Pesto
By Audrey Wong, lawyer
Blend 1 cup fresh basil leaves, 4 cloves garlic, ½ tsp salt, 7 tbsp olive oil and 50g parmesan cheese until the basil leaves and garlic are finely chopped. Makes 100g. Keep chilled for up to a week.
BEST WITH: Pasta, sandwiches, toasted baguettes and plain crackers

Ginger Dip
By Pang Yit Lan, food-stall owner
Blend together 300g ginger and 5 tbsp water. Makes 350ml. Keep chilled for up to 10 days.
BEST WITH: Steamed chicken, fish and prawns

Sambal Belacan
By Yusnita Yusoff , chef de partie at Mamanda (a Malay restaurant in Singapore)
Blend together 15 red chillies, 5 chilli padi, ½ tsp toasted belacan, 50ml calamansi juice, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp sugar. Makes 1 cup. Keep chilled for up to two weeks.
BEST WITH: Meats (chicken, beef or mutton), stir-fries, keropok, raw cherry tomatoes, cabbage or cucumber, and boiled long beans or carrots.

Mayonnaise
By Tan Yn Shu, real estate agent
Whisk 3 egg yolks, 20ml white vinegar and 2 tsp mustard. Add 500ml vegetable oil slowly, whisking constantly until it’s well mixed and starts to thicken. Whisk in 40ml hot water. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Makes 500ml. Keep chilled for up to four days.
BEST WITH: French fries, salads, sandwich fillings

Sambal Tumis
By Yusnita Yusoff
Blend together 10 dried chillies, 2 red onions, 2 cloves garlic, ½ tsp toasted belacan, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp assam juice. Fry over medium heat until the oil surfaces. Makes 1 cup. Keep chilled for up to 2 weeks.
BEST WITH: Nasi Lemak, bee hoon, and grilled seafood.

Spicy Soya Sauce
By Sazzuria Hashim, editorial coordinator
Pound or blend 5 chilli padi and 1 clove garlic. Add cup sweet soya sauce (such as Habhal’s Cap Kipas Udang, available at major supermarkets), 2 chopped shallots and juice of 1 calamansi. Makes a small bowl that serves four.
BEST WITH: Grilled seafood

Chicken-rice Chilli
By Pang Yit Lan
Blend 12 red chillies, 20 chilli padi, 50g ginger, 1 torch ginger bud, 10 cloves garlic, 8 shallots, 1 tomato, 5 tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp salt, 3 tsp sugar and 1 cup water. Makes 500ml. Keep chilled for up to 10 days.
BEST WITH: Chicken rice and steamed chicken, prawns and squid

This article was originally published in Simply Her February 2014.