Super Duper Delicious Sundried Tomato-Basil Dip

I genuinely love writing about food.  It doesn’t matter how many people I reach, it’s just therapeutic to put down what I feel about food and to share recipes that have worked fantastically for me! Over the last few months, I have been at a crossroads – my small social media and digital marketing agency has taken off really well and that leaves me with very little time to blog! I’m hoping I can change this by installing a WordPress app on my phone to let me blog whenever I have a few minutes! This post is the first using this new app as I head to Bombay. 

Chips and dip are a classic combination! I think it takes a lot of will power for someone to turn down this combo! Perhaps it’s more attractive and comforting because it is enjoyed best when shared with friends and family. Whenever I think of chips and dip, I think of happy faces, casual seating and lots of laughter!

It also reminds me of the time my mom came to visit me in Monterey, where I was studying. She had just come down from India and was rather jet lagged. At 4 AM, I hear a ‘crunch, crunch’ sound breaking the deafening silence of the town. I head to the kitchen to find my mom with a giant pack of chips and a tub of Artichoke-Cheese Dip, seemingly pleased and in a trance! It’s an incident that my brother and I often laugh about while my mom dishes out weak defences every time.. If I concentrate, I can still hear the crunching of the chips and her sheepish look that morning!

This Sundried Tomato-Basil Dip is fabulous!! It’s creamy, tangy and can be made spicy. Perfect for our Indian palates and goes really well with our packaged Salted Chips. I cut out all the mayo and sour cream from the original recipehttp://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/81396/sun-dried-tomato-dip/?page=0 and substituted it with some thick, hung curd. I did keep some of the cream cheese, but reduced the quantity to keep it lower in fat.

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Sundried Tomato-Basil Dip

Ingredients

3 TBSP Cream Cheese (I use Brittania), at room temperature
1/2 Cup Thick, hung curd
1/3 cup chopped, Sundried Tomatos
2 garlic cloves
1/4 TSP ground pepper
Few dashes of Tobasco sauce
1/4 cup fresh Basil, roughly chopped
1 TSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt, to taste

Method

1. Rehydrate the sundried tomatoes by letting them soak in a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes.
2. Once the tomatoes have rehydrated, strain the water, keeping 3 TBSP reserved, and let them cool slightly.
3. Add the garlic, pepper, salt, tomatoes in the blender, with a little of the reserved water, and blend till smooth.
4. Then add the cream cheese, curd and Tobasco to the mix and blend again.
5. Finally, add the chopped basil and blend till smooth. Taste the dip for seasoning and adjust to your preference.
6. Remove the dip in a bowl and drizzle the olive oil over the surface. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve!

Enjoy this dip with pita chips, potato chips or tortilla chips!

Notes:
I used completely dehydrated Sub Dried tomatoes rather than those preserved in oil to reduce the fat and calorie content.
This dip cannot be stored for too long (2 days, at most) and must be refrigerated!

Tea Time Accessories!

My two favourites meals would be breakfast and ‘teatime’! As kids, tea time meant hot chocolate milk with biscuits or a snack.  I always looked forward to the biscuit part! My favourites were and still are – Bourbon chocolate biscuits and Nice, sugar coated coconut biscuits. I always enjoyed India’s classic biscuit- Parle-G. When I was studying in  California, I would try to find them at the nearest Indian store and dip them in some deliciously spiced, milky Indian tea!

I still enjoy my biscuits dipped in my milky tea.  While I prefer herbal teas, if there are biscuits and if I’m at home, I’m going to get good ol’ Indian sweet,spiced milky tea to dip my biscuits. You definitely enjoy this type of tea on a rainy and slightly cold afternoon.

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I love the versatility of the food you can serve with tea. They’re easy to eat, finger foods that aren’t heavily spiced.  They’re fun to make and you can have interesting shapes. I was having a few friends over yesterday and I decided to get some biscuits, bake cupcakes with a rich chocolate frosting, make a hung curd dip to serve with herbed pita chips and make my shortcut bruschetta!

I had so much fun making everything in bite sized portions and was happy to see that they enjoyed it.

What I enjoyed the most was using a cake stand that S and I got as a wedding gift from my cousin! The plates were Victorian era influenced and u loved the way it all came together. I decided to  make it the ‘sweet station’. I put all the biscuits and cupcakes on the stand and made it my center piece.

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Girls love sugar even if they are publicly obliged to hate it because of all the calories! We totally enjoyed our sugar and  had a wonderful evening sipping our teas and coffees amidst the sound of raindrops.