I like my dals with something refreshing on the side. Lately, I’m all about this salad, adapted from Das Sreedharan’s “The New Taste of India”, a fantastic cookbook filled with delicious vegetarian recipes from Southern India.
The salad takes a bit of chopping, but it’s totally worth it, both for its flavor, and for the rave reviews it gets everytime I serve it.
Indian Cucumber and Coconut Salad
For the salad:
1 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbsp desiccated coconut (or more to taste)
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped
a small bunch of fresh cilantro (i.e. coriander), finely chopped
For the dressing:
2 tsp olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 dried red chilli, halved
1/2 tsp asafoetida
~10 dried curry leaves
juice from half a lemon
- Place all the salad ingredients in a bowl and set aside in the fridge.
- Put the oil in a large frying pan with the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilli, asafoetida and curry leaves. Turn the heat up to medium and wait for the seeds to start sizzling and smelling delicious.
- When the mustard seeds begin to pop, pour the oil and seeds over the salad. Add the lemon juice and some salt to taste and mix thoroughly. If you can wait, cool in the fridge before serving.