Last weekend, the Bae and I went on our first vacation to Toronto. It was a marvelous weekend, with almost perfect weather (damn you cold wind!), spent with many great people.
One of my goals for this trip was to shop around and find a few cute tops for my eventual back to school wardrobe and work. I ended up leaving with a cook book. And I am more than happy with this cook book. It’s a relatively new book (Made in India, 2014) by Indian cook Meera Sodha. Not only are the recipes mouth watering… I read the book cover to cover on the train ride back home… but the pictures are taken by none other than David Loftus, the camera genius behind the majority of Jamie Oliver’s cook books. Let’s just say that I do not regret my purchase, not one bit!
To start the week off properly, as well as eat a little healthier since our trip, I decided on trying out Sodha’s Chaat Salad recipe. It is so amazing that I just had to share it here.
Now, if you’re afraid of cooking Indian food because of all the spices, or because you’re afraid that there are too many steps involved, I’m going to ask you to stop being afraid and live a little.
Not only is this salad extremely colourful, it is full of amazing flavours and textures. It takes less than 15 minutes to make, and probably 30 seconds to inhale it. It’s that amazing! And I personnally guaranty that you have all the spices needed to make this right in your kitchen cupboards.
You will need:
- Half a cucumber, seeds scooped out, the flesh cut in small cubes
- Seeds of 1 pomegranate
- Handful of coriander, leaves and stalks chopped finely
- 1 can of chickpeas, rinced
- 1 tbsp. of mustard seeds
- 4 tbsp. canola/vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 tbsp. desiccated unsweeted coconut
- Chaat masala (optional), or garam masala (optional)
To start, chop up your cucumber, coriander, and de-seed your pomegranate and put all the ingredients in a big bowl.
In a frying pan, heat up your oil on medium heat and add your mustard seeds. Once they start to pop and crackle, add your chickpeas and fry them for 5 minutes, stirring often.
After 5 minutes, add in your spices and lemon juice, and mix the chickpeas making sure they get coated evenly. Remove from the heat and stir in the desiccated coconut.
Add the chickpeas to the bowl with the rest of your salad ingredients. There. You. Go.
I think this has to be one of the most simple salads I’ve ever made! If you either have chaat masala or garam malasa, sprinkle it on top before serving. If not, don’t worry.
The mix of sweet, spicy and tart, combined with the sweet crunch of the pomegranate seeds, and the light taste of cucumber, makes this salad a very interesting dish.
It would be amazing as a side to a nice piece of lamb, or for some lemony chicken. Serve it in a tortilla for a vegan lunch option.