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Brad Bergaus

Brad Bergaus
Corporate Chef
Director of Menu Innovation
Taco John’s International

Habanero Pickle Dip with Spicy Paneer Chips

Recipe courtesy of Brad Bergaus
Sponsor: California Milk Advisory Board

Serves: Ten 3-oz portions of dip


Pickle Dip:

  • 8 oz Real California Labne kefir cheese
  • 8 oz Real California Cream Cheese
  • ½ c ranch dressing
  • ½ c dill pickle juice
  • ¼ c Habanero Hot Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • ¼ Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 ½ c ¼-in dice dill pickles

Spicy Paneer Chips (Yield about 50 chips):

  • 8.5oz bag ruffled potato chips
  • 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 7 ½ oz water
  • 18 oz Spicy Habanero Real California Paneer Cheese, sliced 2/8-in lengthwise strips


  • 1 habanero, sliced into rings and deseeded
  • 10 fresh dill frills


For the Pickle Dip:

  1. Add the kefir, cream cheese, ranch dressing, pickle juice, hot sauce, dill, garlic, salt and pepper to a food processor. Process on high until smooth.
  2. Add dill pickles and pulse until evenly distributed. (Do not over process, as you want to keep the diced pickles intact.)
  3. Transfer to a mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate.

For the Paneer Chips:

  1. Heat a fryer to 350°F.
  2. Place chips in a food processor and blend into a coarse crumble. Transfer to a plate in an even layer.
  3. Whisk together the water and flour in a bowl until fully emulsified.
  4. Dip sliced paneer in the batter to fully coat.
  5. Transfer to the chip crumble and cover well. Lightly push paneer into crumble to ensure even and full coverage.
  6. Fry coated paneer chips until golden brown, flipping chips halfway through to ensure even coverage (roughly 30 to 45 seconds each side).
  7. Transfer fried paneer chips to a towel-lined baking sheet and hold hot.

For each serving:

  1. Place 3 oz of prepared Pickle Dip into a serving ramekin on a serving plate.
  2. Place 2 habanero slices in center of dip and place 1 dill frill on top of peppers.
  3. Place 6 to 8 hot Paneer Chips in corner of plate.
  4. Enjoy!

Chef Notes

Dip will lightly solidify when refrigerated, similar to a tzatziki consistency. Pickle chips will vary on fry time.

Project Management: Summit F&B
Photography: Carlos Garcia // Food Styling: Peg Blackley

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