Sunday, September 9, 2012

Homemade Sour Cream & Ranch Dip

Some of you who are in US might be wondering how come I am posting a homemade version of something that is very easily available there. But in India it has not yet become an ordinary routine stuff though its definitely available in speciality stores at high prices.Basically sour cream is nothing but "mildly soured cream". More plainly it is fermented regular cream or milk cream to which the bacterial culture has been introduced. If you are one of those who make your yogurt at home then you might get it. You add yogurt/sourcream/lemon juice/vinegar to heavy cream to ferment it in the refrigerator and voila you have got sour cream. A very basic recipe.

I had just used the regular low fat (25%) Amul Cream to make mine. Just added 1 tbsp of vinegar to 1 cup (200 ml) of cream and let it sit in the fridge overnight. So you can say I had made low fat sour cream. :)



This will definitely be different from commercial sour cream as different bacterial cultures and commercial thickners and sometimes even MSG(!) are supposed to be used. 

Usually you can substitute thick yogurt or hung yogurt instead of sour cream. 

How sour cream is different from regular yogurt/greek yogurt?

Sour cream has higher fat content than your regular stuff. Once sour cream is formed it thickens the already thick cream. Unlike yogurt sour cream is not very sour, but just mildly. This makes sour cream an excellent choice while baking as it can be sweetened/spiced up as per the dish and it adds fat which ensures butter can be cut down. 

Creme fraiche is also used an alternative to sour cream. If is actually French  for "Fresh Cream" but this is less sour and less thick than sour cream. It comes in between yogurt and sour cream when we think of thickness. Whereas in terms of sourness, yogurt comes first followed by sour cream and then creme fraiche.


Now that sour cream is made the first thing I made was the ranch dip. A Ranch dip/dressing/sauce is actually a mix of fresh herbs -usually parsley and chives, mayo and sour cream. You can add additional seasoning and aromatics like garlic (as much as you can consume raw garlic), hot sauce, routine salt/pepper, worcestershire sauce etc. You can even add buttermilk to make it thin to be used as a dressing/sauce.


I had googled several ranch recipes and have added mine also in the varied list. The given quantities are guestimates and can be changed as per your taste.

Ingredients:
Sour cream -1/2 cup
Eggless Mayonaisse: 6 tbsp +
Fresh Cilantro: 2 tbsp finely chopped
Fresh Parsley: 3 tbsp+ finely chopped
Garlic :1/2 of a clove or can use garlic salt
Salt & Pepper : as per taste
Hot Sauce: few dashes as per taste

Preparation:
Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl or even processor and adjust the salt and seasonings. Can spice it up or play down as per your taste buds.

 I wanted a thick dip to go with my fritters and this one definitely enhanced them. 

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