Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Mom's Style Vegetarian Salad

Generally, people don't like salad as they think it is boring and has raw vegetables for the most part. For the simplest salad on earth, just throw in some veggies, a store bought dressing, some salt and pepper and bam, the salad is done!!!! My Dad, sisters and I were under the same impression until one fine day when my Mom put together some salad and MADE us taste it. I must say that it was not bad at all. The second time she made it, we did not make a fuss and she didn't have to force us either. We wondered where this salad suddenly came from as my Mom had never made it before. Apparently, one of my Mom's colleagues had got salad for lunch one day and my Mom had taken the recipe from her. She always says that vegetables lose their nutrients if they are overly cooked and that salad is very good for health in that way. The reason we liked my Mom's salad was because it was really tasty and also spicy. Yes, I did say TASTY and SPICY. People must believe me when I say that my boyfriend, who I never thought could be persuaded to eat salad in his life, did actually eat my Mom's style salad that I had made and also asked his Mom to make it when he went to India ;-). Here comes "the recipe for salad".

Ingredients (about 2 servings):

Cabbage - 1 cup finely chopped (using a measuring cup)
Carrot - 1 cup grated (using a measuring cup)
Cucumber - 1 cup grated (using a measuring cup)
Onion - 1/4 cup finely chopped (using a measuring cup)
Tomato - 1 cup finely chopped (using a measuring cup)
Radish (white or red) (optional) - 1/4 cup grated (using a measuring cup)
(I like raw radish and hence I add it in my salad)
Cilantro - 2 tablespoons finely chopped
Salt to taste
Juice of 1/2 lime/lemon
Green chilli - 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon very finely chopped
Black pepper powder - 1/4 teaspoon

For seasoning:

Cooking oil - 3 tablespoons
Mustard seeds - 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida - a pinch


1. Mix all the veggies (you can use your own choice of veggies as well) in a bowl with cilantro, green chillies, salt, pepper and lemon/lime juice.
2. In a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. After the mustard splutters, add asafoetida and pour the oil mixture to the veggies and mix well.
3. You can add more/less of the veggies that you like/don't like and also vary the proportion of green chillies and lemon juice to suit your taste.

During my undergrad days, I took salad for a snack almost every day and I never got more than a spoonful on any day :-). Even when friends came over to my house, they would ask my Mom to make the salad.

A colleague of mine, Chris, asked me for my Mom's salad dressing recipe a couple of days back :-). He is one guy that I know of, who takes salad for lunch almost on a daily basis. Impressive, ain't it????

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