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” !! 🙂 Why only the boys I’d be happy too. 🙂

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


Ingredients

2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Flour
¾ cup milk, divided
½ cup beer (beer of your choice)
1 tsp English Mustard
¼ tsp Salt
A pinch of sweet paprika (plus more for garnish)
150g Processed Cheese (the original recipe asked for 300g of cheese)

Directions:
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 ¼ cup of the milk and whisk that until smooth followed by the final ¼ 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





Ingredients

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



Directions

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




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 | 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 😀


Caribbean Coconut Dip



Ingredients


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



Directions

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 | Sundried Tomato Pesto | Dip

Day 16


Mostly when we hear of Pesto we only think of the traditional basil pesto, but remember Pesto is anything that is pounded !! 
If you like sundried tomatoes you’ll love this pesto. The flavours are so rich and so intense.

Basil and Tomato is another marriage made in heaven ! The earthy sweetness of basil and the tangy tomatoes is pure bliss and as Italian as it can get 🙂 

I love sun dried tomatoes and when in a hurry or when the sun is not strong enough, I oven dry them. You do get readymade sun dried tomatoes, but here in India they are super expensive compared to making your own. And then of course, nothing beats the pleasure of making from scratch your own batch of these flavourful chewy sun dried tomatoes.

I will share the recipe of sundried tomatoes in my next series (very soon…)

For now it is the sun dried tomato pesto. 
Again use this as a dip / relish for your chips or use it in pasta or spread it on a toast…you have many options.



Sundried Tomato Pesto

Ingredients

10 whole sundried tomatoes or a cup full
4 cloves of Garlic
1/2 cup blanched Almonds
a handful of fresh Basil
2 tsps Sugar
1 small dry red chilli 
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste


Directions

Combine everything in the food processor and blitz ! I like to keep this pesto a little coarse. You can make it more pasty if you like.  If it’s a little too tangy for you, you can increase the sugar.

Transfer in a bottle and store in the refrigerator.

Serve as you like !!


Note:

If you have sundried tomatoes soaked in oil, the same oil can be used to make the pesto. 

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 | 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.

Condiments | Tzatziki | Dip

This is Day 6.


Today it is Tzatziki. An authentic Greek Dip. This tangy refreshing summer dip compliments grilled meats beautifully. Serve it with the main course or just as a dip with appetizers for a party, it is a winner. Binge on it guilt free as it is not rude to your waistline.  
This complex sounding dip is actually made with really simple ingredients, all readily available in our kitchen cabinets.



Tzatziki

Ingredients

1 cup Hung Curd
1 small cucumber or 1/2 a large cucumber (preferably seedless)
2 cloves Garlic finely minced.
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp minced fresh Dill
1/2 tsp Salt


Directions

1. Whisk the hung curd nicely till no lumps are visible and the curd has a smooth flowy consistency.

2. Grate the cucumber, and drain through a muslin cloth. There should be no water in the grated cucumber.

3. Combine, hung curd, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt in a big bowl. Whisk well and refrigerate for 2 hours. This needs resting time. The flavours mature and it tastes a lot better. Try not to have it instantly. (If this get a tad too tangy for you, add 1’2 teaspoon of honey or powdered sugar). 

4. Transfer in serving bowl and garnish with dill leaves. Serve chilled.


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.