Day 3 of Veganmofo had me stumped.
Since a year, I have been wanting to write a cookbook celebrating Indian vegan recipes, and to this goal I have been hoarding recipes and photographs. Today I delved into that reserve, and am sharing a simple and quick traditional Indian salad with my touch.
The recipe is a spin-off on the kosumalli (kosambari / koshimbir), a simple carrot salad served as part of ceremonial meals in Karnataka and Maharashtra. I have dressed it differently. I learnt to do that at THAC. While I was there, I found that dishes could be delicious even without fatty or unhealthy, superficial trimmings (some of which I am quite fond of). The meals at THAC are vegan, whole grain, local and fat-free, yet, extremely delicious. I recognized many of the recipes as the ones that I grew up with, refurbished, and presented with a contemporary feel. Strangely, these were dishes that took me back to simple cooking, creating foods that build. A few makeovers were too sweet or tart for my taste but, that could just be me. Maybe I just don’t need that much sweetness in my meals. What impressed me was the subtlety of the South Indian makeovers. It brought home the fact that our meals were never really rich.
Recipe: Carrots, mung bean sprouts and pine nuts salad with an inspired lemon dressing
Yield: Serves 2
Time: 10-15 minutes to assemble the salad, if you have soaked and sprouted mung beans on hand
Winter carrots / Gaajar – 2 cups
Sprouted mung beans / saboot moong sprouts – 1/4 cup
Lemon juice from 2 medium sized lemons (ripe, yellow ones), divided
Green chilli – 1 or as per preference
Black salt – As per taste, for flavour
Fine ground sea salt – As per taste
Fresh grated coconut – 1 tbsp.
Finely chopped coriander – 1 tbsp.
Grated ginger – just a bit, maybe 1/8 tsp. or ginger juice
Fine slivers of date – 1 tbsp., or more as per taste
Garnish with a tbsp. of toasted, shelled pine nuts per bowl.
Steam the sprouts for two minutes and cool. Place along with the carrots in a large mixing bowl.
Add everything else except pine nuts, and give it a good mix. Adjust chilli for heat, salt as per taste.
Serve with a garnish of pine nuts.