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 |Szechuan Sauce | Dip

Day 30 !!



Yay !! I did it. Making dips and shooting them and writing about them for 30 days continuously !! And I loved every bit of it !! I had a wonderful time creating these dips, some were originals, some inspired and some learnt from others with minor modifications !! 
Do leave your comments to tell me how you liked this series and which was your favourite dip. I love to hear from all of you as it gives me a chance to connect with my readers.
But hey…don’t go away..there is another surprise tomorrow……under this series only !! Look out for this space…..


Coming back to the dip of the day -the Schezwan Sauce, a very popular one in Asian countries, especially India !! It gets its bold flavours from the red chillies, garlic and the unique sichuan peppers. 
The sauce gets its name from it’s origin in the Sichuan region of Southwest China.


It is one of the most popular sauces of the Chinese Cuisine here in India where some like it really hot, some like to just have a hint of it…some like to get a little greedy about it (like me….I can have an entire meal with only noodles and szechuan sauce)

So here I am with an authentic szechuan sauce recipe for the 30th day of the 30days30dips Series. Though this is not the grand finale`….look out for this space tomorrow for the grand finale` of the 30days30dips Series. Till then…..

Szechuan Sauce


Ingredients

20 dry red chilies

1 small onion, finely chopped

15 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 inch ginger, finely chopped

2 to 2 ½ tbsp water for grinding 
the red chilies

½ cup water to be added later

1 tbsp rice vinegar or white vinegar

3 to 4 sichuan peppers (skip if you don’t have)

½ tbsp finely chopped celery

1 to 2 tsp brown sugar (If you like your sauce to be sweeter, add 3 tbsps)

½ tsp black pepper powder

½ tsp soy sauce

3 to 4 tbsp sesame oil or any vegetable oil

Salt to taste

Directions

1. Soak the chilies in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain.

2. Blend them to a fine paste. Add a little water to make a smooth paste.

3. Crush the Sichuan peppers coarsely in a mortar-pestle.

4. Heat sesame oil or any other vegetable oil in a pan.

5. Add the garlic and ginger first and sauté till their raw aroma goes away. Don’t brown them.

6. Add the chopped onions and sauté` them till translucent.

7. Add the ground red chili paste and stir.

8. Then add the crushed Sichuan pepper. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes more till you see oil on the sides of 
the sauce.

9. Add ½ cup of water and give a stir again. Simmer for 2 minutes.

10. Add salt, pepper, soy sauce and vinegar. Also add celery now.

11. Stir and continue to cook for 5 to 6 minutes more.

12. Adjust the season if required.

13. Transfer in a serving dish and serve or store in the refrigerator. It stays happy in a refrigerator for upto 3 weeks.

Use as a sauce to add to chicken or vegetable or even rice dishes or simply use as a dip.




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 | Homemade Herbed Mustard | Dip

Day 25


Mustard !! We all have our own tastes and preferences. I buy three different types of mustard at home. While KJ likes mustard to be creamy more like a Dijon Mustard, I like the Classic English Mustard with my sandwiches or burgers, and then I use Kasundi for my salads, marinades, dressings etc. 


And now I have the fourth type that I made at home.
So apparently making mustard at home is simple and you can play around with it, as you like. I learnt it recently only !! I never knew making mustard was that simple. It’s fun actually !! 



So here, the mustard I’ve made is a milder version of the various types readily available with the addition of herbs. I’d suggest let it sit for 2-3 days and the flavours intensify. I’ve used yellow mustard seeds, you can follow the same procedure with a different variety of the seeds.

Homemade Herbed Mustard

Ingredients

2/3  cup (120gr) yellow mustard seeds
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup water
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme
1.5 Tbsp Rosemary
½ tsp chili flakes
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp honey 
¼ cup water at room temperature




Directions

1. Mix apple cider vinegar with water and add mustard seeds. Leave to soak for 2 to 3 days. The mustard seeds will absorb a lot of the liquid.

2. Put mustard mix in a blender, together with the rest of the ingredients, and blitz until you get a smooth consistency. If you think it’s too thick, add 2 tbsp of water at a time and continue to blend until you get it smooth.
3. Transfer into jars, leaving no air bubbles if you can, and keep covered in the fridge.

Notes

Mustard should keep well in the fridge, for up to few months.
This too makes as a good food gift ! Make bottles and gift to family and friends.

Happy Dipping !!