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Mint Chutney

Pudina Chutney - Mint Dip (Northern India)
Chutneys are often served as a side dish, like we would serve a relish, to accompany meats or vegetable dishes. Chutneys are also eaten by dipping with torn chapati bread, or toasted pita bread pieces, and this also goes well with tandori chicken, or any kind of baked, barbecued or broiled chicken wings. This recipe comes from my good friend, Puneet Sharma, who grew up in New Delhi, India and currently lives in Washington, D.C. Find more recipes in my book, Easy Dips Using Herbs.

2 cups plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh coriander
3 green chilies or jalapenos, seeded
1/2 teaspoon *roasted cumin seeds
2 cups chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Dash salt
Pinch of black pepper or cayenne, optional

*To roast cumin seed, place them in a medium-hot skillet and shake or stir until they give up their pleasant aroma, about 1 minute. Cool, then grind in blender or food processor.

Combine ingredients in food processor and process to a smooth consistency. Makes about 3 cups. Serve with Buffalo chicken wings!

Won Ton Dipping Sauce

Another dip recipe from my book, Easy Dips Using Herbs. This came from my Chinese chef friend, Eddie Chong, from Malaysia. He taught me to make this outstanding sauce at the same time he taught me how to make won tons when he visited recently. The dip is traditional for serving with won tons, and makes a great party food or one course of a bigger meal.

1 large onion, cut in chunks
4-6 medium-to-hot, fresh red peppers, such as seranno or jalapeno, seeds removed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Combine onion, peppers and garlic in food processor and chop to a medium-fine consistency. Heat oil in skillet on low heat and add the vegetables from the food processor. Stir, continuing to cook on low heat until the oil takes on the color of the peppers. You’ll notice as you stir that the peppers will change colors, darkening a bit and the fragrance will be less onion, and more of a tasty-smelling blend. In a bowl, pour the vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Taste the mixture, it should be salty, slightly sweet and a bit sour. If too sour, add some more sugar. Mix, then add the mixture from the skillet. Serve warm or at room temperature with freshly steamed or fried won tons. Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

Baked Crab Dip

This dip recipe is from my new book, Easy Dips Using Herbs which contains 155 delicious dip recipes.

Crab Dip, Baked
Serve this while hot with your favorite crackers or toasted bread pieces.

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 6 1/4-ounce can crab meat, drained, flaked
2 tablespoons onion, grated
1 tablespoon half and half, or milk
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash salt and black pepper
Few drops hot sauce
1 green onion, sliced

Combine everything except green onion and mix together. Place in an ovenproof serving dish and bake at 350 degrees F. for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven and top with sliced green onion and serve. Makes about 1 3/4 cups.