Hold onto summer with this spicy home made lemonade

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Is there anything that screams 'summer' like fresh lemonade? Enjoy the season to the fullest with this sparkly home made beverage and a bowl of krupuk bawang and yoghurt dips on the side. 

Red pepper and vanilla lemonade 

For about 1 l of syrup

Bring 1 dl water to the boil. Cut 1 red chilli lengthways, remove the seeds and pulp. (Wash your hands right away!) Put the two halves in a bowl, pour on the boiling water and leave it for a few minutes. Cut 1 vanilla pod lengthways. Remove the pepper from the water and put it in a pan. Add the vanilla pod and 250 g cane sugar and 5 dl water, and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to stew for 5 minutes. 

Take 4 lemons and 4 limes. Scrub one of each clean under a warm tap and peel a good section of skin off each, without the white layer. Add the skins to the syrup. Squeeze all the lemons and limes and add the juice to the syrup. Leave to cool, cover, and put in the fridge for the night. Pour the syrup through a strainer into a clean bottle and close it. The lemonade will keep for at least a week in the fridge. Dilute to taste with ice-cold (sparkling) water and ice cubes. Delicious with krupuk bawang (coloured prawn crackers made of tapioca, available from Asian food stores) and with mango and yoghurt dips.

Krupuk bawang with mango and yoghurt dips 

For the mango dip, peel 1/2 ripe mango and chop very finely. Mix in 2 tbsps chilli sauce, 2 tbsps Thai fish sauce and the juice of 1/2 lime. For the yoghurt dip, grate 1/4 unpeeled cucumber and 1 shallot. Put the grating in a colander and add some salt. Leave for 5 minutes, then squeeze out the juice. Finely chop the leaves of a few sprigs of mint, mix with 4 tbsps Greek yoghurt and the cucumber. Season with quite a lot of freshly ground pepper. Use both dips on the day as they won't keep. 

In a deep-fryer, heat up some deep-frying oil to 180 *C (355 F). Deep-fry 75 g krupuk bawang in the hot oil in small amounts. Shake off the oil and drain the krupuk on paper towels. Serve immediately with the mango and yoghurt dips. 

Food styling and recipes: Bart Stuart - Photography: Marcel van Driel
Styling: Mirjam van der Rijst