for another 3-4 minutes.  Remove from the flame and let it cool down.

3. Take another pan, melt the butter, add the flour and saute` till an aroma rises. Keep stirring and make sure that the roux doesn’t change colour.¬†

4. Turn the flame down and add the milk in two batches, whisking well continuously. Make sure there are no lumps. 

5. Once you get a smooth sauce consistency and the sauce coats the back of the spoon, add the salt and pepper and mix well.  

6. Now add the cooked soya granules and mix well so that it blends well with the sauce. 

7. Transfer in a serving dish and serve warm with toasties or crackers.

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


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


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.


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


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


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 | Tartare | Dip

Day 18

Another popular dip ! Though it’s claim to fame is thanks to only one dish – Fish’n’Chips.
Of course nothing stops you from eating it with just anything else in the world, after all the base is Mayo.

So tartare is essentially Mayo with pickles or gherkins and herbs and has a sharp taste to it with a hint of tanginess, and complements the salty taste of the fish.

If you thought Thousand Islands was simple to make this is even simpler. Here it goes:

Tartare Sauce


1 cup Mayonnaise (get the recipe here)
2 tbsps Pickled Gherkins or Sweet Relish finely chopped (I used sweet relish)* (get the recipe here)
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
a dash of black pepper
1 tsp dill leaves finely chopped
a pinch of salt


Mix all the above ingredients properly.
Transfer in a serving dish and serve.
Best served with fish fingers.

Condiment Series | Caribbean Coconut Dip | Dip

Day 17

The Caribbean Coconut Dip is an inspiration from the famous Pina Colada, which happens to be one of my favourite cocktails ! A lovely sweet summer flavour, I had actually never imagined it as a dip !!

This is again a simple dip with the native produce of the caribbean – Pineapple and Coconut.
 Incidentally Pina Colada is the national drink of Puerto Rico and legend has many a tale to tell. It is said that in the early 19th century a pirate named Roberto Cofresi, to boost the morale of his crew offered them a drink which contained coconut, pineapple and white rum !! With his death, the pina colada was lost, until later in 1954, Ricardo Gracia, a Caribe Hilton employee claimed to have invented it.

Anyway coming back to this dip, it has a tangy sweetness and can be put together very quickly. Serve with a savoury dish and the sweetness to the dip comes as a refreshing surprise. (One generally doesn’t expect a sweet dip).

My father and KJ could lap it up in case we ran out of desserts at home ūüėÄ

Caribbean Coconut Dip


1 cup of Hung curd

1/3 cup of Dessicated Coconut

2 Slices of Canned Pineapple

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsps of the canned pineapple syrup

For garnish

1 tbsp Walnuts coarsely chopped

1 slice of canned pineapple finely chopped


In a blender, blend together the hung curd, dessicated coconut and the pineapple. 

Add the syrup and the salt.

Transfer in the serving dish. 

Garnish with walnuts and chopped pineapple.

Serving suggestions: With Chicken Nuggets, Cutlets, Kebabs.

Happy Dipping !!

Condiment Series | Homemade Mayonnaise | Dip

Day 12

It is called the mother of all dips. Yes today I share the recipe of homemade Mayonnaise !
Homemade mayo is the best thing that can happen to anyone who loves mayonnaise. Since this is homemade with natural ingredients and preservative-free, keep in mind that the shelf life may not be as long as the store bought mayonnaise which is surely full of stabilizers and preservatives.

This should not worry you though, because it is the simplest thing to make. It takes precisely seven minutes to make this much quantity. 
You need to be careful while adding the oil as the slower you pour it better it emulsifies. To see mayo being made is almost magical !!

Here I’ve made this recipe with my regular cooking oil, you could however use olive oil if you like and also use mustard oil. If using mustard oil, remember to omit the mustard that is added separately in this recipe.

Mayonnaise can be eaten as it is …..use it with burgers, fries, soup sticks or add different herbs and other ingredients to change its flavour. No wonder it is called the mother of all dips as it beautifully adapts to various different flavours and tastes great on its own too.

Also if you want to omit mustard altogether you can do that as well. That will give you a pure white mayo unlike this creamy looking dip.

Homemade Mayonnaise


2 egg yolks (free range and very fresh eggs)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard (I used Frenchie’s Mustard)
1 tsp salt
3 cloves of garlic crushed (optional. I added)
a pinch or 2 of sugar
black pepper 

500ml / 2 cups of oil (it can be olive oil, or your regular cooking oil)


1. In the food processor briefly blend the eggs, vinegar, lemon, garlic, sugar and mustard.
2. With the processor still running, slowly add the oil in a slow thin stream until it has all emulsified.
3. Check the taste and add the salt and pepper.

Store in a jar and refrigerate. 

– This is a basic mayonnaise recipe. You can add different herbs and spices and change the flavour as you like.
РStore in refrigerator only. 
– You could replace red wine vinegar with regular white vinegar as well.

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 ūüôā

Hung Curd Caramelized Onion Dip


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


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.

The Dirty Martini – A neat period parody !!

I’m invited for what I anticipate, will be a high strung socialite evening of some bar book winners with a¬†celebrity¬†chef…..however to my surprise, I’m escorted¬†to a rustic¬†screeching¬†metal door….fit only to be what looked like a backdoor entry…..and oh yes it indeed is. Through the doorway, from the back alley, to the back of the kitchen….with smiling chefs and into a vibrant looking bar with a period setting!!¬†
So while I’ve recovered from this clandestine entry, I’m accosted by someone no less than the coolest of the Chefs this side of the country – our very own Chef Saby complete with his highly infectious brand of smile who asks us to be served with some tea !!¬†Tea ???¬†

And promptly the guy comes out with a kettle and a kullar (earthen tumbler used widely in India to serve tea or hot milk) and pours me a cup !!

Left: Frozen Orange and Water Melon Martinis.                                                                   Right: Mulled Wine in a kullar

To my pleasant surprise the drink is actually Mulled Wine. A first for me…. Mulled wine is¬†essentially¬†red wine infused with spices like cinnamon, star anise and orange peel…..and the party begins…..people start pouring in and in no time the place is full and rocking with Olga our beautiful russian singer with a voice of a nightingale at the piano !!

So here we are at one the latest and most sought after bars of the city……

‚ÄėThe Dirty Martini‚ÄĚ – a 1920s speakeasy inspired bar set in Europe.
at the Olive @ Qutub

The 1920s, an opulent era of prohibition rooted in the US, when cocktails were served in tea cups; and where live bands, silent cinema and floor-shows marked entertainment. An era of molls and gangsters, of flappers and flamboyance; and where bars could be hidden away with a touch of a button in case of any raids.  They were basically illegal bars because manufacturing or trade of alcohol was prohibited and the only way around was bootlegging. These bars usually had a secret back door entry through dirty alleys, tricky doors and basements. Access to which was screened or password controlled. 
A speakeasy brings to mind a smoky bar with blues music, dancing to jazz, aromas of comfort food wafting out from the kitchen and a fun, relaxed celebratory atmosphere. 

The Dirty Martini is beautifully inspired by that era with old classical looking vibrant interiors, a grand piano which makes an essential part of the decor and an exuberant tavern.
Our perfect-as-ever hosts…..Chef Saby and his team had created a delicious menu for this bloggers’ event with a list of some classy, sophisticated, yet dramatic cocktails.¬†
Amongst them my favourites were the Mulled Wine, The South Side – their signature drink, and the Cherry wood smoked Gin-n-Tonic. Oh and how could I forget the Jasmine infused Martini…. reminded of my ‘after lunch’ green tea….only a little more exciting !! :-))

The Dirty Martini Cocktail Menu is created by the 
Team of celebrity bartender  Zdenek Kastanek.

Clockwise: Big Boss Toast, The Smoking machine for the Smoked Gin-n-tonic, The Cheery wood smoked Gin-n-tonic
The beauty of the drink is that you can actually see the smoke atop the drink in the glass.
It adds another dimension to the good old gin-n-tonic.

Clockwise: Overlooking the bar, crowds at large, South Side – A signature cocktail. Oh I love these cups and saucers !!

Jasmine infused Martinis
Beer served in paper bags….no one should see !!!
The expert bartender at work !!

Besides these intoxicating beauties, as usual the food was delicious with an intelligent mix of finger foods. My favourites being the Shrimp Jammers, Gangster Slider Рtenderloin patty with grilled onions, Shebeen Sandwich. Not to forget the Starving Mafia РSlow cooked lamb goulash with country style bread. For someone like me who is extremely fussy with their meats specially lamb this was a hands down winner !! I specially loved the presentation of this dish with the goulash being served again in tea cups !!

Left: Starving Mafia РSlow cooked lamb goulash with country side bread.  Right: Gangster Slider РTenderloin patty with grilled onions.

To wrap up the evening there was a live dessert counter where a chef was creating¬†The Smoking Cigar – Churros with Chocolate Sauce. Not just another chocolate sauce but a Dirty Martini special, with a mix of hot chocolate and bailey’s.
And last but not the least,¬†Nutty Auntie –¬†Baked apple and walnut tart with maple drizzle.

Chef Saby was kind enough share his signature cocktail – The South Sider’s recipe and also the Sheeban Sandwich.

The South Sider

Bombay sapphire – 50 ml

Lemon juice – 20 ml

Sugar syrup – 15ml

Mint – 6-8 leaf
Glassware – tea cup
Garnish –¬† mint leaf
Shake all the ingredients together in a shaker and fine strain into a cup and garnish with mint 

The Shebeen Sandwich


80 g Herbed artichokes in oil (1 pc)          
30 g Red Harissa
20 g Apricot Chutney
Feta Paste ‚Äď 40 g¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
1 French Baguette (4 pc)    
12 g Garlic butter     
Curled parsley ‚Äď a few sprigs ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†

For Red Harissa : 
500g Chilli paste
1 kg Olive oil 
1 tbsp Coriander seeds
1 tbsp Cumin seeds 
40 g Lemon juice                  
For Apricot Chutney:
500g Apricots                       
1 litre Orange juice
5 nos. Star Anise
200g Honey  
For Harissa: 
Pound all the ingredients together and store in the refrigerator                                              
For Apricot Chutney: 
Boil apricot in orange juice, honey and star anise. Than reduce till the orange reduces to one fourth and apricot is soft enough                                               
For Assembly:
Toast sliced bread with garlic butter, pipe feta paste on top.

Grill artichoke on other side and toss it finally with red harissa. Arrange it on the bread with apricot chutney.   

Thank you everyone at the Dirty Martini and Chef Saby for having us over 
for a fun-filled evening !! 

Cheers !!

Cheese ‘n’ Chives Scones – The Daring Baker’s January 2012 Challenge !!

What better way to start your New Year baking challenges than baking scones. The quick but tricky savory perfect Evening Tea accompaniment. Though my scones were ready on time, the post got delayed by a day….but better late than never !!
So many times I’ve come across Scone recipes in my baking books but somehow they always took the back burner and I never had the chance to try my hand on these wonderful light puffy cookies !!??? Bread !!??? Well I’d say a distant cousin of the dinner roll…..only easier, more versatile !!
Though¬†traditionally¬†they are a great pair with your cuppa chai but I think they’ll do great even with soups on a cold winter evening !! Wow !!

They are simple and quick…..once you get the hang of it…it will always be your¬†savior when you have unexpected guests !! Total time taken was 25 minutes (including baking time).

I’m glad that Daring Bakers’ once again motivated me to break my baking mind blocks and move away from cakes to newer territories.

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host…. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (aka biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchen !!

The original scone was round and flat, usually the size of a medium size plate. It was made with unleavened oats and baked on a griddle (or girdle, in Scots), then cut into triangle-like quadrants for serving. Today, many would call the large round cake a bannock, and call the quadrants scones
When baking powder became available to the masses, scones began to be the oven-baked, well-leavened items we know today. Modern scones are widely available in British and Irish bakeries, grocery stores, and supermarkets.  

The baking of scones at home is often closely tied to heritage baking. They tend to be made from family recipes rather than recipe books, since it is often a family member who holds the “best” and most-treasured recipe.

Cheese ‘n’ Chives Scones
Servings: about eight 2-inch (5 cm) scones or five 3-inch (7¬Ĺ cm) scones
Recipe can be doubled
1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tsp (10 ml) (10 gm) (‚Öď oz) fresh baking powder
¬Ĺ tsp of Baking Soda
¬Ĺ tsp Sifted Mustard Powder
¬ľ tsp sifted Cayenne Pepper
¬Ĺ cup (60 g) grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsps Finely chopped Chives

¬ľ tsp (1¬ľ ml) (1¬Ĺ gm) salt
2 tbsps (30 gm/1 oz) frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter)
Approximately ¬Ĺ cup (120 ml) cold milk
Optional 1 tbsp milk, for glazing the tops of the scones
1. Preheat oven to very hot 475¬įF/240¬įC/gas mark 9.
2. Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (If your room temperature is very hot refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.) Addthe sifted baking soda, mustard powder, cayenne peppers and chives.
3. Rub the frozen grated butter (or combination of fats) into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs with some pea-sized pieces if you want flaky scones or until it resembles coarse beach sand if you want tender scones.
4. Add nearly all of the liquid at once into the rubbed-in flour/fat mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough (add the remaining liquid if needed). The wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits) will be!
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough. To achieve an even homogeneous crumb to your scones knead very gently about 4 or 5 times (do not press too firmly) the dough until it is smooth. To achieve a layered effect in your scones knead very gently once (do not press too firmly) then fold and turn the kneaded dough about 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. (Use a floured plastic scraper to help you knead and/or fold and turn the dough if you wish.)
6. Pat or roll out the dough into a 6 inch by 4 inch rectangle by about ¬ĺ inch thick (15¬ľ cm by 10 cm by 2 cm thick). Using a well-floured 2-inch (5 cm) scone cutter (biscuit cutter), stamp out without twisting six 2-inch (5 cm) rounds, gently reform the scraps into another ¬ĺ inch (2 cm) layer and cut two more scones (these two scones will not raise as well as the others since the extra handling will slightly toughen the dough). Or use a well-floured sharp knife to form squares or wedges as you desire.
7. Place the rounds just touching on a baking dish if you wish to have soft-sided scones or place the rounds spaced widely apart on the baking dish if you wish to have crisp-sided scones. Glaze the tops with milk if you want a golden colour on your scones or lightly flour if you want a more traditional look to your scones.
8. Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes (check at 8 minutes since home ovens at these high temperatures are very unreliable) until the scones are well risen and are lightly coloured on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set.
9. Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.
You could serve them with a cream cheese dip or butter or any relish of your choice !!
Happy Baking !!