Monday, June 24, 2013

Meatless, Luscious and Fun: Cool and Spicy Indian Salad

Much fun, fun, fun on Saturday afternoon...we went BOLLYWOOD. Oh, yeah. Saris, ankle bells, jeweled bindis* and lots of hip thrusting led by our dancing guru, Angela. Of course it was followed by a yummy Indian lunch. I make a lot of Indian food at home - I love the interplay of all the herbs and spices like floral coriander seed, smoky cumin, spicy ginger and garlic, piquant chilies and warm, aromatic garam masala. The perfume of the spices fill the kitchen and all who walk in are eagerly anticipating what will appear on the table.

Although Indian tastes great year round, I especially when the weather turns warm - because its the perfect pair for a glass of chilled rose! Whether your rose hails from France, Italy, Spain or California, its fruit forward, crisp, clean flavors make it an excellent quaff with the zing of the beet salad.

This meatless recipe is super by itself along with a side of naan bread for scooping or a great companion to anything off the grill.  It's really easy to make ahead of time, and just keeps getting better as it sits in the fridge. If you don't like beets, you can shake up the recipe by using the fragrant spice blend with roasted fingerling potatoes, too. (But, you'd be surprised how many people I have swayed to the "beet side" with this salad!)

*A bindi is a decorative mark worn on women's foreheads in India. If it's spelled with an "h", like  bhindi it means okra!

Cool and Spicy Indian Salad

12 – 24 Beets, cooked and sliced (You can buy cooked beets or roast them yourself. If you buy canned beets, make sure to rinse them well)
2 TB Extra Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove, Grated*
1 Tsp Grated Ginger
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp Coriander Seeds
1 Tsp Red Chili Flakes
1 Cup Coconut Milk
1/4 Tsp Ground Cardamom
Zest and Juice of 1 lime
Sea salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper 
Baby Arugula Leaves
Chopped Cilantro for Garnish

Step One
In a large skillet, Sauté the garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and chili flakes over medium heat, until they become fragrant - a couple of minutes.

Step Two
Add the beets, coconut milk, cardamom, lime juice and zest. Cook and stir until well-mixed and warm, or about 3 minutes. 

Step Three
Transfer the hot salad to a bowl, season with salt and pepper. Place in the fridge to cool, at least a couple of hours, or overnight. Serve on a bed of arugula and garnish with the chopped coriander.

*I'm using a microplane for grating my garlic and ginger

Taste and Savor is featuring Indian recipes all week! Tomorrow check out the Avocado and Hearts of Palm Salad you on the plate above, and the Friday Four this week will be Easy Tandoori Chicken!

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