Hummus, a dip usually made with chickpeas, is by far my favourite dip. When made correctly, it has such a full and punchy flavour worthy of even the fattest cat’s mezze. As we all know, chickpeas make a truly wonderful hummus. However, with variety being the spice of life, there isn’t any harm in substituting them for a slightly different ingredient. Straying beyond the realm of the humble pulse would prove a little foolish in this case, so there we shall remain. Indeed, butterbeans make a pretty favourable choice, since they possess a particularly smooth and creamy texture. As such, this take on the Middle Eastern classic is equally, if not more, palatable than its esteemed counterpart. The use of paprika to make infused oil may appear a little frivolous on the surface, but it is an integral part to this dish. Not only does it give the hummus a rather delectable streak of colour, it also completes its flavour profile with a smoky sweetness. As for the lack of tahini, this dip really doesn’t need it.

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Does anyone else feel that sweet chilli sauce has become so popular it has all but entered the realm occupied by ketchup, mayonnaise and brown sauce?

To be honest, up to this point I’d never been the biggest fan of sweet chilli sauce, but after making it the reason soon became clear. Homemade sweet chilli sauce simply has masses more flavour that the relatively insipid, oddly coloured tat you can purchase in one’s local supermarket.

It’s also rather ironic that making your own sweet chilli sauce takes around the same length of time as it takes to visit a local shop – it really is that quick. Indeed, from beginning to end, this recipe probably took between ten and fifteen minutes – no time at all.

It really is testament to how lazy the general populous has become when it comes to cooking. Please buck the trend, as I have, and make your own sweet chilli sauce. I shall make it worth your while tomorrow, with yet another gastronomic wonder.

Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce

Makes 1 small bottle, the recipe is easily scalable

Ingredients:

• 250ml water

• 2 red chillies, seeds are optional depending on individual taste

• 2 cloves of garlic

• 3 tbsp sugar

• 2 tsp corn flour (starch)

• Salt

Method:

1. First, you’ll want to blend the water, chillies, garlic and sugar together in a food processor. Transfer the resultant mixture, which should be a little chunky, into a saucepan and cook gently for 3-4 minutes. Once the mixture has thickened a little season it and add the corn flour which should be mixed with a tiny little water to make a roux. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes before allowing to cool. Once cool transfer the sauce to a jar or bottle and refrigerate. If the sauce turns to a jelly simply add a little more water without heating.

Cost: Sweet chilli sauce, like most sauces, is rather over-priced in general. A bottle of this sauce, as made by the market leader, costs £1.29. One might think that price fairly reasonable, however this sauce when made at home should set one back a mere 15-20p for roughly the same amount. Everything is relative, my friends.