Warm Bell Pepper Salad With Lemon Honey Garlic Vinaigrette


Bell peppers are one of the most beautiful vegetables and my favorite too. I somehow despise the  green capsicum and its excessive use in many dishes but these red, yellow sweet peppers not just add color to the dish but also provide a lot of nutrients. They also pair very well with many things and can be baked, broiled, grilled, roasted or stewed. I add them to sauces for pasta and Shakshuka etc.  These beauties have a good amount of carotenoid content and Vitamin C along with Vitamin B6, folate, Vitamin A and many other good nutrients. I use them for roasted bell pepper raita (dip), salads (both warm and cold), pasta sauces and use them instead of green capsicum.

This is a warm salad with slightly fried potatoes but I do other variations with roasted veggies instead of sauteed. I love the smoky charred flavors of the bell peppers and tomatoes and make the salad with that too. It all depends on the mood.

The vinaigrette dressing is just perfect to give that citrus sweet flavor to the salad. You can use this as a marinade to chicken and fish also. Garlic gives that much needed kick to the vinaigrette making it delicious.  You can make the vinaigrette in a small jar and store it in that only for a day or two.

I am not a good food photographer but the recipe is awesome. Do try.

 

Bell Pepper And Potato Salad With Lemon Honey & Garlic Vinaigrette

Ingredients :

Bell peppers – 2 (1-red, 1-yellow)

Potato – 1 large (par boiled and cubed or cut into thin wedges)

Red Onion – 1

Garlic – 1 large smashed

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 2 tbsp

Plum Tomatoes- 2

Fresh herbs – Coriander/parsley

Salt – Pepper – as required

Honey – 1 tbsp

Lemon Juice – Juice of one medium lemon

Lemon zest – a little

Freshly cracked black peppercorn – 1 little

Apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar ( if desired ) – 2 tbsp

Steps – 

To make the Vinaigrette :

Take a juice of one lemon, add one crushed garlic clove, a little lemon zest add a tbsp of honey, add a little salt, two tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, vinegar if using, a little freshly crushed black pepper and fresh chopped herbs. Mix and shake it up in a small jar.

I didn’t use the vinegar in this particular salad. You can adjust the quantity as per the salad quantity or if using as a marinade as per the chicken or fish.

 

For Salad : 

Wash bell peppers and remove the seeds. Cut them into cubes or strips. Cut the onions and tomatoes into cubes or wedges. Peel the bar boiled potatoes and cut in cubes or wedges.

In a pan heat the olive oil and add the potatoes. Fry them till they turn nice n crisp. Remove in a bowl. Add onions and saute till slightly translucent, remove them in the same bowl. Now add bell peppers and toss them till slightly charred and warmed up, take them out in the bowl and then add tomatoes to the pan. We do not need to soften them so toss them till they are slightly roasted and add to the other veggies.

Gently toss the salad and add the Vinaigrette. Serve warm

Serve with any dish of your choice or just eat it straight from the bowl.

 

 

Sprout Salads With Raw Mango – Two Recipes


I love sprouts and make salads, chaats, usal, sprouts kadhi, I also toss them in soups, fill them in sandwiches, stir fry them, add to pulao, omelette, scrambled eggs or just grab a handful of raw sprouts to munch along with the breakfast.

I have the methi( fenugreek sprout) vegetable recipe on my blog  which you can try. I usually sprout, moong (green gram), kala chana (bengal gram), lobia ( black-eyed beans), Moth/matki ( turkish beans), masoor(whole red lentil) and methi (fenugreek).  One of my favorite street food used to be the mong bean chaat or the bengal gram chaat sold by the khomechewalas. Spicy mix of sprouts, chaat masala, salt topped generously with lemon juice was something I enjoyed eating.

Who wouldn’t be tempted by this sight 🙂 ?

Sprouts are considered super-foods and are concentrated source of protein, minerals(iron, potassium), enzymes and vitamin C. As we usually eat them fresh we can be sure of getting optimum nutrition. The ‘living enzymes’ make them easy to digest. They also contain antioxidants and fiber among other things.

Here we will make the two salads or chaats whatever you prefer to call them. You can use the same method for other sprouted lentils, beans like moth, masoor too. I have used raw mango/ kairi. ambi in these salads. This raw mango had ripened slightly so had a sour-sweet taste that went very well with the other ingredients.

I used to eat the sprouts raw but these days due to weak digestion I steam them a bit just to take away the rawness.

To make the sprouts:

Wash the beans/lentils properly under running water.

In a clean utensil soak them with enough water covering them. Keep them overnight or till they split. Keep them covered with a lid.

Once the lentils/beans have swollen, drain the water and gently put the lentils/beans in a sieve and wash them under clean running water. I use the filtered water.

Place the sieve on a small container and cover with cheese cloth or muslin cloth for the sprouts to appear. You need to keep the lentils/beans in a dark, warm place.  Once you get the desired length of the sprouts wash them again and drain properly.

Keep them in the fridge. The sprouts will continue to grow but very slowly. I prefer to make them in lesser quality and use them fresh.

For the Bengal Gram Sprout chaat/Salad and the Moong Bean Sprout Salad/Chaat you will need :

Bengal Gram  sprouts – 1 cup

Raw mango diced – 1/4 cup

Red Onion – 1 medium roughly chopped

Tomato – 1 Large  chopped

cucumber – 1/4 cup diced small

Green Chillies – 2 small finely chopped

Fresh coriander leaves –  For garnish

Fresh mint leaves – 1 teaspoon finely chopped

Black pepper Powder – 2 pinches

Salt – to taste

Chaat masala – optional

Lemon – 2

You can add finely diced red, yellow bell pepper, boiled potatoes to too but I prefer it this way.

To make the chaat / salad 

I steam the sprouted lentil/beans but you can use them raw. If you are steaming, make sure they retain their crispness and don’t become mushy.

In a bowl toss the bengal gram sprouts, diced tomatoes, chopped onion, diced cucumber, chopped green chillies, finely chopped mint (if available), finely chopped fresh coriander, diced raw mango (this one is a bit sweet sour but you can use the totally raw kairi too). Add a few peanuts if desired. mix well and add salt, pepper powder and salt. Squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice and toss the chaat/salad.  I use very little table salt as the chaat masala too has salt in it. You can toss in pomegranate seeds too. They taste awesome in this salad. Once everything is mixed well your sprout salad much bowl is ready. I often eat it as an evening snack. To make it look like authentic street side chaat serve it in a pattal or paper plate like the one in the pic below.

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For the Moong Bean Chaat/Salad 

Just replace the bengal gram sprouts with the moong bean sprouts. You can make any sprouted chaat like this. You can combine some sprouts to make it even more healthy.

Colourful, tangy, nutritious these chaats/salads can be had any time of the day.

TIPS –

Mix all the ingredients at the time of serving or the chaat/salad will turn watery and smell. 

 I sometime add saunth to it just to make it lip smacking good. You can read the Recipe here. Add a little warm water to 2 tablespoon of this thick saunth and mix well to make it thin. (optional) 

An interesting variation is to fill the golpappas/panipuri with the sprout mixture, top it with beaten curd and saunth and enjoy it as an evening snack.  I will post a photograph the day I make it… 😀 which will be very soon. 

Mediterranean Chickpeas Salad


 

I love chickpeas in salads. Full of nutrition they are a storehouse of protein, folate, fiber and iron. The chopped fresh veggies give the salad a unique crunch and color. Feta cheese crumble and oregano makes it simply out of the world. I make various versions of chickpeas salad depending on the availability of vegetables. The crunch in the veggies blends beautifully with the creamy texture of the chickpeas. It is a very versatile recipe and pairs perfectly with Grilled Chicken Breast. You can serve it with warm pita bread or pits chips too. You can also fill it in a pocket pita or a sanwitch and eat it drizzled with wonderful tahini. I had it with whole wheat pasta and the flavours were just terrific. You can serve it on a bed of greens such as butter lettuce.

All through the summer and monsoon I make this colourful salad.  Filling, healthy and quick to make. Go ahead and indulge.

To make this delicious salad you will need

11/2 cups of boiled chickpeas (I soak them overnight and pressure cook them with a little salt till they are firm yet cooked. Usually two whistles are good enough)

Red bell pepper – 1

Yellow bell pepper – 1

Orange or Green bell pepper – 1

Cucumber – seeded and diced small

cherry tomatoes – orange /red  or plum tomatoes – diced small

Onion – 1 big chopped coarsely

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Dried oregano – 1 teaspoon

Lemon Juice – 1/2 cup

Fresh chopped Coriander – 1/4 cup ( you can add chives, parsley or basil too)

Fresh cracked black peppercorns – 1/4 teaspoon

Salt – to taste ( I don’t like to add table salt to salads)

Cumin seeds – roasted and ground ( 1/4 teaspoon

(you can add Olives too)

Garlic – 1 big clove pressed (optional)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1 table-spoon (optional )  You can use a flavored one for dressing)

To make the salad :

In a bowl toss together the salad ingredients ( all ingredients must be chopped fine and in equal size). Now whisk lemon juice, olive oil and oregano and other herbs in a separate bowl and stir it in the salad. Add crumbled feta cheese. Use the salad as a side dish or just enjoy it as a light meal on a hot summer day. If you are preparing this in advance for a lunch or dinner,  just cut all the ingredients and keep them in separate bowls. Assemble just before serving. The water in the veggies causes the salad to lose its crispness if prepared and kept for a long time.

Enjoy this bright flavoured salad any time of the day.