Salad days

Nothing is more exciting than trying your hand at different salad dressings, spicy or light

Salads are wonderful things. But most of us in this land are content with Ďfreshí, more often than not, refrigerated green salad ó a boring plateful of cucumber, tomato, radish and onions with some green chillies and lemon thrown in as an afterthought. If you are in luck or a favoured patron, the eatery might throw in a few wilted leaves of cabbage and a few batons of carrot. Lettuce (forget crunchy iceberg and the like) is stuff dreams are made of.

In wedding season, shaadi ka khana adds to items (and costs!) by increasing the number of salads. Waldorf in desi incarnation, alu ki chaat and beans and sprouts play their solo numbers in a most lacklustre manner.

Concerns about hygiene keep all sensible folk from the colourful display. We have always wondered why people donít experiment with salads at home and explore the universe beyond cucumber- tomato. Nothing is more exciting than trying your hand at different dressings, spicy or light and showing off your Kashmiri walnut wood salad bowl or the gleaming stainless designer stuff. Pachadis and kachumbars are fine in their place but pardon our impudence thatís not the stuff salad days are made of. Do try the dieterís delight and the summer special we have rustled up for you this time. Red cabbage will remind you of tantalising Korean kim chi and broccoli and tomato are rich in time-tested micro-nutrients. Donít wait for the Independence Day to unfurl this tiranga.

Tiranga  salad

Ingredients

Head of red cabbage (small) one

Head of broccoli (medium-sized) one

Tomato (medium-sized) one

Dressing

Salad oil 1 tbsp

Lime juice 1 tsp

Black peppercorns (freshly and coarsely ground) 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Method

Wash and wipe dry the vegetables. Quarter the tomato taking care that the pieces are not separated. Blanch the cabbage and broccoli in boiling water for a minute and refresh immediately in chilled water. Break broccoli into bite-sized florets and shred the cabbage. Arrange cabbage and broccoli on a platter and top with the tomato. Prepare the dressing by blending all the ingredients and pour on top of the tri-coloured salad. Make a light meal supplementing the salad with a small bowl of dahi and a dry toast or a couple of (no more!) cream cracker biscuits.





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