Day 2 dawned bright and early! Yay! No thunderstorms today. Plus its TGIF moment/ day/ revelation. While the hankering for tangy , spicy is inbuilt in my genes, the heat outside also meant I was not willing to eat something that was “right of the stove” kind. So needed something, that is cold and crunchy and yielded all nutrients as well and Voila!
Thai fusions – Quinoa Veg salad with Crunchy Cashews
Cooking time : 15 min Prep time : 15 min Serves : 4
Cooked Quinoa : 2 cups
Broccoli slaw : ¼ cup thinly sliced or finely chopped
Cucumber : ¼ cup thinly sliced or finely chopped
Red Cabbage : ¼ cup thinly sliced or finely chopped
Sweet mini peppers : ¼ cup thinly sliced or finely chopped
Raw or firm Mango : ¼ cup finely diced
Cilantro: ¼ cup finely chopped
Toasted Cashews : 12-14 halves
Red Onion : ¼ cup thinly sliced ( optional)
Peanut Butter : 3 tbsp
Fresh Ginger or Mango ginger, grated :1 tsp
Soy sauce : 2 tsp ( optional)
Honey : 1 Tbsp
Red wine Vinegar : 1 Tbsp
Olive oil : 1 tsp
Sriracha hot sauce : 1 tsp ( optional )
Luke warm water : 3 Tbsp
Wedges of Lime /Lemon : Garnish
Prep work, Assembly and Serve:
For the dressing:
Add in all the ingredients for the dressings in a bowl and stir until smooth and creamy.
Add in more water , if you would like to thin it out a bit more.
In a large bowl combine the vegetable ingredients of the salad and toss in gently with most of the salad dressing.
Gently fold in the quinoa.
Add in the remaining dressing to your taste.
Garnish with cilantro and chill in the refrigerator.
When ready to serve, add in a wedge of lime for garnish and preference.
I often get into one of those “ I so need to clean the pantry “ moods .. especially when I have something major lined up. In this case , it was prepping for the 30 day salad event and with 2 family birthday part events lined up, including one with a herd of teenage boys in the house (shudder ) running amok fueled high on pizza and cake. If you think that’s bad, you see I have another one lined up in 48 hrs – this time it’s a bunch of rising first graders ! Try pizza, cupcake and juice this time .. Plus we do have a family and friends grilling event lined up as well. I love my life .. if I don’t have enough madness thrown at me, I am capable of self- inflicting it! And old habits die hard. You see , I would be one of these maniacs who believed that chasing the dust bunnies and labeling the containers, yields to peace of mind. After all, I would be the one majorly cleaning up my room before an exam !
In any case, I am digressing . So on one of these infamous treasure hunts through the pantry, I discover a stack of cans –3 organic Kirkland tomato paste and 3 cans of Hunt’s diced tomatoes to be precise. I toyed with making homemade pasta sauce vs a nice tomato relish in the tradition Indian style. And guess which won???
Prep time : 10 min Cook time 30-40 min
Organic Tomato Paste : 3 cans
Diced tomato in juice : 3 cans ( blended )
Flavorless oil : 3 tsp
Mustard seeds : 2 tsp
Asafoetida : A generous pinch
Curry Leaves : 12 – optional. Washed and dried thoroughly
Tamarind paste : 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds or Methi seeds : 1 tsp
Red chilli powder or Parika powder : 1-2 tsp
In a nonstick pan, dry roast 1 tsp pf fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds till they sputter and you notice a faint red color on the former. Let this cool down and pulverize it to get a smooth dry powder and set it aside.
In a nonstick wok or big sauce pan , heat the flavor less oil and add in the Hing and 1 tsp of mustard seeds.
Once the mustard seeds sputter add in the blended ( run the diced tomatoes in their juices in a blender to smoothen it ) tomatoes and stir.
Cover partially and let the mixture reduce to half its volume. In effect you are trying to get rid of the water content through heat reduction.
Now add in the paste of the tomatoes from three cans and stir it well along with the added teaspoon of tamarind paste.
You will see the mixture thickening considerably.
Let it thicken some more and then add in the salt, and chilli powder and stir well.
In about 10-15 minutes, you will see the mixture thickened to a soft jelly consistency. Take care not to work this on very high heat.
Now add in the pulverized mixture of fenugreek and mustard seeds – 1 tsp. Stir well and turn off the flame .
Let this cool down completely before storing it in a dry mason jar.
Work the mixture on medium high heat. The idea is to get rid of the water content. Working on very high heart will risk the mixture getting burnt.
Add in the fenugreek mustard seeds at the penultimate stage. You really do not want to add it in early on. It might result in bitterness been imparted .
If you choose to add in the curry leaves, it needs to be added in the stage before you add in the blended tomatoes.
Check the spice and salt levels before you add in the dry powder mix.
This is a great side and accompaniment for Idli’s, Dosa’s, Bread and more.