The drive into the city can be horrendous from where we live, seemingly more so since no longer having to make the daily commute for quite some time. We avoid the city every chance we get and are able to most of the time. Occasional doctor appointments mandate we make the hectic journey, and the lure of desired goods unavailable locally sometimes entices us to leave our comfort zone and brave the mean streets.
The recent completion of a new bypass freeway reduces drive time exponentially. Unfortunately it is a toll road and the roundtrip fee is an exorbitant $5.08. We did obtain Quick Pass transponders for both our vehicles for the occasional times we choose to drive that route and for emergencies. Yesterday, out of curiosity, we took the toll road for the first time to go to our favorite Indian grocery store in the city. Apart from the 8 miles of country road from home to the beginning of the toll road it was freeway all the way to Patel Brothers. It seemed we were there in a snap.
Unfortunately the convenient new freeway will quickly transform our bucolic environment into a big city suburb bringing crime that inevitably goes with it. Sad.
At Patel Brothers, even though they weren’t as fresh as I like, I purchased some small red and green chilis. These chilis aren’t available close to home. When shopping for any type of pepper the first thing I inspect is the stems, whether they are thick and green. Thin dark stems are an indication the peppers are past their prime.
I used a few of the red chilis to make a sweet dipping sauce. For a milder sauce I squeezed out most of the seeds by rolling the chilis between thumb and forefinger starting at the tip and working toward the cut off stem end.
I blended the deseeded red chilis with a couple cloves of garlic, a chunk of onion, ginger paste and some white balsamic vinegar.
The blended chilis, garlic, onion and ginger went into a small sauce pan with added Turbinado sugar, toasted sesame oil and kosher salt.
The sauce was reduced by simmering until it started to thicken and coated the back of a spoon.
The dipping sauce became thicker after cooling to room temperature and thickened even more after being chilled in the refrigerator.
I can’t imagine anything that wouldn’t taste good dipped in this sauce or with the sauce drizzled over it.
We usually shop at the Indian store during the week because it is less crowded, but the advantage of going on the weekend is that there might be freshly made Dhokla available at the checkout lanes. What a treat! Attempts at making Dhokla coming up. Will report if successful.