I'll be honest with you. I have eaten my fair share of salads especially when on crash diets. The only outcome was a longing to curse everyone else who ate a proper meal, especially those who sat next to me eating rice, curries and stir fries, telling me it was delicious and did I want to try a bit? I found it difficult to believe a salad ever made anyone happy unless it was a french fries salad with a full fat mayo dressing.
In short, I liked salads as much as I liked the plague. This salad, however, has turned me. It has the freshness of carrots and cucumber, surprise sweetness from pomegranate seeds, and savory notes from roasted cumin seeds and mint. With spicy fried eggplants over it, this salad tastes hardly like the stuff you eat when you aim to loose 5 kgs in two weeks. And if it can convert me, I am sure you'll love it too.
To make the salad, toast some cumin seeds. Grind them using a mortar and pestle along with fresh mint into a smooth paste. Mix with creamy curd, carrot, cucumber and pomegranate. This in itself is delicious, but you can make it even better with egg plant.
Marinate eggplant slices with chili powder. Fry and serve over curd.
For Yoghurt Dressing
For Fried Eggplant
- Roast cumin seeds over a low flame till fragrant. This releases maximum flavor.
- Grind the cumin with mint and a few drops of water into a smooth paste.
- Mix cumin and mint paste with curd. Squeeze water out of grated cucumber. Mix cucumber, carrot, pomegranate seeds into the curd. Season with sugar and salt.
- For Fried Eggplant
- Slice eggplant into round slices less than half a cm thick. The eggplant I used weighed about 350 grams.
- Make a paste of chili powder, salt and water. Rub onto the eggplant slices and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a pan. Shallow fry the eggplant slices till cooked through.
- Healthier version: Roast chili powder in a pan over low heat for a couple of minutes. Take off heat. Add two tablespoons oil, water and salt to chili powder, and marinate the eggplant slices. Instead of frying, grill the eggplant slices in a grill pan. (I prefer the fried version).
- Serve salad along with fried/grilled eggplants.
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