Recipe – Çoban Salatasi (choban salad)

Çoban Salatasi/choban salad or ‘Shepherd’s salad’ in turkish is a very popular salad in Turkey. Simple, light, refreshing, healthy and easy to prepare salad is great for summers, also complements main courses and makes a great snacking option between meals. The key here is to use ripe, juicy tomatoes and fresh ingredients. It has a tendency to become soggy soon, so dont make it in advance. Have kept it the authentic way; sometimes, I love to add feta cheese, a teaspoon of sumac for tangy flavour and also sop up the juices with pieces of bread. This colourful and delicious salad is great for picnics and buffet too.

prep time : 15 mins, serves : 4-6, cuisine : turkey, author : gloria

Ingredients

3 nos ripe tomatoes (de-seeded/chopped)

1 English cucumber (peeled/chopped)

1 red bell pepper (de-seeded/chopped)

1 red onion (sliced)

½ bunch parsley (chopped)

for the dressing :

hand-squeeze juice of 1 lemon

generous amout of extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method

Wash the vegetables and drain them. Chop tomatoes cucumber, red bell pepper and parsley. Slice onion finely. Place it in a large bowl; mix nicely and refrigerate.

Combine ingredients mentioned under ‘for the dressing’ in an empty jar and shake well. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad; allow it to rest for 10 mins to bring out its delicious flavour .

Enjoy!!

my observations/notes

  • use ripe juicy tomatoes
  • can use cilantro instead of parsley
  • can sprinkle a large pinch of sumac, if required
  • can add crumbled paneer

Recipe – STRAWBERRY, MANGO, WATERMELON SALAD

I love adding fresh fruits to my salad. It makes a light, energetic, delicious and vibrant meal. The flavours and textures of this salad is delightful. The sweet and sour taste should be perfectly balanced while making the dressing to the salad.

Here, in this salad recipe, ripe sweet mango and fresh mint is used. Chop the fruits into half inch cubes. Dried figs are also added to give a unique taste. Instead of peanuts, pine-nuts is also great for this dish. Basil or cilantro can be used if mint is unavailable.

Quick, sweet and delicious salad with fresh fruits, nuttiness from dried figs, crunchiness of peanuts, tossed with a zingy dressing.

Total time : 8 minutes, cuisine : indian, serves : 2, author : gloria

Ingredients

1 c strawberry (chopped/cubed)

1/2 c ripe mango (chopped/cubed)

1/2 c watermelon (chopped/cubed)

1/4 c dried figs (chopped)

1 tsp peanuts (roasted/chopped)

1/2 tsp fresh mint leaves (chopped)

pinch of salt

for the dressing:

half of 1 lemon

1 tsp honey (as per need)

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

pepper (as per desired)

Method

In a small bowl, hand-squeeze lemon; add honey, vanilla and pepper. Mix well. Reserve.

Combine strawberry, mango, watermelon, dried figs, peanuts, mint leaves and salt in a large bowl.

Just before serving, add the dressing and toss everything gently.

Serve chilled!!

my observations/notes :

– can add raw sugar or brown sugar instead of honey

– can use cilantro or basil instead of mint

Recipe – Cucumber, Dill & Raisin Raita

Cucumber, Dill & Raisin Raita is simple, quick to make and delicious. Whilst I am not a big fan of dill leaves (shepu in marathi language) and have never tasted in my entire sweet life, surprisingly, I relished this raita to the core. The pungent flavour of the feathery leaves is wrapped with the sweetness of raisins; the coolness of fresh bright cucumber which gives instant energy and makes it so refreshing and healthy. Serve this tasty raita as a perfect compliment along side spicy curries, biryanis, pulao, couscous, parathas or enjoy it plain.

Here, I have used persian cucumbers however, english cucumbers would work fine in this recipe. Soak the raisins in hot water for 4-5 minutes, drain, squeeze out the liquid and add it to the raita. *To make fennel seed powder, dry roast a tablespoon of fennel seeds until fragrant on low heat for 2-3 minutes, cool and grind/pound it into fine powder or coarse as per choice.

Refreshing and delicious raita with the coolness of cucumber, fresh grassy flavour of dill leaves wrapped with the sweetness of raisins and hint of the aromatic fennel seed powder.

total time : 8 mins, cuisine : indian, serves : 2-4, author : gloria

Ingredients

1 cup thick curd/yogurt

2 nos persian cucumbers (peeled/chopped or diced)

5 tbsp fresh dill leaves (chopped)

raisins (handful)

1 serrano/green chilly (chopped finely)

1/8 tsp (2 pinches) fennel powder (roasted)*

pepper powder and salt to taste

Method

Trim both ends and peel the cucumber using a vegetable peeler; cut into bite pieces.

Separate leaves from the steam of the dill leaves and wash thoroughly. Chop it.

Soak raisins for 4-5 mins in hot water. Drain and squeeze out liquid.

Whisk curd/yogurt till smooth in a bowl. Combine cucumber, dill leaves, chilly and raisins. Add fennel powder, pepper powder and salt. Mix everything together.

Garnish and serve this refreshing raita immediately along side a spicy curry.

my observations/notes:

– add salt only while serving

– use fresh ingredients to prepare this raita

RECIPE – POMEGRANATE RAITA

Raita is a simple side dish made with yogurt/curd, vegetables, fruits, spices and fresh herbs. It is served mainly as a accompaniment to biryanis, pulaos and spicy curries. It also tastes best with chaats and can be eaten plain too.

Pomegranate Raita is very simple, delicious and can be done in a jiffy by using fresh pomegranate. It is cooling, refreshing, sweet and colourful. I have also made this raita using pomegranate juice however, I love doing it this way. Go ahead and play with any choice of vegetables.

Refreshing, colourful and easy to prepare pomegranate raita enjoyed plain or with any accompaniment of your choice.

prep time : 10 mins, cuisine : Indian, serves : 6-8, author : Gloria

Ingredients

1 cup yogurt/curd

1 whole pomegranate

1 tbsp tomato chopped

1 tbsp cucumber chopped

3 big mint leaves chopped

1 green chilli minced

½ tsp cumin powder (roasted)

¼ tsp black salt powder (optional)

salt to taste

Method

Cut the pomegranate into half. Gently tap the halves with a knife to loosen seeds. Place it in a bowl.

Whisk curd/yogurt till smooth.

Combine all other ingredients and add the spices to the pomegranate arils. Give a mix.

Season to taste.

Garnish and serve immediately or chill for later use.

 

My observations/notes:

  • for roasted cumin : toss cumin seeds in a small pan till fragrant on low heat. Cool and grind in a mortar pestle.
  • can also add pomegrante juice into this raita if required.
  • I have placed little of this raita in a bowl for photo representation purpose only.

Recipes – AVACADO SALAD

In my previous post, I detailed the importance of including avocado in the diet. From simple to sumptuous, avocados add flair to any salad recipe with their bright green colour.

This simple, delicious and easy to prepare salad recipe makes a refreshing summer meal.

as

Prep time : 5 mins

Ingredients

1 carrot chopped
½ yellow bell pepper chopped
1 tomato (deseeded) chopped
1 small onion chopped (optional)
½ apple chopped
1 avocado (peeled, pitted and chopped)

¼ tsp cumin powder
few fresh leaves (coriander, parsley or mint)

½ lemon
1 tspn honey
1 tbspn olive oil

few fresh mozzrella or crumbled paneer

crushed pepper and salt to taste

Method

Take a bowl and combine all the above ingredients together starting with the carrot and ending with avocado. Add cumin powder and the leaves. Hand-squeeze lemon. Add honey. Drizzle good amount of olive oil. Toss gently. Season with salt and pepper

Let it stand for 5 minutes. Serve.

My observations/notes:

1 cucumber can also be added.