Here are some dipping alternatives, if you'd rather stay away from the fried zone. Some are adapted from Elsa Petersen-Schepelern's "Finger Food":

With the Parmesan Lemon Dip:

* Single small endive leaves

* Boiled small red potatoes, halved

* Grapes on toothpicks

* Seedless cucumber spears

* Blanched snow peas or haricots verts

* Smoked salmon skewers: To make about 30 skewers, cut 8 ounces of smoked salmon into 4-by-1-inch strips. Carefully thread the strips onto short skewers.

With the Manchurian Dip:

* Grilled paneer: Cut 1 pound of the Indian cheese paneer (found in Indian and Asian markets, and at such stores as Whole Foods Market) into 3/4 -inch cubes. Brush a stovetop grill pan or skillet with oil or clarified butter. Sear the cubes on medium-high heat, turning until all sides are lightly browned.

With the Vietnamese Nuoc Cham:

* Watermelon cubes

* Seedless cucumber spears

* Steamed dumplings

* Fresh spring rolls

* Steamed mussels

* Potstickers

With the Roasted Green Chili and White Bean Dip:

* Oven-baked tomatoes: To make 24 pieces, cut 12 plum tomatoes in half lengthwise, removing their dense core with a small sharp knife. Spread out on a baking pan and sprinkle each with a pinch of sugar and coarse sea salt. Roast in a preheated 400-degree oven for 1 hour, checking after 45 minutes.