All posts filed under: Dips & Sauces

Caponata – Italian Eggplant Antipasto

When I hear the word Caponata, the first thing that pops into my head is a Godfather-esque movie that has its origins in some remote fishing village in Sicily. For all my romanticism with gangster style movies, this Caponata is actually quite harmless. Dark, Complex, Delicious and even originating from Sicily…but definitely harmless.

Marinara Sauce – My way

Have you ever had something that you knew was perfect your way? No matter what the textbooks, teachers, experts or even old aunties claimed? Well in my case, many things fall in this category including this Marinara sauce. Now this is not blind faith – it’s a belief system that has evolved over many painstaking trial and error sessions. It is also a result of the fact that international recipes sometimes call for ingredients that are not readily available here. Or plain and simple – you try to make the best of the ingredients that ARE available to you! If that means cutting open a packet of Dabur Tomato Puree in the final stages and finishing the sauce with some Maggi Hot and Sweet sauce – then so be it! The final results are a fantastically chunky sauce with a robust tomato and garlic flavor. Dress it with some good quality olive oil and you’ve beaten the store bought sauces 10-1. With odds like this, ‘my way’ seems a lot more comfortable than the highway …

Guacamole – Mexican Avacado Dip

Guacamole (gwaka – mo – lee) is part of Mexican cuisine that originated with the Aztecs. It essentially means a sauce (mole) made with ahucatyl (avocado). Its popularity spiked with American football games and now it’s a household dip of choice in America! India is just warming up to the idea of guacamole as Mexican cuisine gains popularity. When I was a little kid, my dad used to mash up avocados with sugar and we used to enjoy them chilled. We called it Butter Fruit Ice Cream 🙂 So I am already a big fan! I love guacamole but it is really difficult to make. The difficulty arises not in the process but in the sourcing of ripe avocados. There have been more than a dozen times that I have come home happy with avocados and then been a grouch when I cut into them and realized they are unripe or a brown slimy mess! And seriously there are no failsafe options to figure this out. Every time I cut into an unripe avocado, I …

Cannellini Bean Dip

Featured in Tastespotting.com on 5th Dec 2012 Featured in Foodgawker.com on 5th Dec 2012 If you ever get bored of eating hummus (highly unlikely) this dip will easily fill the void. And ‘easily’ is the key word here. It takes all of 5 mins to whip this up and you can flaunt it around in your guest’s faces as some exotic dish. Unless of course, the guest happens to be my Mom. In that case, the story will differ. She will just take a whiff of it and declare with uber confidence that – ‘it’s just a form of Rajma… white in this case’ – chapter closed. All tales of how you bought it from GNB and paid 150 rupees for a 400gm can will vanish from memory because you don’t want to be cut down to size! The next debate will clearly be on why I eat such ‘processed’ food when I can just head down to the market in the morning and pick up some fresh organic stuff. And the final closing argument …

Quick Hummus for Easy Entertaining…

Featured in Tastespotting.com on 26th Sep 12 While the quickest Hummus would be a store bought variety, it’s not essentially the tastiest. At the other end of the spectrum is the completely home made Hummus which is super yuumy but so time consuming (with the overnight soaking of the chickpea and then boiling blah blah blah), that it takes the joy out of entertaining. Ok, I’m exaggerating, but I’ve never been a fan of being a slave to the kitchen. Give me quick, easy and tasty any day! So I’ve found a happy median with this recipe. I use canned chickpea and tahini paste and blend the rest of the ingredients in! It’s super simple and tastes 100% better than the store bought one. And I also have the satisfaction that I churned it out myself. (At least MOST of it)! J Quick and Easy Hummus Prep time: 15 mins Makes: 2 cups What you need: 1 can/ 450g Chickpeas in liquid (drained weight 200g) 1/3 cup Water/ Liquid (from the can) 2 Tbsp Tahini …

Tzatziki – Cucumber Yoghurt Dip from Greece

It’s pronounced zad-zi-ki, in case you were wondering. I do have a penchant for strange sounding names, they intrigue me and force me to delve deeper into them. And this dip is something that you want to dive deep into. Especially on a hot summer day! It’s really refreshing and cooling and goes fabulously with vegetable crudités or grilled meat. After making it, I served it with some olives and toasted pita for a mezze like feel. And announced with a flourish that the Tzatziki was served! Mom took a look at it and declared that it was not really that exotic or strange, actually it reminded her of the ubiquitous Indian raita or pachadi! Nothing like ‘experience’ to throw water on someone’s excitement! (hmph!). I of course brushed the comment aside with a cool wave of the hand and grumbled that she was closed to experimenting with new cuisines (all the while knowing that I had lost the battle!). So in essence, yes it does look and feel like pachadi and maybe the Greeks …