Garlic and Basil Hung Curd Dip

I would totally call this a lazy person’s style of dip. All one requires is hungry taste buds that help you add your favorite set of ingredients to a plain bowl of hung curd. This dip is refreshing; definitely very quick and easy to make. Use it as an early morning sandwich spread, or have it with your good old tortilla chips and other variety of crispies.

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This is what you will need:

Ingredients (Preparation time: 5 minutes)

1 bowl of hung curd

½ finely chopped red onion

5-6 cloves of finely chopped garlic

8-10 leaves of fresh basil torn into tiny pieces

1 tsp finely chopped green chilies

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Method

  • Add all of the above ingredients to the hung curd and combine well. Serve cold.

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Could this get any easier?

Happy Eating 🙂

Green Cabbage Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional side dish (banchan) of Korea. It is basically fermented cabbage pickled with chili powder, garlic and a few other ingredients. Traditionally, nappa cabbage (Baechu) and Korean chili pepper (gochugaru) is used for making Kimchi. Unfortunately, they are not available in my town; so I decided I could try making it with substitutes available locally. The first time I tried my hand at Kimchi was out of curiosity. To my surprise it turned out really flavorsome and I was able to use it in various other dishes as well, resulting in new delicious recipes which I will certainly share them soon over here.  If you are making it for the first time, it might take a while to get used to the pungent smell and taste. It is definitely worth a try though.

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Ingredients

1 medium-sized head green cabbage

1 red onion (use scallions if available)

1 tsp chopped ginger

5-6 cloves garlic

3 dried red chilies

1 tsp cayenne pepper garlic chutney

1/4 tsp red chili powder

3 tbsp salt

Method

  • Divide the cabbage into two halves and remove the core. Next, cut it into 2-inch squares.
  • Place the cabbage in a bowl and add the salt and water (enough to cover the cabbage) to it. Cover it with a lid and leave it to ferment for 3-4 hours. Also, soak dried red chilies in water.

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  • Drain water and rinse the fermented cabbage in clean water. Add soaked red chilies, ginger and garlic in a mixer grinder and form a paste.
  • Add red onions cut in julienne (or scallions and any other vegetables of you choice like radish and carrot), red chili paste and chili powder into the cabbage and mix well.

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  • Store it in an air tight container and refrigerate after a few hours. Give it a good shake at regular intervals. Let the cabbage soak in its juices for about a week. It will also change its color. That’s when it will taste best. Although, you can have it right away as well. Consume within 30 days.

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It definitely tastes very different from the real Kimchi but pleasing to the palate. Change the flavor according to your taste. Add sugar or more chili if you like.

Enjoy 🙂

Cayenne Pepper Garlic Chutney

I have clearly fallen in love with this chutney. As soon as one batch gets over, I yearn to make another batch of this delicious super delicious goodness. It is mildly spicy and full of flavor. Serve it up with your favorite munchies or use it as a spread. I bet it will go well with mostly any dish you name. It is easy to prepare and store as well.

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This is what you will need:

Ingredients

250 gm cayenne pepper

2 garlic heads

2 medium-sized onions

1 tsp sugar

2 tbsp olive oil

½ cup white vinegar

Salt to taste

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Method

  • Add cayenne pepper, garlic cloves and onions in your mixer grinder and blitz with roughly 1/2 a cup of water.

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  • Heat oil in a pan  and add the cayenne pepper paste. It might splutter, so be careful about that! Add sugar and salt to taste (I added 1 tsp). Cover lid and let it cook on a medium-low flame for 10 minutes. Stir at regular intervals.

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  • Turn off the flame and add vinegar. Let it cool and store in an air-tight container. Keep it in the refrigerator.

Enjoy! 🙂

Chaat Masala at Home

Chaat Masala, is basically a combination of a variety of spices, giving it a sweet, salty, tangy taste. WOW! Imagine such a burst of flavors in your mouth!! Mmmm… Dry Mango Powder and Black Salt are the key ingredients responsible for the zingy taste, (Chatpata– as we call it here in India) that pushes you towards making that lip-smacking sound!! Majority of Indian snacks, street foods, etc. cannot do without a sprinkle of chaat masala on them. They are the essence of a good Indian snack. Just a sprinkle of it will take the dish to a whole another level.

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In one of my previous posts Tangy Chick-peas Salad, I had mentioned I would be doing a post on Homemade Chaat Masala. I have adapted this recipe from a cookery course I took up, a few months back. Prior to that, I always used store bought chaat masala and never had I thought of making a version of my own at home. I tried it out and surprisingly, it tasted very similar to the ones sold in markets, only fresher. 🙂 This recipe makes about half a cup and it can be stored for a good one- one and a half month.

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This is what you will need:

Ingredients

2 tsp Cumin Seeds

1 tsp Coriander Seeds

1 tsp Fennel Seeds

4 tsp Dry Mango Powder (Amchoor)

1 ½ tsp Black Pepper Powder

½ tsp Dry Ginger Powder

¼ tsp Asafetida (Hing)

1 tsp Garam Masala (Consists of roasted whole – black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds, brown cardamom  pods)

3 tsp Black Salt

1 ½ tsp Salt

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Method

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  • Dry roast Cumin Seeds, Coriander Seeds, and Fennel Seeds respectively. and grind them to form a powder. There is a picture below for the cumin powder. Same is to be done for the other two.

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Mortar & Pestle

Mortar & Pestle

  • Once you have all your ingredients in place, combine well.

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Pass it through a sieve in case you are looking for a finer texture.

Relish this lovely homemade spice mixture by sprinkling on your fritters, potato chips..or just about anything where you are looking for a little zing in your dish!!

Enjoy! 🙂

 

Homemade Cream Cheese

It has been quite a while since I’ve been looking for a way to make easy cream cheese. Fortunately, I did come across good articles on the internet which led me to create a nice cream cheese recipe for myself.

This is what you will need.

Ingredients (It makes about roughly 2 1/2 cups )

2 litres milk

2-3 tsp lemon juice/ a quarter cup curd (whichever is available)

1 tbsp hung curd

Method

  • Bring the milk to a boil.
  • Add lemon juice or curd to curdle the milk (you can even use whey if you like). Stir for a while.
  • Pass it through a strainer and keep aside to cool. (Don’t throw the whey. You can use it in your gravies and curries. It just enhances the flavor of your dishes. You can also knead your dough with it).
  • Put the cottage cheese in a mixer grinder along with hung curd and give it a mix. Add a little whey if your cottage cheese gets too tight. You can also pass it through a sieve if you are looking for a smoother texture.

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Now, after this step you can add sugar and a flavor of your choice in case you are making a cheese cake, mousse or any other dessert.

You can also add salt and pepper to it and use it as a sandwich spread or in your salad as a dressing.

Your options are unlimited. Follow your taste buds and use this wonderful ingredient to create a tasty food item that makes you feel proud! 🙂