Roasted Red Capsicum & Cashew Dip

Roasted Red Capsicum & Cashew Dip

The festive season is upon us, so I’m always on the look out for different flavoured dips and nibbles to serve. This healthy dip is beautifully vibrant in colour and very flavourful. The amount of chilli powder you choose to use is dependant on how spicy you like it! If spicy food is not your cup of tea, then only add a ⅛ teaspoon, just to give the dip a slight chilli bite. However, if you like a little more spice like me, then add a ¼ teaspoon. The roasted red capsicum adds a lovely sweetness to this dip, with the fresh basil imparting both an aromatic aroma and subtle flavour. Then the roasted cashews give it a light and chunky texture, whilst also adding another layer of flavour, with the mash potato helping to give the dip a wonderfully creamy texture.

I first came across this flavoured dip from Yumi’s, when I bought a tub for our Saturday movie night with our boys. The flavour was very different to anything we’ve ever had before and it was very tasty. As I love the challenge of recreating recipes, I took note of the ingredients on the back of the tub, then set out to make my own vegan and preservative free version. We like our dips quite thick and chunky, so my version is quite a bit thicker when compared to the Yumi’s dip.

1 small to medium potato (I have tried the Nadine & the Dutch Cream varieties and both have worked well)
1 very large red capsicum
100g (3.5 ounces or ¾ cup) raw cashews
3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil (I use this brand)
1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
1 teaspoon (5ml) onion powder
1 teaspoon (5ml) garlic powder
1 teaspoon (5ml) light muscovado sugar or light brown sugar
⅛-¼ teaspoon (0.625ml-1.25ml) chilli powder, or to taste
⅛ teaspoon (0.625ml) mustard powder
6 medium sized basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 170C and line a tray with foil. Place the red capsicum on the tray and bake for about 1 hour, or until it is nicely charred and soft. Use a pair of tongs to place the capsicum in a small bowl and then cover with plastic wrap to sweat, as this method makes it easy to peel away the skin. Allow it to stand for about 12-15 minutes afterwards, so it can cool.

While the capsicum is baking, make a start on cooking the potato. I cook mine whole and un-peeled, by placing it is a small pot, covering with water and bringing it up to a steady boil. It’s ready when a skewer can go through the potato easily, then drain and set aside. Once it has cooled for about 10 minutes or so, I then use a small knife to peel away the skin. This method ensures the cooked potato doesn’t absorb too much moisture when being boiled. Once peeled, place it in a bowl, mash it well with a fork and remove 75g (2.6 ounces or a firmly packed ⅓ cup).

Once your capsicum is baked, keep the oven on so you can roast your cashews. You can do this while you’re waiting for the capsicum to cool down. Add the nuts to a cake pan, or tray, and roast them until golden brown. Just keep a close eye on them, so they don’t burn. Once the cashews are nicely roasted, tip them into a bowl and allow them to cool for a while.

Now that the capsicum has cooled down a bit, carefully peel off the skin. It will still be a little on the warm on the inside, so use caution when removing the stem and the seeds, before placing the flesh into a small food processor.

Next, add in the roasted cashew nuts, oil, spices, sugar, basil leaves, salt and pepper. Then place the mash potato on top and process until thoroughly mixed through. You can make it as smooth or as chunky as you like here.

Transfer the dip to a bowl and, if you wish to enjoy it slightly warm, serve straight away. Otherwise, place it in the refrigerator for about an hour to chill and to allow the flavours to develop. However, after it’s been refrigerated, it does tend to thicken a little, so you will need to give it a good stir before serving.

Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse

Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.

Oven Temperatures Chart
120 °C = 100 °C Fan = 250 °F  = Gas Mark ½
140 °C = 120 °C Fan = 275 °F = Gas Mark 1
150 °C = 130 °C Fan = 300 °F = Gas Mark 2
265 °C = 245 °C Fan = 325 °F = Gas Mark 3
180 °C = 160 °C Fan = 350 °F = Gas Mark 4
190 °C = 170 °C Fan = 375 °F = Gas Mark 5 
200 °C = 180 °C Fan = 400 °F = Gas Mark 6
220 °C = 200 °C Fan = 425 °F = Gas Mark 7
230 °C = 210 °C Fan = 450 °F = Gas Mark 8
240 °C = 220 °C Fan = 475 °F = Gas Mark 9
250 °C = 230 °C Fan = 500 °F = Gas Mark 10

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