With monsoon comes the craving for spicy, tangy food that leaves you licking your fingers. Get set to savour the rainy days with these zingy, versatile dips that can perk up the most boring toasts to steaming hot fritters.
Mango and fig dip
Raw mango teamed up with figs, teased with a bit of fresh green chillies create an exciting mélange of flavours when had with piping hot tandoori kebabs.
1 cup finely chopped mango
1 tsp finely chopped soaked figs
1/2 cup mango pulp
1 tsp chopped green coriander
1 tsp chopped green chilli
1 tsp chopped raw mango
1/2 tsp ginger juice
A pinch of salt
You can make it in a jiffy! Combine all ingredients and blend well. Serve chilled.
By Chef Inder Dev, Fortune Select Excalibur
Red Pepper Romesco
Hot and spicy, it can set your ear canals aflame. Have it in moderation and team it up with grilled vegetables like asparajus and artichokes or grilled chicken or fish.
1 red pepper (capsicum)—deseeded and quartered
½ cup flaked almonds
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 clove garlic—roughly chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small red chili, deseeded and chopped (or ½ teaspoon chili powder)
Place the red pepper (skin side up) under a hot oven broiler (griller) for around 10 minutes or until the skin blackens all over. Remove and cover the charred peppers with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap for 5 minutes to allow the steam to loosen the skin from the pepper flesh. While the peppers cool, place the flaked almonds in a frying pan and toast over a gentle heat until golden brown, stirring regularly so they don't burn. Peel off the blackened skins and roughly cut the pepper flesh into pieces. Place the roasted pepper, toasted almonds, and remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
By Chef Sabyasachi Gorai at Olive Bar & Kitchen
Zattar and Yoghurt Dip
This yogurt dip is a great buddy for steaming hot seafood fritters, grilled lamb and even for humble besan pakoras. Zattar, the Middle Eastern spice mix gives the dip a sharp flavour.
250 gm curd
30 ml chilli Oil
15 gm Zattar Powder
5 gm parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
Hang the curd over night in the refrigerator, wrapped in a muslin cloth. In a pan, heat chilli oil. Add the Zattar powder and immediately take it off the stove. Now, add chopped parsley. Leave to cool. Finally, add the yoghurt and lemon juice. Serve chilled.
By Chef Shamsul Wahid, Smoke House Deli & Grill
This tangy pineapple chutney, flavoured with anardana and black salt, is a great company for your monsoon snacks such as pakoras, nuggets, and samosas. High in antioxidants and Vitamin C, it makes your fried treats easy to digest.
1 tbsp ginger, chopped
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp anardana, dry
Black salt to taste
Cut pineapple into small dices. Heat oil in a sauce pan and add ginger to it. Now add the diced pineapple. Add sugar, vinegar, red chilli powder, anardana and sauté. Add water and simmer over low heat, stirring continuously. Once the pineapple dices are mashed, remove from flame and adjust the seasoning. Store in refrigerator and serve cold.
By chef Tarun Kapoor, The Metropolitan
Sun-dried tomato pesto
This tomatoey dip is a zesty companion for freshly baked focaccia bread or grilled fish. The crushed black pepper lends it sharpness to jazz up the blandest of food.
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
100 gm pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
200 gm Parmesan cheese
Crushed black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
A pinch of sugar
1 tbs olive oil
Grate the Parmesan cheese. Toast the pine nuts on medium to low heat in a non stick pan until lightly browned. Combine toasted pine nuts, garlic and crushed pepper in a food processor and grind until coarsely chopped. Add the sun dried tomatoes and grated Parmesan cheese and process. Now stream in the olive oil slowly and process slowly until the dip comes together. Add salt and sugar to taste.
By Chef Ashish Srivastava, Ploof Deli Kitchen & Bar Beer Cheese dips
How about a dip flavoured with beer? This simple to make dip combines beer and cheese to create a smooth spread. Spiced up with pepper, it goes with almost any snack you can think of.
2 packet cream cheese, softened
1 packet dry ranch salad dressing mix
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup beer
Seasoned salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
In a bowl, mash the cream cheese with the ranch dressing mix until thoroughly combined, then stir in the Cheddar cheese. Mix in beer, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency (add more for a thinner dip). Stir in the seasoned salt and cayenne pepper. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.
By chef Sahil Arora , The Courtyard by Marriott
Compiled by Shara Ashraf