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A little sweet, a little garlicky, a little fiery, this exotic-tasting dip looks innocent enough, like glorified ketchup. But it packs an addictive punch. Great to serve with drinks before an Indian meal, homemade or takeout. A good, study chip is the right vehicle, as are raw cauliflower florets. The Washington Post came up with an excellent dipper suggestion: grilled paneer, the creamy fresh cheese that’s found in Indian markets and at Whole Foods Markets, among other sources. Cut the paneer into ¾” cubes and sear them on all sides in a skillet lightly brushed with oil. Stick a toothpick in each one and serve warm.
- 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 small green chili pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 large celery ribs, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, including stems, coarsely chopped
- 10 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1⁄4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder or 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- In a food processor, combine the carrot, chile pepper, onion, celery and cilantro. (You may need to purée half these ingredients first to make room for the rest.).
- Add the garlic and pulse until blended.
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Put the puréed vegetables in the pan and heat through, 3-4 minutes.
- Add the ketchup and soy sauce and cook for 10 minutes more. (Serious splatter-factor here, be careful.).
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. When the sauce starts to thicken, add the sugar, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm for the best flavor or at room temperature.