Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Cabbage Cucumber Salad



Healthy Food Alert!! If you're a health food lover, this is THE place to be. 

If you're a junk food addict, well then, say hello to your new best friend which is going to help you add some numbers to your life which you can then use to eat more junk food or atleast thats what I tell myself whenever I make this.  

This post is so healthy it doesn't even agree with my Pizza obsessed brains. But, some days, I really don't feel like cooking. That cooking gene just shuts down and I get nothing from it. Zip. Zilch. Nada. So I turn towards this. This is my solution for the days I don't like to cook at all. I call this a 'salad' because I add cucumber to it. Haha... my definition of a salad. Weird, you bet! But you can't deny this being healthy. With lots of greens, a little spiciness, an element of sweetness, a wee bit o' nuttiness and I have my beautiful bowl of food ready to get me going. Its light on the stomach and light on calories as well. 

I don't dress the salad with any store bought or home made dressing. Rather add some tempered spices to it to make it healthier. I am no doctor, far from it, but eating raw cabbage sometimes can cause acidity. This recipe includes elements that are known in Indian cuisine to negate those side effects. You only benefit from this and TMI alert, it is great for your digestion too- I speak from experience. 

I'd never thought I'd be posting this recipe here. I have been eating this since ages. But since eating raw never felt this good, I thought I REALLY should share it with you all here so you can also reap the benefits. Trust me, try it and you'll love it, I tell you! Whenever I make this, I make a big batch of it and we eat it as a lunch or dinner, the leftovers are kept in an airtight container in the fridge and is eaten as a salad the next day with any of our meals since it stays good for a couple of days easy.

This salad is inspired from the Maharashtrian Kakdi chi Koshimbir. The original uses grated coconut and doesn't use all the tempering ingredients. Here's my take on it! 



Serves: 4

Time taken: 15 mins

Complexity:**

You'll need

1 head cabbage, 2 cups, chopped
1 large cucumber
1 pomegranate
small bunch of coriander leaves

for tempering

1 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste or 1/2 tsp
1 green chili
3-4 curry leaves
1 tsp ground coriander powder
pinch of asafoetida
pinch of love


Method

I begin with chopping the cabbage. Now you can totally use your food processor, but if you're doing this by hand, here's how you do it. Quarter the cabbage head. With a knife slice the cabbage in thin shreds length wise like this. 

FYI: I have no knife skills whatsoever. This was my way of practicing them.

Also: I took the pics when I was making them at night in fluorescent light, so I could chill it overnight and have it today. Pardon the lighting and my non existent photography skills. 



Next turn the cabbage sideways so you can chop the shreds small like this. You have your chopped cabbage. Do this to the rest of the cabbage. Also, if you have a better way to chop the cabbage manually, let me know. My knife skills would be indebted to you! 



Take your cucumber next. Cut 3-4 pieces of your clean washed cucumber. If you think the skin would be too thick, you can peel it away. Mine was quite alright so I kept it. take one piece at a time and slice it lengthways like this. 




Now take each slice and cut it again into fingers. 



Cut those fingers horizontally. 



And lo and behold! You have your dice. Maybe I should have just mentioned you need to dice your veggies small instead of these details. How would you have preferred it? Yes to details? Let me know. 



Take one green chili, and split it lengthwise. 



Finely chop the green chilies and set aside till we are ready to temper. You can deseed the chili but I didn't. I like the subtle heat that comes from it. In any case, after being tempered, the chili looses most its heat, all you are left with is a slight tang. 



Deseed your pomegranate. I usually halve the pomegranate and hold the side with seeds over my fingers. Take a rolling pin and smack the skin side of the pomegranate. The seeds just fall down. Easy as that. 

In a bowl, add in the chopped cabbage and the diced cucumber. 



For the tempering, in a small pan, add in the oil on medium high heat. 



When the oil starts to shimmer add in the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. 



In quick succession add in the cumin seeds,



the salt, 



the curry leaves, 



the asafoetida,



the chopped green chili,



and the ground coriander powder and immediately take the pan off the heat. 



Mix it all with the spoon 



and transfer it to the bowl with cabbage and cucumber. 



Next throw in some roughly chopped coriander. 



Add in those pomegranate seeds. I am so partial to these sweet ruby seeds. I keep using them everywhere from yogurts to drinks. Check out one of my most popular drinks- the Blushing Mojito with these beauties. 



Toss it all together and you're set. 



Your salad is done. 



I usually set this aside to chill for about 30 mins or so which allows all the flavours to come together beautifully. 



Ta da! Raw but not raw, simple but so good! Healthy healthy greens



The greens and that pink, I love the crunchiness of it all. Sometimes I also crush in some peanuts to the salad. 



Nom nom nom nom. Eating a bowlful of this makes you feel like you've eaten a lot. Btw, even as I write this, mama bear is eating a bowl of it instead of dinner. Told ya! Its really good! 



Indulge!