It’s around 4 or 5 PM when most of us feel hungry and wish to snack. And while the decision to tuck in a small snack isn’t a bad idea, especially if you are genuinely hungry and keep this as a uniform snacking time, the kind of snack you choose matters a lot.
When we are hungry, rather hangry (anger + hunger), we often lose our ability to make healthy decisions and grab whatever lies in front of us. But, if we are a little mindful and use the 5 PM window to bridge the gap between two meals and add nutrition to it, we actually end up supporting our health goals.
If you feel work from home is getting you to eat unhealthy snacks around the evening, then it’s time to replace those cheesy and sugary snacks with healthy and easy dips!
Here are my top five dip recipes made from local, seasonal, and immunity-boosting ingredients to satiate those evening hunger pangs (if you are genuinely hungry that is!)
1. Amla Chutney
3 to 4 amla
2 tbsp coriander leaves 2 tbsp
2 green chillies
A small piece of ginger piece
A pinch of jeera/cumin
A pinch of hing/asafoetida
1/4 tsp rai or mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Salt to taste
2 tsp oil or ghee
1. Soak the amla in hot water for five minutes and peel skin. Remove seeds.
2. Add coriander leaves, green chillies, ginger, jeera, and salt. Put all the ingredients in the mixer and make a paste without water.
3. Heat oil, add hing-rai-cumin and sesame seeds to it. Temper the paste with this, and mix well. And you’re done!
2. Cashew pesto
¼ cup cashews
2-3 cloves garlic
½ cup basil leaves
Few sprigs of parsley/celery for garnishing
Rock salt to taste
1. Blend all ingredients into a smooth paste and garnish it with parsley or celery sprigs.
3. Minty pea dip
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup roughly-chopped mint
1 lemon, zested and juiced (reserve some zest for garnish)
Rock salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper
1. If using fresh peas: Bring a small pot of water to boil, add the peas and cook for 1 minute. Strain and plunge into an ice bath to stop cooking. If using frozen peas: Defrost peas overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Place blanched or defrosted peas in a small food processor with mint, lemon zest and juice. Puree until smooth. 3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Serve immediately or cover with saran wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
4. Sweet Potato Hummus
1 large size sweet potato (peeled and cut it into chunks)
1 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
2 cloves garlic (peeled)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
Ground black pepper (to taste)
1. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into chunks. Cook in a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender. Mash with a potato masher and set aside to cool.
2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to a food processor.
3. Add the cooled mashed sweet potato, water, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, tahini, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed.
4. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, if desired, alongside pita or naan bread and sliced vegetables.
5. Mayo-herbed dip
1 cup hung curd
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp powdered jaggery
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp crushed garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp mixed herbs
1. Take an empty bowl and place the strainer on top of it. Take a kitchen cloth and put it on the strainer.
2. Pour the curd in the kitchen cloth. Keep holding the ends of the cloth and squeeze it gently. Keep it again on the strainer once the water starts draining out, and refrigerate it for 6-8 hours.
3. Take a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of hung curd and then add the powdered sugar to it. Add salt according to taste.
4. Add crushed garlic and olive oil. Add crushed pepper and mixed herbs according to taste.
5. Mix well.
You can use these dips in a variety of ways – with vegetable sticks (cucumber or carrot), as salad dressing, with baked wholegrain chips, baked sweet potato wedges, sandwiches, toasts, baked vegetables, and so much more.