Usually when I do one of these posts, I think of a cute little story to tell you, or an amusing tale of how I came upon the recipe, blah, blah, blah. But, this dip needs so such story. Because I could fill pages and pages telling you about how, why, and in what sense this is one of the best, most unexpected things I’ve ever had. Apart from that, I’ve been promising you a recipe to use some of that homemade chutney from the other day, and now I’m delivering.
Ok, Ok, so quick background. This recipe came to me, as so many do, from my mom. Aren’t moms great? I mean, my mom is great for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggies is that she is fearless in the kitchen and is always willing to try recipes that a lot of people wouldn’t. This recipe, for example. I would never in a million years have given this a second look. Because, well… it looks weird. But my mom, kitchen wonder that she is, gave it a chance. And thank goodness she did. Because now I can share it with all of you, and we can all enjoy the amazingness that is this dip.
I know, you think I’m exaggerating. Well, let’s just say that often times I play down how good something is, because I don’t want to build up the hype and contribute to a culinary let down. But I feel safe in gesticulating wildly and blathering over Bombay dip because it is just. that. good. I will try to convey its deliciousness to you in words, but I don’t think I’ll be able to do it justice.
It starts off with a base of creamy cheese and curry spread, which sounds strange, but there is actually just enough curry to make things interesting. Then you smother that with hot mango chutney, either from a jar or homemade. Having tried it both ways, I can attest that it is wonderful either way, but there is something about the homemade version that really brings this dip to another level. Anyway, the sweet-hot tanginess of the chutney against the creamy cheese is to die for. As if that weren’t enough to bring you to dip nirvana, you top the whole thing with coconut, toasted pecans, green onions, and dried cranberries. This sounds like quite the motley crew of the ingredient world, I know, but when you taste this you will realize that they are, in reality, the completely synchronized and angelic boys’ choir of the ingredient world. The sweet coconut plays off the crunchy, nutty pecans, and the green onions and cranberries brighten up the whole lot and keep it from feeling too dense and cheesy. Like that last unfortunate metaphor.
Ok, I’ve done the best I can to tell you how good this is, but I’m afraid I haven’t even come close. I guess you’ll just have to give it a try and find out for yourself.
Bombay Cheese Spread
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
4 oz (1 cup) shredded cheddar cheese
¼ teaspoon curry powder
½ cup hot mango chutney or this homemade version
4 tablespoons flaked coconut
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped scallions, with some green stems
2 tablespoons dried cranberries or currants
Combine the cream cheese, cheddar, and curry in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well until blended. Spread onto a small plate, into a circle about 6” in diameter. Alternatively, you could also spread it into a dip dish. Spread chutney over the top of the cheese mixture, then sprinkle with coconut, pecans, scallions, and cranberries. Let it chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Serve with pita chips or crackers.