There is no tastier finger-food than the heavenly match of a crunchy texture of a crisp, bread or veggie stick with the delicious flavor of a dipping sauce. Dips can liven up any food - pita breads, dumplings, crackers, cut-up raw vegetables, fruits, seafood, meat, cheese, chips, falafel - you name it! Unlike regular sauces, instead of applying the sauce to the food, the food is typically put, dipped, or added into the dipping sauce. They are commonly used for finger foods, appetizers and hors d'oeuvres and a great variety of sauces are consumed all over the world. The fact that every major culture has produced a few mouth-watering concoctions in dipping sauce form tells us that the love of dips is universal and timeless. Which is your favorite and why? This list has the recipes and instructions. Rank this list and tell us which of these are must-haves for you. Don't forget to show your love for these condiments in the comments below and suggest any dip that I have missed.
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Guacamole is an avocado-based dip, spread, or salad first developed by the Aztecs in what is now Mexico. In addition to its use in modern Mexican cuisine, it has become part of international and American cuisine as a dip, condiment and salad ingredient.
Hummus is a Mediterranean dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas or other beans, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. It is popular in the Middle East and Mediterranean, as well as in Middle Eastern cuisine around the globe.
Salsa is a stable condiment of Mexican cuisine, particularly as a dipping sauce for many snacks and finger-foods. Salsa is often tomato-based, and includes ingredients such as onions, chilies, an acid and herbs. It is typically piquant, ranging from mild to extremely hot.
Cucumber Raita is a variation of raita, a condiment from the South Asia, made with curd together with raw or cooked vegetables, that can be used as a dip or a salad. It is made by mixing together freshly chopped cucumber, green chillies, and dahi (a South Asian curd), and optionally finely chopped tomato and onion. It is especially popular in the summer months as it helps to beat the heat.
Baba ghanoush is a Levantine or Greater Syria dish of mashed cooked eggplant mixed with tahina, olive oil, and various seasonings. The traditional preparation method is for the eggplant to be baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste.
Ranch dressing is a type of salad dressing that is very commonly used as a dipping sauce, especially in North America. It is made of a combination of buttermilk, salt, garlic, onion, mustard, herbs, and spices, mixed into a sauce based on mayonnaise, or another oil emulsion. Sour cream and yogurt are sometimes used in addition to or as a substitute for buttermilk and mayonnaise.
Sambal is a hot sauce or paste typically made from a mixture of a variety of chili peppers with secondary ingredients such as shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, palm sugar, lime juice, and rice vinegar or other vinegars.
Aioli is a Mediterranean sauce made of garlic and olive oil; some regions use other emulsifiers such as egg. The names mean "garlic and oil" in Catalan and Provencal. Its association is with the cuisines of the Mediterranean coasts of Spain, France and Italy.
Muhammara or mhammara is a hot pepper dip originally from Aleppo, Syria, found in Levantine and Turkish cuisines. In western Turkey, muhammara is referred to as Acuka.
Tzatziki or tarator is a dip, soup, or sauce found in the cuisines of Southeast Europe and Middle East. It is made of salted strained yogurt or diluted yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, sometimes with vinegar or lemon juice, and herbs like dill, mint, parsley and thyme.
French onion dip or California dip is an American dip typically made with a base of sour cream and flavored with minced onion, and usually served with potato chips as chips and dip.
Tahini, is a condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame. Tahini is served as a dip on its own or as a major component of Hummus, Baba Ganoush, and Halva. Tahini is used in the cuisines of the Eastern Mediterranean, the Caucasus, and the Middle East, as well as parts of North Africa.
Olive Oil dip is a delicious oil mixture that can be used to dip chunks of Italian or French bread into. It is made by stirring together olive oil, basil, parsley, garlic, thyme, oregano, black pepper, rosemary, salt, red pepper, and lemon juice and is often garnished with sprinkles of Parmesan cheese over the surface of the oil mixture.
Nam Chim or Nam Jim is literally the Thai words for "dipping sauce". It can refer to a wide variety of dipping sauces in Thai cuisine, with many of them a combination of salty, sweet, spicy and sour. This sauce contains garlic, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and bird's eye chilies and are often used as a dipping sauce and as an integral part of many dishes. Many of the ingredients in a nam chim are finely chopped or pounded in a mortar and pestle.
The mint raita is a cool, fresh variant of raita that is one of the easiest to make. It is typically made by combining yoghurt with mint and lemon juice and enjoyed as a dipping sauce for pappadams or served alongside spicy, fiery curries to cool the palate.
Chimichurri is an uncooked condiment used for grilled meat but is also sometimes used as a dip. It comes in a green version and a red version and originates from Argentina and Uruguay. It is made of finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and red wine vinegar. The dominant flavors are parsley and garlic.
Guasacaca is a savory sauce found in Venezuelan cuisine often on chicken and as a dip. Like the more famous Guacamole, the sauce is made from avocadoes, citrus juice or vinegar, parsley, garlic, and chili peppers. The Argentinian Chimichurri, the Cuban Mojo, and the Chilean Pebre share the same ingredients and predate the Guasacaca sauce.
Pebre is a Chilean condiment made of coriander, chopped onion, olive oil, garlic and ground or pureed spicy Aji peppers. It may contain also chopped tomatoes. Pebre is most commonly used either on bread or to dip bread into. It is also used on meat, or when meat such as Choripan is provided in a bread roll.
Ponzu is a citrus-based sauce commonly used in Japanese cuisine. It is tart, with a thin, watery consistency and a dark brown color. Ponzu shōyu or ponzu jōyu is ponzu sauce with soy sauce added, and the mixed product is widely referred to as simply ponzu.
Ssamjang is a thick, spicy paste used with food wrapped in a leaf in Korean cuisine. The sauce is made of doenjang, gochujang, sesame oil, onion, garlic, green onions, and optionally brown sugar.
Ajika or adjika is a Georgian-Abkhaz hot, spicy but subtly flavored dip often used to flavor food. The name itself comes from the Abkhaz word for salt.
Nam Phrik is a type of spicy, chili-based, hot sauce typical of Thai cuisine. The usual ingredients for nam phrik are fresh or dry chilies, garlic, shallots, lime juice and often some kind of fish or shrimp paste. In the traditional way of preparing these sauces, the ingredients are pounded together using a mortar and pestle, with either salt or fish sauce added to taste. They are normally served on small saucers placed by the main dish as a condiment or dip for bland preparations, such as raw or boiled greens, fish, poultry and meats. Depending on the type, the region and the family that prepares it, Nam Phrik may vary in texture from a liquid to a paste to an almost dry, granular, or powdery consistency.
Romesco is a nut and pepper based sauce that originated from Tarragona, Catalonia. The fishermen in this area made this sauce to be eaten with fish. It is typically made from any mixture of roasted or raw almonds, pine nuts, and/or hazelnuts, roasted garlic, olive or sunflower oil, bitxo peppers and/or nyora peppers.
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