Condiment Series | Capsicum-n- Celery Dip | Dip


I recently did a series of 30 days 30 dips and it was a huge success. I loved it and people, my readers loved it too. This is a dip which was supposed to be a part of that series but it left me in two minds so I skipped it at that time, however after all these dips, this particular dips still remains close to my heart.


Capsicum-n-Celery Dip, this is where it all started. After this there was no stopping me. When I started making my own dips at home for parties a few years back, this was one of the first dips I made. To my surprise then, it was an absolute winner. 
Capsicum in my mind is the only vegetable equivalent to a herb…. as fresh and as fragrant !! It has the ability to add that extra zing to a dish.


This is a simple dip where, I not just use the celery stem, but also the leaves. The celery leaves have a much stronger spicy fragrance. You would need to chop the leaves really fine though. 

Serve this with whatever. It’s a crowd pleaser, the bowls are wiped clean 🙂

Capsicum-n-Celery Dip




Ingredients

1/2 cup Quark or Hung Curd

1/4 cup cold milk

1 small Capsicum, finely chopped

1 clove of Garlic, minced

1 stem and leaves of Celery finely chopped

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

Salt to taste

Direction

1. Whisk the quark till absolutely smooth and creamy. Add the milk and whisk some more.

2. Now add the capsicum, garlic and celery. Mix well. Add the salt and pepper. Give it another stir till everything is well blended. If you find the dip a little thick, add a little more cold milk.

3. Transfer in a serving dish and serve with your choice of appetizer.

Happy Dipping !!




Condiment Series | Harissa | Dip

Day 28

Harissa for the brave heart or err…. for the brave tongue !!!


This is a Tunisian Hot Chili Peppers Sauce, but now making inroads into the Moroccan Cuisine. It is a combination of various types of chillies. Both fresh and dried. Traditionally Harissa uses roasted red peppers, serrano peppers and other hot chilli peppers. however the recipe goes on evolving according to the region you are in, and the availability of the the types of peppers. Actually not just the region, it varies from household to household too. Some like it smooth as a paste, some like is coarse, and some like a specific variety of chilli flavour more than the others.

Harissa works as a hot sauce, a dip or a marinade. If you are someone who can handle a tad bit of spiciness then go ahead try it in all its pureness as a dip or else, mix it with cream cheese, or honey or mayo as you like it. We at home can handle that kind spice though I like to use another dip or spread as a base and use the harissa as a garnish.

 

Harissa

Ingredients

1 Red Bell Peppers

2 Fresh whole red chillies (the fat varieties – the ones used for pickles)

2 Dried Kashmiri Deghi Mirchi ( the thin crinckled chile, deep red in colour)

2 Dried  Tarvati (the thin smooth dried red chilli with a bright red colour)

1 Dried Reshampatti chillies ( the dried fat chilli with a thick fleshy skin)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup Boiling Water

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tbsp Olive Oil



Directions

1. Put all the dried chillies in hot water and let it soak for 20 minutes, till they soften. Reserve the cilli water.

2. Once the chiles are softened, put them in a blender along with the fresh chillies, red bell peppers, salt, garlic and lemon juice. Blitz till you get a smooth puree`. If it looks a little too thick for your liking, add the reserved chilli water to thin it down a bit.

3. Now slowly dribble the olive oil and blitz a little more.

4. Transfer in a jar and refrigerate or use immediately.


Serving suggestions

– Mix with mayonnaise
– Mix with hung curd
– Serve as it is

Spice it up !!

Condiment Series | Egyptian Beetroot Dip | Dip

Day 14


Egyptian Beetroot Dip  – why is this called so, even I don’t know !! 

The recipe shows influences from the middle east and we know for a fact, that the flavours in the cuisines from Egypt and the Middle East are overlapping. This is probably egyptian and not lebanese, because of the use of spices. Egyptians are known to use spices heavily in their food. Usually one finds variants of the similar lebanese dishes in Egypt but with additions of more fragrances and aromas in the form of spices.



This dip is my ‘show-off’ dip’ :D. It is a perfect party enhancer. Make this, serve with crackers or soup -sticks along with the drinks and your party begins….What I like about such dips is that they are delicious, light, guilt free and look absolutely exotic !! Look at that colour…. 



Egyptian Beetroot Dip

Ingredients

2 large Beetroots
4 cloves of Garlic
1/3 cup of plain yoghurt
1 heaped tsp of Cumin seeds
1 tsp of Coriander seeds
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
Toasted Pistachios, roughly chopped for garnish



Direction

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree C. Wrap the beetroots in foil and roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes.
2. When the last 10 minutes are left throw in the garlic and let it roast as well. Let the beetroot cool down, then peel the skin off.

3. While the beetroot is roasting, take a small frying pan and dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds, till aroma rises. Remove from the flame and grind to a fine powder.

4. Roughly chop the beetroots, put in the food processor and add all the other ingredients besides the olive oil and pistachios. 

5. Blitz in the processor till well blended and a smooth paste is formed. Transfer in the serving dish, dribble some olive oil and pistachios for garnish.

6. Serve with crackers or any other finger food of your choice.



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 | The Italian Pesto | Dip\Sauce

Day 11


Pesto  – The Fragrant Italian Sauce !! 

Pesto is one of the earliest sauces / dips I started making. It is my absolute personal favourite and my ‘go to’ sauce everytime I’m in a fix, so when in doubt, use pesto !!
The woody fragrance of pine nuts blending with the sweetness of basil is a marriage made in heaven.


It is a light fresh sauce perfect for summer that can not only be used in pastas, but also salads. It also makes for an interesting dip / topping.
Bless the Italian Nonnas to have invented this !!



‘Pesto’ is a generic term used for anything that is made by pounding and originally was made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan, though today there are various versions of pesto, made with many different ingredients.

While traditionally Pesto does contain Parmesan, I do not add it in my version of the recipe. Since I use so much of Pesto, I always try to do away with cheese wherever I can, though I’d suggest you should add to the recipe, especially if you are making this for the first time.


Pesto



Ingredients

100g Basil leaves 

1/2 cup Pine nuts

5 cloves of garlic.

1/2 cup grated Parmesan (optional. add it if you are making it for the first time.)


4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste





Directions

1. In a food processor, add all ingredients besides the olive oil. Process on low till all ingredients blend in well. 

2. Increase the processor speed to high and dribble oil in a thin stream. 

3. Scrape down the sides of the food processor jar and transfer the pesto in a jar. Use immediately or refrigerate.

felice martellante !


Condiment Series | Moong Hummus with Burnt Chillies | Dip

Day 10



While I love my daals (lentils), Green Gram was never a favourite. Rather I always seem to shy away from it and my mother would always be after my case for running away from the green moong, listing down all its health benefits in one breath…every single time !!




So finally here I am, with a win win situation…. she can’t complaint, and now neither can I. Green Gram Hummus doesn’t taste anything like the way green gram daal does. It is creamy and full of flavour and super healthy !!



Now that I’ve been making various types of hummus, I realise that a hummus-n-pita with some relish type of breakfast is one of the most satiating breakfasts and I seem to be gorging on these atleast 3 times a week. I love it !!

Oh by the way May 13 was International Hummus Day !! 🙂
Though for my most days can be hummus days.



Moong Hummus with Burnt Chillies



Ingredients


2 cups cooked Green Gram

1 tsp Tahini

3 Cloves Garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt to taste 

2 tbsp Olive Oil


For Tempering

1 Tsp Chilli flakes

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Oregano



Directions

1. Blitz in a food processor, all the ingredients besides the ones for tempering.

2. Once a smooth creamy texture is achieved, transfer in a serving dish.

3. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan, add chilli flakes and just when they are about to burn, add the oregano and remove from flame. Pour over the hummus. 

4. Give it a light stir and serve.


Happy Hummus Days !!

Condiment Series | Mushroom Dip | Dips

Day 9


Mushroom Dip. Serve it hot. Serve it cold. Yeah… serve it the way you like it. It’s an all year dip. I serve this warm-n-fuzzy with nachos or pita on cold wintry evenings and serve it chilled in summers. This also makes for excellent sandwich spreads too (that was my breakfast today !!).


The base in this dip is the white sauce, though one could do the same with sour cream as well. I’ll try to share a sour cream-mushroom dip recipe as well, a little later. For now here goes the recipe:

Mushroom Dip !!




Ingredients

200g Mushrooms (regular white button mushrooms), finely chopped

1 large Onion, finely chopped

4-5 cloves of Garlic, minced

1 tsp Dried Oregano

1/2 tsp of chilli flakes

Salt to taste

Oil for sauteing

For the white sauce

1 tbsp Butter

1 tbsp All purpose white flour

1 cup Milk

Black Pepper

Salt to taste.




Directions

1. Take a pan. Pour oil, saute the garlic till slightly golden. Now add the onions and saute` till translucent.

2. Once the onions are done add the finely chopped mushrooms and saute`.

3. Keep stirring every once in a while till the mushrooms are almost cooked through. This should take about 12-15 minutes on medium to high heat. Now add the salt,  dried oregano and chilli flakes. mix well. Cook for another 2 minutes. By this time the moisture from the mushrooms should have evaporated. If not, saute` a little more till the liquid evaporates.



4. While the mushrooms are cooking, we should prepare the white sauce. Take another pan, add 1 tbsp of butter and half a tsp for oil (so that the butter doesn’t burn).

5. Once the butter melts, add the flour and mix well till butter and flour are well combined. Make sure the flour doesn’t change colour, however once the aroma rises, add half the milk and quickly quickly whisk with a spatula or a balloon whisk , into a smooth paste. Make sure there are no lumps formed.

6. Add the remaining milk and mix well. Check for consistency. It should not be very flowy. It should have saucy consistency. If the sauce coats the back of the spoon, it is ready. Add salt and pepper. Mix well.

7. Remove from fire and add the cooked mushrooms.

8. Serve warm. Or if you want to serve cold, let it cool down completely, cover with the cling wrap and refrigerate.