Let me entertain you!
Yes, entertaining. It can strike terror into some but I can a get an unreasonable pleasure from organising parties, from dinner to informal gatherings.
Now, at a party is generally not a good time to launch into a new recipe so I suggest you try this beforehand. The reason is that when you read through the ingredients you are going to go; that is a weird/freaky/bloody awful set of ingredients. Then you will think, there is NO way I am going to make that, it will taste positively nasty. I thought that to, but I was also curious. Rose Eliot, the author of the cookbook, has a reputation of producing some of the easiest and finest vegetarian cuisine. So, it at least has to be tested? Indeed, a test dip will convince you, I assure you.
I served this dip at a housewarming, with a couple of noders in attendance and one lovely fellow requested that I node the dish that was rapidly disappearing with the use of snap peas and carrots.
It is not as fiddly as a dip requiring chickpeas soaked for hours, but it is best prepared in the morning of your party if you wish it chilled.
The interesting ingredients:
Putting it all together (method):
Toast the cashews under the grill, do this first as they are very quick to go dark and crispy.
Now the next instructions depend on if you have a blender/food processor, or not. If you do have the good fortune to own one of these machines, just chop everything roughly with a knife at this stage. If not, the finer you chop it the better. If you don’t have a blender, but do have a mortar and pestle, you can attack the cashews with that.
Chop your onions and garlic (Crush the garlic or chop it very finely if you don’t have a food processor) and using the oil (I found it a little much as I use a non-stick pan) fry gently in a pan on a moderate heat for five minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a further two to three minutes.*
Place the cream cheese, onion mixture and cashew nuts into your food processor and whiz away. A lightly gritty texture seems to be the best. If you don’t have a food processor, mix it thoroughly in a bowl.
You can serve it warm or chill it in the fridge. Both ways work well. Serve it with sticks of celery, cucumber, carrot and snow peas. I have generally made double portions for larger gatherings as it disappears at an alarming rate.
A hint or two:
*Curry powder contains a number of spices that are natural dyes, the most obvious is turmeric. This means that some things that it comes into contact with it will dye a bright yellow - this includes plastic and wood. When you serve this dish be sure to place it a ceramic bowl. If you happen to stain something a little lemon juice and placing it in direct sunlight should do the trick.