Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thai Peanut Dip and a thing or two about food


Saved by the dip © Cookaroo

I'm not going to lie about this - food makes me happy. Not just eating it, but thinking about it. It makes me forget about all the worries in the world, makes me all warm and tingly inside and makes me feel as if I have a purpose in life. 

Every so often, while driving and thinking up a menu for an upcoming dinner party, or or thinking up ways to use up things in my pantry, I've taken a wrong turn or forgotten how late I am running. So many times, when I wake up in the middle of the night, feeling completely hopeless, a cookbook has calmed me down. 

So yes, food is what I escape too when I am completely down and out. It is my sanctuary and it is my meditation. And perhaps that's why there's never a dearth of ingredients in my fridge. I don't need a reason to bake something. I do it because I love it.

I can go hours at work, just reading food blogs, looking at pretty pictures. And god forbid, I have a recipe stuck in my head, I can go on and on for the whole day looking for it,  imagining how it might taste, shopping for the ingredients and then finally re-creating it. 

Oh the joy of making something that's been in my head for so long - it's almost tangible for me. Sometimes I feel completely consumed by it. Possessed. As if nothing else would matter until it's on my table, all ready to be eaten.

And then there's the act of feeding it to people. I love that. I love cooking for somebody. It makes me feel well, very whole. Like as if I am doing something for someone. Don't get me wrong, I often cook/bake something because I crave it like crazy, but I also make things because I've learnt (or I know already) its my friends favourite. 

That said, I also cook because I have to. In the sense dinner has to be made everyday. But I do it such that I enjoy it completely. I try and figure out ways to use up leftover, or see what can be done from the thousands of bottles in my fridge and also not repeat the food we eat because I need the change, the challenge.

Often, when I go home early (before the husband arrives), I skim through my cookbooks, figuring out what I'd like to make the next day or over the weekend. Just so that I have a shopping list in mind when I leave for work the next. Plus my husband seems to hate to be asked, what he'd like to eat (even though I do that diligently every morning and evening).

This dip, this Thai peanut dip, is one such dip. It is also my comfort dip. I make it when I have people coming over, I make it when I'm lonely, I make it when I crave peanut. And it's from one of my favourite cookbook - Steamy Kitchen.  

Simple, delicious, soulful this dip is local Indian peanut butter (which might I add, is awesome!) and takes all of 5 minutes to put together. It tastes great with everything, even pizza. But my favourite way is to eat it plain. By the spoonful. Crunching on the peanut chunks, licking the back of the spoon. 

That's what makes me happy. 


Flower power © Cookaroo
Thai Peanut Dip
Adapted from Jaden Hair’s The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook. Available in India, US and UK
Makes 1 cup.
 Ingredients
2 tsp. cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
3 Tbsp. sweet chilli sauce
2 Tbsp. oyster /hoisin sauce
2/3 c. water
3 Tbsp. peanut butter
Directions
1.     Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When the oil is just starting to get hot, add the garlic and ginger-garlic paste and fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.
2.     Add the sweet chilli sauce, hoisin or oyster sauce, water and peanut butter and stir until smooth. Simmer until thickened. Let cool.
3.     Serve with vegetable crudites, summer rolls, chicken skewers or even on a pizza
Note: Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. If the sauce is too thick after storing, whisk in a bit of water to thin it out.
I'm also linking this to Hearth & Soul Hop at the The 21st Century Housewife's Tuesday Blog Hop

Going peanuts I say © Cookaroo

8 comments:

  1. I have picked up cookbook at airports, bus stands, from second hand stores and even from radii wala's... it makes cooking exciting for me. Each cook book is like a story book, I love reading them before going to bed.Though am not much of a recipe follower, I reaslised that; to be consistent over the coming years you need to following instructions :)). So when family & friends are over I have been able to make them lick their fingers! Nice dip.. easy to make, all these ingredients are easily available at home!

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    1. You have to see my wishlist! It'll drive Flipkart crazy! I love reading cookbooks at bed times, gives you better dreams I feel.

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  2. Hey Ruchira, it is interesting how food or anything food related can help calm nerves. Nice dip by the way.

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  3. Delicious Thai peanut dip. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop. Highlighting this recipe in today's Hearth and Soul blog hop in my blog.

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    1. Thank you Swathi, you have a beautiful blog

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  4. Looking at food makes me hungry. I cannot follow a recipe for nuts. Even if I have all the ingredients laid out I tend to forget to add something :) much to everybody's irritation. Must try and be careful. Love the idea of reading cookbooks well these days I seem to be doing just that and following blogs cooking is inconsistent. Hope I improve atleast now.

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    1. Hahaha, that can always be a challenge, but hey am not one to follow them either, more of the create your own kinds am I

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