Great Vegetarian Dishes

(Part Six) Dips, Sauces and Dressings

DIPS, SAUCES AND DRESSINGS

KCB 11.1: Lebanese Eggplant Dip (Babagannouj)

Lebanese Eggplant Dip (Babagannouj)

This version of the famous Middle Eastern mezze (hors d'oeuvre) can be served as an appetizer with breads, salads, and a variety of other nourishing and substantial dishes. This delicious dip has a characteristic smoky flavour from roasting the eggplants until they blacken.

PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes
OVEN ROASTING TIME: at least 1 hour
YIELD: enough for about 4 persons

2 large eggplants
1 tablespoon (20 ml) olive oil
1/2 cup (125 ml) tahini
juice of 2 large lemons
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) yellow asafoetida powder
1 tablespoon (20 ml) finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon (5 ml) paprika or cayenne pepper

1. Slit the eggplants with a sharp knife to allow the steam to escape whilst baking. Lightly oil the eggplants; then place them in a preheated oven 200C/390F. Bake them until the outside is charred and crisp.
2. Remove the eggplants from the oven, scoop out the pulp into a bowl (it should have a smoky aroma), and mash thoroughly. Mix with the tahini, lemon juice, salt, pepper, asafoetida, and parsley until it reaches a smooth consistency. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water. Spoon the dip into a suitable serving bowl, pour the olive oil into the centre, and garnish with paprika or cayenne. Serve immediately.

KCB 11.2: Indonesian Chili-and-Peanut Relish (Sambal Pecal)

Indonesian Chili-and-Peanut Relish (Sambal Pecal)

Indonesian chili-based sauces or pickles are called sambals. This water sambal functions as a dip with raw or cooked vegetables and can also be used as a salad dressing.

PREPARATION TIME: 5 minutes
COOKING TIME: 5 minutes
YIELD: enough for a dip for 4 or 5 or a salad dressing for 10 to 12

water
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafoetida powder
oil for deep-frying
3/4 cup (185 ml) raw peanuts
3 tablespoons (60 ml) water
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) tamarind concentrate
3 medium green chilies, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon (5 ml) brown sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) light kejap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)

1. Heat the oil in a wok or pan to 185C/365F and deep-fry the peanuts until golden brown. Remove and drain.
2. Mix the 3 tablespoons (60 ml) water with the tamarind concentrate to form tamarind juice.
3. In a blender or food processor, grind the peanuts to a fine sand-like consistency. Add the tamarind juice, chilies, sugar, soy sauce, salt, and 1 tablespoon (20 ml) water and blend or process until it reaches a stiff, grainy paste consistency. Add more water until it reaches a smooth paste consistency.
4. Heat 1 teaspoon (5 ml) oil in a small pan and momentarily fry the asafoetida until it becomes fragrant. Add this to the sambal. Blend or process the sambal a little more and then remove it from the blender or food processor. Serve warm or at room temperature.

KCB 11.3: Tartare Sauce

Tartare Sauce

Here are two recipes for this famous sauce, using an eggless mayonnaise base. Both recipes call for capers which give Tartare Sauce its characteristic flavour. Non-vegetarians serve this sauce with seafood. However, I have discovered a wonderful karma-free use for Tartare Sauce as an accompaniment to juicy Curd Pakoras. Serve this combination with a slice of lemon and amaze your dinner guests!

Tartare Sauce I

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes
YIELD: almost 1 cup (250 ml)

3/4 cup (185 ml) Eggless Mayonnaise II
1 tablespoon (20 ml) chopped green olives
1 tablespoon (20 ml) chopped gherkins
1 tablespoon (20 ml) chopped capers
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt

1. Combine all the ingredients an refrigerate.

 

Tartare Sauce II

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes
YIELD: almost 1 cup (250 ml)

2/3 cup (165 ml) Eggless Mayonnaise II
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped capers
1 tablespoon (20 ml) chopped gherkin
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) black pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients and refrigerate.

KCB 11.4: Date and Tamarind Sauce

Date and Tamarind Sauce

Tamarind, the fruit pulp from the pods of the Asian tamarind tree, Tamarindus indica, is the most commonly used souring agent in Indian cuisine. When combined with dates, a delightful sweet-and-sour flavour results. This date and tamarind sauce is delicious served with Potato and Pea Croquettes or Cauliflower and Pea Samosas.

PREPARATION AND COOKING TIME: 20 minutes
SETTING TIME: 4 hours
YIELD: about 1 cup (250 ml)

3 tablespoons (60 ml) tamarind concentrate
2 green chilies, seeded and minced
11/4 cups (310 ml) boiling water
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped dried dates
1 teaspoon (5 ml) minced ginger
2 tablespoons (40 ml) brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) garam masala
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) chat masala
2 teaspoons (10 ml) salt

1. Blend the tamarind concentrate, chilies, water, dates, ginger, brown sugar, spices, and salt in a food processor or blender until smooth.
2. Place the sauce in a small saucepan and simmer it over moderate heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and set it aside for 4 hours to allow the sauce to thicken and the flavours to mingle. Serve at room temperature.

KCB 11.5: Greek Cucumber and Yogurt Dip (Tzatziki)

Greek Cucumber and Yogurt Dip (Tzatziki)

Here's my version of the refreshing Greek cucumber-and-yogurt dip that is great served with crisp raw vegetables. The yogurt is hung for a few hours to drain off some of its whey; then it's folded with shredded cucumber and garnished with fresh herbs. Serve as a dip with chunks of vegetables such as blanched cauliflower and broccoli, squares of red or green peppers, celery wedges, baby tomatoes, carrot spears, or slices of fresh flat-bread.

PREPARATION TIME: 5 minutes
YOGURT HANGING TIME: 2 hours
YIELD: about 2 cups (500 ml)

2 cups (500 ml) plain yogurt
1 medium green cucumber
1 tablespoon (20 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons (10 ml) olive oil
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafoetida powder
1 tablespoon (20 ml) chopped fresh parsley

1. Line a sieve with a double thickness of cheesecloth. Place it over a bowl, spoon the yogurt into it, and allow to drain for 2 hours, preferably in the refrigerator.
2. When the yogurt is drained, semi-peel the cucumber, allowing some of the green under-skin to remain. Slit the cucumber in half, seed it, and grate it coarsely. Squeeze out the excess moisture.
3. Empty the drained yogurt into a bowl and add the cucumber, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
4. Heat the olive oil in a small pan until slightly hot and momentarily saute the asafoetida until it becomes fragrant. Add the oil and asafoetida to the bowl of yogurt and cucumber, add half the parsley, and combine well. Garnish with parsley and serve chilled.

KCB 11.6: Mexican Avocado Dip (Guacamole)

Mexican Avocado Dip (Guacamole)

Here's my version of Guacamole, the famous dip or spread of Mexican origin that now enjoys great popularity around the world. In Guacamole the creaminess of the avocado combines wonderfully with the lemon and chili flavours. It is great served with Nachos, Tacos, or as a dip for corn chips.
I have found that the variety of avocado with the purple crinkly skin (known as the Haas variety in Australia) lends itself best to this dish.

PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes
YIELD: enough for 4 or 6 persons

2 ripe medium avocados, peeled and stoned
3 or 4 inner leaves fresh crisp lettuce shredded very finely into long thin strips (chiffonade)
1 medium firm tomato, finely chopped
2 small green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh lemon or lime juice
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafoetida powder

1. Cut the avocado flesh into chunks and mash coarsely in a bowl.
2. Combine the avocado, lettuce, tomato, chilies, lemon or lime juice, pepper, salt, and asafoetida and transfer to a serving dish.

Note: If you would like to prepare Guacamole a few hours in advance, leave the avocado stone in the mixture. This will prevent browning. Remove the stone before serving.

KCB 11.7: Chickpea Pate

Chickpea Pate

Chickpeas are a great source of protein and iron as well as fibre, vitamins A and B6, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. One cup of chick peas has the usable protein equivalent of one 30 g (41/4-ounce) steak. When chickpeas are combined with dairy products, the usable protein increases.
This chickpea pate is very tasty and goes well as a dip or spread on bread or crackers.

CHICKPEA COOKING TIME: 1 - 2 hours
PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes
YIELD: about 3 cups (750 ml)

1 cup (250 ml) raw chickpeas, soaked overnight
11/2 teaspoons (7 ml) salt
1 cup (250 ml) sour cream
1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground coriander
1 tablespoon (20 ml) fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (20 ml) olive oil
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafoetida powder
1/2 cup (125 ml) celery, finely minced

1. Drain the soaked chickpeas and place them in a large saucepan with lots of water. Boil for 1 to 2 hours or until they're soft.
2. Drain the cooked chickpeas and blend them in a food processor or blender until they become smooth and creamy.
3. Add salt, sour cream, parsley, ground coriander, lemon juice, and black pepper and continue processing for 2 minutes.
4. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the asafoetida. Add the minced celery and saute for 1 minute or until the celery becomes soft. Add the celery mixture to the food processor and process a little more. Place the pate in a suitable bowl and refrigerate until firm. The pate can be refrigerated for two days.

KCB 11.8: Tahini sauce

Tahini Sauce

Tahini is a paste made from the finely ground seeds of the sesame plant, Sesamum indicum. It is cream or cream-gray in colour and has the texture, though not the taste, of runny peanut butter. In the Levant, tahini is used as a basis for various salad dressings and to flavour the famous hummus, or chick pea puree, which I have also included in this book. Here is an ultra-simple but delicious tahini  sauce which can be served with fresh Middle Eastern breads and any of the following mezze or Middle Eastern hors d'oeuvres: slices of cucumber, lemon wedges, fresh raw cauliflower pieces, chunks of carrot, celery, lettuce leaves, tomato pieces, olives, nuts, or chickpeas.

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes
YIELD: enough for 6 - 8 persons

1 cup (250 ml) tahini
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) ground cumin
1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) yellow asafoetida powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1 tablespoon (20 ml) finely chopped fresh parsley

1. Combine all the ingredients (reserving half the parsley) with the aid of a food processor or blender. The sauce should resemble mayonnaise in consistency. Add a little water if required.
2. Pour the sauce into a serving bowl and garnish it with the reserved parsley. Serve at room temperature.

KCB 11.9: Tomato Relish

Tomato Relish

Here's the tomato sauce I use as the basis for many dishes at Gopal's Restaurant. It's ideal served with all types of pasta dishes, including lasagna and gnocchi. I also use it as the basis for various casseroles and as a dipping sauce. It's great on pakoras, especially cauliflower, and it's quick and easy to prepare.

PREPARATION AND COOKING TIME: 20 minutes
YIELD: 2 cups (500 ml)

3 tablespoons (60 ml) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) yellow asafoetida powder
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) ground black pepper
21/2 cups (625 ml) pureed tomatoes
11/2 teaspoons (7 ml) minced fresh basil leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) clove powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) brown sugar
2 tablespoons (40 ml) tomato paste
1 teaspoon (5 ml) fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (40 ml) minced fresh parsley

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan over moderate heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the asafoetida and saute momentarily. Add the black pepper, saute for a moment, and then add the tomatoes. Add the basil, cloves, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil; then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Fold in the tomato paste, lemon juice, and parsley, combine and cook for another 1 minute, and remove from the heat. Serve hot, or if you prefer, allow it to cool, put it in a well-sealed glass jar, and use it when required for pasta dishes. This sauce can be refrigerated for about a week.

KCB 11.10: Chickpea and Sesame Dip (Hummus)

Chickpea and Sesame Dip (Hummus)

Hummus, a chickpea and sesame dip, is the most popular and best known of the Middle Eastern bread dips. The chickpeas should be soaked the night before you prepare the dip. Serve hummus with warmed Middle Eastern Breads.

CHICKPEA COOKING TIME: 1 - 2 hours
PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes
YIELD: enough for 6 persons

11/2 cups (375 ml) chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water juice of 2 large lemons
11/2 teaspoons (7 ml) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) yellow asafoetida powder
2/3 cup (165 ml) tahini
2 tablespoons (40 ml) olive oil for garnish
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) paprika for garnish
1 teaspoon (5 ml) chopped fresh parsley for garnish

1. Drain the soaked chickpeas and place them in a saucepan with lots of water. Boil for 1 to 2 hours or until the chickpeas are soft.
2. Drain the cooked chickpeas, reserving the water. Place the cooked and drained chickpeas, the lemon juice, salt, asafoetida, and tahini in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, adding a little reserved cooking water if required to reach a puree consistency.
3. Transfer into a serving bowl and garnish with olive oil, paprika, and parsley. Serve at room temperature.

KCB 11.11: Bechamel Sauce

Bechamel Sauce

In French cuisine, bechamel  sauce is considered to be the mother of all sauces because it is the basic white sauce from which so many others are made. It can be used as a flowing sauce or as a base for cream soups. Fold with grated cheese to make sauce mornay; pour it onto vegetables and bake it with more grated cheese on top and you have Vegetables au gratin; add cream or sour cream and you have cream sauce or sour cream sauce; fold with parsley and lemon juice for parsley sauce; and mix with powdered mustard seeds for mustard sauce.
Bechamel  sauce is based on a roux, which is a combination of melted butter and flour to which warm milk is added. This recipe makes a thin bechamel  sauce. For a sauce thick enough to coat vegetables, such as in Vegetables Au Gratin, the quantities of butter and flour are doubled.

PREPARATION AND COOKING TIME: 10 minutes
YIELD: about 21/2 cups (625 ml)

2 tablespoons (40 ml) butter
2 tablespoons (40 ml) plain flour
21/2 cups (625 ml) very warm milk
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) white pepper
pinch of nutmeg (optional)

1. Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat. With a wooden spoon, add the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly.
2. Return the pan to the heat and bring the sauce to the boil, still stirring. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly for 2 or 3 minutes or until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Serve immediately.

KCB 11.12: Italian Salad Dressing

Italian Salad Dressing

Use this Italian-style herbed dressing on crisp green salads. This recipe makes a large quantity of dressing. It can be bottled and used as required.

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes
YIELD: 21/2 cups (625 ml)

1 cup (250 ml) olive oil
1 cup (250 ml) safflower oil
11/2 cups (375 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) each of the following: dried oregano, dried basil, freshly milled black pepper, dried sage, dried dill. (If fresh herbs are available use 1 tablespoon (20 ml) of each.)
2 teaspoons (10 ml) salt
2 teaspoons (10 ml) paprika
3 tablespoons (60 ml) honey (optional)

Process all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until thick and smooth. Pour the dressing into a bottle or jar which can be sealed. Refrigerate.

KCB 11.13: Orange Fluff

Orange Fluff

Here's a gourmet salad dressing with a difference! Orange Fluff can be served with savoury or sweet salads with equally stunning results. Add the optional salt and serve with savoury salads, or add the optional honey when serving with fresh fruit salad.

PREPARATION TIME: 5 minutes
YIELD: a little over one cup (250 ml)

1 cup (250 ml) heavy sour cream
2 tablespoons (40 ml) orange juice concentrate
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) finely grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) finely chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon (5 ml) mild honey (optional)
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Whip until smooth. Chill and serve cold.

KCB 11.14: Horseradish and Beetroot Relish (Khrain)

Horseradish and Beetroot Relish (Khrain)

This is a nose-tingling relish due to the presence of freshly grated horseradish. It is also a good example of central European Jewish cuisine. Serve Khrain with breads, soups, and savounes.

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes
YIELD: just over 11/2 cups (375 ml)

1 cup (250 ml) horseradish, peeled and grated
1/2 cup (125 ml) raw beetroot, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons (10 ml) brown sugar
1 tablespoon (20 ml) fresh lemon juice

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Serve immediately.

KCB 11.15: Horseradish Cream

Horseradish Cream

This delightfully simple accompaniment can be used as a relish, dip, or sauce and features the pungent horseradish (Armoracia rusticana). The root of the plant is grated and mixed with sour cream in this centuries-old European condiment. The pungent flavour of horseradish is due to the volatile essential oils it contains. If horseradish is cooked, however, most of its pungency disappears. If using fresh horseradish, do not allow the grated horseradish to sit around after grating it quickly loses its pungency. Fresh horseradish can be obtained from good green-grocer shops. If fresh horseradish is unavailable, substitute with good quality dried horseradish powder. Serve with Potato Pakoras or Buckwheat Puffs.

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes
YIELD: 1 cup (250 ml)

3/4 cup (185 ml) sour cream
1 teaspoon (5 ml) fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (40 ml) freshly grated horseradish or dried horseradish powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) sugar

1. Place the sour cream in a bowl and beat until smooth. Add the lemon juice, horseradish, salt, pepper, and sugar and fold lightly. Chill, or serve at room temperature.

KCB 11.16: Eggless Mayonnaise

Eggless Mayonnaise

Here are three different recipes for eggless mayonnaise. The first recipe uses condensed milk as the base and is a sweet mayonnaise. The second recipe calls for evaporated milk, and the third is a dairy-free variety featuring pureed tofu.

Mayonnaise I

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes
SETTING TIME: 10 minutes
YIELD: about 11/2 cups (375 ml)

1 cup (250 ml) sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons (80 ml) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) mustard powder
4 tablespoons (80 ml) fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) black pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients except the lemon juice in a bowl. Gradually add the lemon juice whilst stirring with a whisk until the dressing thickens. Allow the mayonnaise to set for a further 10 minutes in the refrigerator.

 

Mayonnaise II

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes
SETTING TIME: 10 minutes
YIELD: about 21/4 cups (560 ml)

1 cup (250 ml) evaporated milk (unsweetened)
1 cup (250 ml) safflower oil
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) honey (optional)
4 tablespoons (80 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) mustard powder

1. Place the evaporated milk in a blender. While the blender is on, gradually add the oil until the mixture slightly thickens. Add the salt, optional honey, lemon juice, and mustard powder. Continue blending until the mixture thickens further. Allow the mayonnaise to set for a further 10 minutes in the refrigerator.

 

Mayonnaise III

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes
SETTING TIME: 10 minutes
YIELD: almost 21/2 cups (625 ml)

2 cups (500 ml) mashed firm tofu
1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
4 tablespoons (80 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) mustard powder
2 teaspoons (10 ml) honey (optional)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt water (if required)

1. Combine all ingredients (except the lemon juice and water) in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the lemon juice. If the mayonnaise is too thick, add a little water. Refrigerate.

KCB 11.17: Hot-Pepper Sauce (Harissa)

Hot-Pepper Sauce (Harissa)

This famous pungent sauce from North Africa is made from fresh hot red chilies and is a must for hot sauce aficionados.  It is used as a condiment or as a dip to accompany couscous.
Serve with Moroccan couscous with Vegetable Sauce or with Middle Eastern Round Breads (Pita) and a selection of Middle Eastern mezze (entrees).

PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes
YIELD: 11/2 cups (375 ml)

225 g (8 ounces) fresh hot red chilies, seeded
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) yellow asafoetida powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground caraway seeds
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
11/2 teaspoons (7 ml) freshly ground black pepper
11/2 teaspoons (7 ml) ground cumin
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground coriander
olive oil

1. Place the chilies in a blender or food processor. Process until coarsely ground.
2. Add the remaining ingredients except the olive oil and process until almost smooth. Store the sauce in a small jar and top with a thin layer of olive oil. Refrigerate until required

KCB 11.18: Walnut Sauce

Walnut Sauce

This Italian puree-like sauce is called "salsa di noci". It's great served with vegetarian rissoles or burgers, especially good with hot pasta, and can be prepared in minutes.

PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes
YIELD: enough for 4 persons

1/2 cup (125 ml) walnut pieces
2 tablespoons (40 ml) finely chopped fresh marjoram or parsley
3 tablespoons (60 ml) cold water
1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream
1 tablespoon (20 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) black pepper

1. Grind the walnuts to a paste in a food processor. Add the fresh herbs and water. Grind further. Transfer the nut-and-herb paste to a bowl. Fold in the cream, blending thoroughly. The paste should be fairly soft and pale green.
2. Gradually add the olive oil, salt, and pepper and refrigerate the sauce until ready to serve.

KCB 11.19: Satay Sauce

Satay Sauce

Satay sauce is delicious served with a variety of fried savouries. This recipe yields a fairly hot sauce. Adjust chilies as desired.

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes
COOKING TIME: 15 minutes
YIELD: just under 2 cups (500 ml)

1 tablespoon (20 ml) olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon (20 ml) hot green chilies, minced
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafoetida powder
11/2 cups (375 ml) tomato puree.
11/2 teaspoons (7 ml) ground cumin
3 tablespoons (60 ml) peanut butter
4 tablespoons (80 ml) coconut milk
11/2 teaspoons (7 ml) brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1 tablespoon (20 ml) minced parsley
1 tablespoon (20 ml) lemon juice

1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan until almost smoking. Saute the ginger and chilies until they start to brown; then add the asafoetida. Saute for just a few seconds; then add the tomato puree. Stirring often, bring the puree to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Add the ground cumin and peanut butter, stirring the sauce until the peanut butter melts. Blend the coconut milk, sugar, salt, parsley, and lemon juice with the peanut butter and remove the sauce from the heat. Whisk until smooth. This sauce is best served hot.

KCB 11.20: French Salad Dressing

French Salad Dressing

This simple French salad dressing can be used with French Steamed Vegetable Salad or crisp salads of your choice.

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes
YIELD: cups (375 ml)

2/3 cup (165 ml) fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) dry mustard
1 cup (250 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process at high speed for a short time. Bottle and refrigerate.

KCB 11.21: Cantonese Black Bean Sauce

Cantonese Black Bean Sauce

Black beans are soya beans that have been fermented with malt, salt, and flour. Black Bean Sauce can accompany fried savoury items or can be used as a base in vegetable dishes.

PREPARATION TIME: 5 minutes
COOKING TIME: 10 minutes
YIELD: 1 cup (250 ml)

2 tablespoons (40 ml) soy sauce
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
1/4 cup (60 ml) Chinese dried black beans
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) chili oil
11/2 teaspoons (7 ml) peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafoetida powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) brown sugar
1 tablespoon (20 ml) corn flour mixed with 1 tablespoon (20 ml) water, as a thickening paste

1. Heat the chili oil and peanut oil together in a pan or wok. Momentarily saute the asafoetida; then add the dried black beans and increase the heat to full. Saute the beans, breaking them up a little, for 1 or 2 minutes. Add the water and place a lid on the pan or wok. Allow the beans to simmer and soften for another 2 minutes.
2. After the beans become soft, add the soy sauce and sugar and, stirring slowly, add the thickening paste. When the sauce thickens, remove the pan from the heat.
Serve this sauce immediately or let it cool and store it in the refrigerator to use as a sauce base for stir-fried vegetable dishes.

KCB 11.22: Mustard Sauce

Mustard Sauce

This combination of dry mustard and sour cream can be served as a dip with raw salad vegetables or as an accompaniment to Vegetables Fritters (Pakoras).

PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes
YIELD: about 2 cups (500 ml)

6 teaspoons (30 ml) prepared mustard powder
2 tablespoons (40 ml) cold water
2 cups (500 ml) sour cream
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafoetida powder
1 tablespoon (20 ml) minced fresh parsley

1. Combine the mustard and the cold water in a small bowl and set aside for 15 minutes.
2. Combine the sour cream, mustard paste, and all the other ingredients. Mix well and serve chilled, or at room temperature.

KCB 11.23: Syrian Yogurt-Cheese (Labneh)

Syrian Yogurt-Cheese (Labneh)

In Middle Eastern cuisine, the ever popular hors d'oeuvre is called mezze. Sometimes this abundant variety of mainly vegetarian entrees becomes the whole meal. Other famous mezze included in this book are Hummus, Lebanese Eggplant Dip (Babbagannouj), Falafel,  and Tabbouleh. Labneh, a delightfully simple yogurt dip made from yogurt cheese, serves as a wonderful dip for fresh Middle Eastern Round Bread (Pita).

YOGURT DRAINING TIME: 12 to 16 hours
PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes
YIELD: 2 cups (500 ml) (for 6 to 8 persons)

4 cups (1 litre) plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
1 tablespoon (20 ml) chopped fresh mint or 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried mint for garnish
2 tablespoons (40 ml) extra virgin olive oil

1. Fold a large piece of damp cheesecloth in half and place it over a bowl. Pour the yogurt into the cloth, tie the corners of the cloth together with string, and suspend it over the top of the bowl overnight. Yogurt can also be hung in the refrigerator.
2. Next day, transfer the yogurt cheese from the cloth to a clean bowl, add the salt, and chill for some time (if necessary). Serve the dip garnished with chopped fresh mint and drizzle olive oil on top of the dip. Serve chilled.

KCB 11.24: Sweet-and-sour Sesame Sauce

Sweet-and-sour Sesame Sauce

This traditional sesame sauce, with a rich strong taste, enhances many Chinese savoury dishes Use it as a dip for Vegetarian Spring sesame passe Rolls. Vegetable Fritters (Pakoras). or savories of your choice.

PREPARATION TIME: a few minutes
COOKING TIME: 5 minutes
YIELD: about 1 cup (250 ml)

4 tablespoons (80 ml) water
2 teaspoons (10 ml) Chinese sesame paste
4 tablespoons (80 ml) salty soy sauce
4 tablespoons (80 ml) brown sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) Chinese sesame oil
2 tablespoons (40 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) Chinese chili oil
tiny pinch Chinese 5-spice
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) fresh green chilies, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons (10 ml) minced fresh coriander leaves

1. Combine all the ingredients (except the fresh coriander leaves) in a small pan. Heat the sauce ingredients over low heat until a smooth sauce forms. Bring the sauce to a near boil, remove from the heat, add the fresh herb, and serve at room temperature.

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