How many of you have thought to eat light, maybe only some salad or soup for a meal. Well, some days I do get that kind of a feeling, lately a frequent one. I have tried making salads that would suffice as a whole meal, and they taste good too, and hence it is time to share it here.
Couple days back, I had a get-together of my girlfriends at my home, and had made a vegetarian lunch. A meal that is set on a table should have a fantastic salad display is always my thought. I decided on this salad as I had some of the leftover boiled cowpeas, and I like to season them and make this salad, looks appealing and tastes good too. This is less time consuming and when one has to cook lot of dishes and keep the food ready before your friends turn up, then this is perfect.
Cowpeas: 100 Gm (Boiled)
Red Bell pepper: 1
Fine Sev: 2 Tbsp
Chaat Masala: 1 Tsp
Black Pepper: 1 Tsp
Cumin Powder: 1 Tsp
Salt: To taste
Oil: 1 Tsp
Chop finely half of the onion and tomato.
Heat a pan, add the oil, then the chopped onion, sautee till pinkish. Then add the finely chopped tomato and cook.
Add the seasonings -cumin powder, salt, chaat masala and black pepper and then the boiled cowpeas and cook for 5 min and switch off the gas flame.
Chop the salad vegetables-cucumber, onion, bell pepper and tomato and put in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and lime juice.
Take a round deep dish. Place the cowpeas in the center. Arrange the salad vegetables around the cowpeas. Sprinkle the Sev in the center over the cowpeas. Place round lime slices as eyes and a green chili as the nose. Cut thin tomato slice and place it as the lips, and we have our salad face ready :).
Have fun trying this out. When the dinning table is laid with food, the salad face sure looks appealing and tastes great too. I enjoyed setting this salad on my dining table for my friends.
Salads are an essential part of the regular Indian meal. Most meals do have some or the other type of salad, chutney, koshimbirs, raitas etc as a component of the Indian Thali. Foodies who love salads would understand how one is drawn towards the salad table at the buffets. I am very fond of salads and lately have been adding dried fruits too to my salads, it helps us to eat the daily intake that should be part of our food. Fiber is the undigested part of our food that is present in the whole grains, vegetables and fruits, whole pulses or legumes etc. that provide us with the essential roughage or bulk and thus aid in proper bowel movement and helps to prevent constipation .
I won’t be wrong if I write that for most Indians the word Chaat results in instant tingling of the taste buds and sudden mouth-watering moments. Chaats are blend of sweet, sour and spicy taste with the savory factor added too. It is a dish that creates a happy riot in the mouth with the over production of saliva by the salivary glands and one is left drooling till the Chaat vendor serves the ready dish in our hands.
When I am looking out to make easy, yet interesting, menu options at home from the ingredients that are almost always available in the refrigerator, I came up with this simple, refreshing, mouth tantalizing dish that I am sharing with you all.
One can call it a Chaat or Salad as I have added the sweetcorn for the fiber and its sweetness, crunchy salad vegetables, threw in some dried berries to give out the sweetness, sprinkled the lemon juice for the sourness, added the green chili/red chili powder for the spice, added the nuts for the nutty crunch in the bite and lastly sprinkled with the savory food-the fine Sev. I made this as a light dinner menu and served with lot of fine Sev sprinkled on top and savory Papdi and hence I called it Sweetcorn Chaat. If I avoid the Sev, then I would call it a salad and serve it with roasted Papad along with meals.
Sweetcorn Chaat/ Salad:
Sweetcorn: 2 Corn cob (Boiled)
Bell Peppers: 1/2 each Red/Yellow/Orange
Cucumber: 1 Medium-sized
Onion: 1 Medium-sized
Tomato: 1 Medium-sized
Fine Sev: 100 gm
Mixed nuts: 30 gm (Almonds, Pistachios, walnuts)
Dried Berries: 2 Tbsp (Blueberries/Cranberries)
Raisins: 1 Tbsp
Lemon: 1 Medium-sized
Green Coriander: 1 Tbsp finely chopped
Green Chilli: 2 or Red Chilli powder 1 Tsp
Salt: To Taste
Pepper: 1 Tsp
Chaat Masala: 2 Tsp
Boil the corn in a Pressure cooker, 2 whistles. (I used raw corn and hence preferred to boil it in cooker). Then remove the corn from the cob.
Finely chop all the salad vegetables (bell peppers, cucumber, tomato, onion, green coriander, chili as shown in the picture below.
Take a big glass bowl, add the boiled corn, the cut vegetables, the dried chopped nuts, the dried berries, raisins, the seasonings, chopped chilli and green coriander, sprinkle the lemon juice and then mix/toss all the ingredients. Check the seasoning and adjust according to ones taste. I have also added sliced almonds. (I oven roasted the Almonds, coarsely chopped and then added.)
Just before serving add the fine Sev on top and give the final toss and serve along with papdi.
This chaat tasted so yum and ended up becoming the dinner menu. As one can note the salad is full of fiber and hence it becomes filling for the tummy. The fresh berries might not be regularly available at home, as here in the UAE it is not locally produced. We all are aware of the importance of including the berries in our diet and I keep the dried ones handy, works well to toss them into lot many dishes. These dried berries and raisins impart the necessary sweetness to the chaat, hence we do not need to add any sweet chutney which is essential for any chaat preparation. If one has mint and coriander chutney handy, one could also use that or the freshly chopped herbs too work well as they add the required freshness. Do give this sumptuous healthy dish a try to enjoy with each bite the different flavors and texture of this delicious Sweetcorn Chaat or salad from ashuskitchen :).
I wanted to share a healthy, nutritious snack menu with you all and hence the post for this March month. Do also give importance to include some part of physical activity in your daily schedules, apart from eating healthy meals.
The month of March brings with it the Indian festival of Holi, which is a festival of colours that creates an atmosphere of fun and joy all around. This festival, a celebration of arrival of Spring, brings together people of all age groups enjoying throwing and splashing colour and water on each others. It is one of my favourite, and I definitely had lot of fun moments this year too.
Friends, just as the colours in Nature marvels our mind and soul, a couple brush strokes of paint on a white canvas brings out life in form of a picture, so does the different coloured vegetables and fruits in our diet work their wonder on our body. They are power packed sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibres etc. adding bulk and fullness. Just with mixing of couple raw vegetables and fruits we too can create something wonderful in our kitchen to give us a reason to raid the refrigerator without a guilt, on a hot summer afternoon. My food plate has to have a splash of colour in terms of the food choices and today sharing here one of my favourite salads, a very colourful one for the sight that definitely draws our attention and tickles the taste buds with its combination of sweet and tangy flavours. The combination of fruits and vegetables added purely depends on personal taste, and one could make it as versatile as one wants it to be. To get a nutty taste do not forget to throw in some dried nuts of choice.
Bell peppers: 1/2 Yellow, Green, Red, Orange
Carrot: 1 Small
Cucumber: 1 Medium
Blueberries: a handful
Grapes: few (preferably seedless)
Nuts: Almonds or Walnuts: A handful.
Salt and Pepper- For seasoning.
Olive oil: 1Tsp
Wash and towel dry all the vegetables and fruits.
Remove the pearls from the pomegranate.(Click Here to see how to do it) Remove the skin of the apples and orange.
Cut all the vegetables and fruits into small even size and put into a bowl. Mix the pomegranate pearls into this.
Sprinkle sliced almonds or any roughly crushed nuts of choice into the bowl mix. Add the olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper and toss all the ingredients together to mix properly so the different flavours are infused together.
I like the salad cold and hence use all vegetables and fruits that are just taken out from the fridge. Use fresh fruits and vegetables to get the crunch in the bite. One could also add sliced pistachios or cashewnuts. Chat masala can also be added, but I prefer only salt and pepper.
Go ahead, try eating this fresh salad after a good workout😉, you will definitely feel refreshed.