Bachelor-friendly, Everyday Simple Recipes, Salads, Vegan

Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad

persimmonFruit salads are my favorites more than vegetable salads – Not the ones with a dollop of ice cream but the kinds that have just real fruits with some lemon juice dressing. Eating fruits as-is is good enough but a pinch of black salt, a dash of lemon, and a few mint leaves lends them an exotic flavor. Chill them a little in the refrigerator and it turns delectable. Late October and November is the season for both persimmons and pomegranates. This is the best time to make this salad with these seasonal fruits. I first ate persimmon two years ago during a visit to Bhutan and had never seen them in India. Couple of days ago I was surprised to come across these in the local market. Glad to see that Persimmon is cultivated even in India. Even if you do not have persimmon, you may substitute it with the crunchy variety of pear to make this salad. But it is important that you use the crunchy variety of pear and apple to make this salad. A crunchy and sweet apple gives this salad the right texture. A sloppy squishy sour apple is a bad choice and can ruin the salad.

This is a perfect salad to be served BEFORE a meal. Most people in India serve fruit salad with custard or ice cream AFTER a meal. But this is a wrong combination as per Ayurveda and wrong timing that can cause acidity and indigestion. The digestion time for fruits and uncooked vegetables is lesser than that of cooked meals and hence they should be consumed first. Vice versa could result in bloating.

Ingredients:
Persimmon – 1 (cubed 1/2 inch pieces)
Apple (preferably Fuji. I used green apple) – 1 (cubed 1/2 inch pieces)
Pomegranate seeds – 1/4 cup
Lemon juice – 1/2 tbsp – 1 tbsp
Jaggery powder – 1/4 tsp (you may substitute this with honey)
Black salt – 1/4 tsp
Olive oil – 1/2 tsp
Mint leaves – 8-10

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: None
Serves: 3

Method:
Add salt and lemon juice to the cut fruits. This retards oxidization and arrests the loss of nutrients. Toss the rest of the ingredients together. Refrigerate for half an hour before serving.

Notes: You may replace Persimmon with a crunchy variety of pear.
You need to use only crunchy vegetables for this salad.

Bachelor-friendly, Breakfast, Salads, Vegan

Fruits and Beet Salad

Fruit and beet saladDays are getting warmer. Summer is here and so are the summer fruits. Oranges, watermelon, and pineapples have already flooded the market. Just think about the caring ways of Mother Nature. During the sunny months, she provides us with juicy and watery fruits that can nourish us with the right things and during cold winter months, She gives us abundant root vegetables that can keep our body warm. When I think about this marvel, I cannot help but be thankful to Her and to the farmers and all others who have toiled to bring us this bounty. I think of them and Mother Nature with warmth and gratitude as I savor every bite of food.

During warm summer days, all I feel like eating is a salad. I find so much comfort in fresh raw and crunchy natural food. I have been trying out new salads and here is one more that you will love. This recipe is adapted from Tarla Dalal’s version.

Just dont bother about proportions here. Just throw in all fruits you have at home and it would taste just fine. Try not to use fruits that do not retain their firmness for long or tend to get mushy. 🙂

Fruits and beetIngredients:
Pineapple (peeled and sliced) – 1 cup
Apple – 1
Orange – 1
Beetroot – 1
Watermelon (peeled and sliced) – 1 cup
Pomegranate kernels – 1 cup

For salad dressing:
Orange juice of 1 medium sized orange
Olive oil – 1 tsp
Rock salt a generous pinch
Pepper powder a pinch
Lemon juice – 1 tsp (optional)

For garnish:
Mint leaves – few
Crushed roasted peanuts – a fistful

Preparation Time: 20 mins
Chilling Time: 30 mins
Serves 4

Salad dressingMethod:
Boil the beetroot, peel the skin, and chop into cubes. Dice the watermelon, pineapple, and apple. Remove the orange peel of one of the oranges and separate the segments. Add this along with the diced fruits and beetroot. Add pomegranate kernels also into this.

Slice the other orange horizontally and extract the juice using a plain juicer. To this orange juice, add olive oil, salt, and pepper powder. Mix well. Pour into the bowl of cut fruits and beetroot. Toss around so that the flavors blend in. Add some lemon juice if you prefer more tart. Chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Before serving, garnish with fresh mint leaves and crushed roasted peanuts if desired.

Bachelor-friendly, Everyday Simple Recipes, Salads, South Indian, Vegan

Sweet Corn and Pomegranate Kosambari

Bhat CaterersThe other day, at a friend’s function, I had the most delicious Udupi feast ever. Simple everyday home style food but sumptuous and appetizing in every way. The caterers were Bhats from Udupi and served Satvik food that was moderate in spices. Out of the huge spread and varieties, what interested me the most was the salad and the green leaf subzi. These are a rarity (read non-existent) in a Kerala feast.

Sweet corn kosambariSweet corn is a special maize variety that is harvested when the corn-ear just reaches the milk stage. Fresh sweet corn is alkaline in nature and has much less calories than that in the field corn and other cereals like wheat, and rice. It is a gluten-free cereal. It is one of the finest source of dietary fibers and contains healthy amounts of some important minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese. Sweet corn is also a good source of fiber, which is essential for bowel health. However, corn, just like rice and potato, is one of the high glycemic index food items, and hence need to be used carefully by diabetic patients.

When picking up sweet corn from the market, avoid corn with dry, pale husks and silks that are desiccated. Choose corn that has green husks and kernels that squirt whitish juice when pricked. From the time they are plucked, corn tends to convert from sugar to starch as opposed to fruits that convert from starch to sugar. So, use the freshest to get the maximum benefit.

There is really no recipe needed to make this salad. Use all ingredients as per your taste and discretion. In the version that I had at the feast, they did not add mung dal and green chilies. You may also avoid these as per your taste.

Ingredients:
Sweet corn kernels – 1 cup
Pomegrate/Anar – 3/4 cup
Yellow mung dal/sprouted green mung – 2 tsp
Grated coconut – 1 tbsp
Green chilies – 1
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice – 1-1/2 tsp
Black salt as needed

Preparation time: 10 mins (Mung dal soaking time 2 hrs)
Cooking time: 3 mins
Serves: 2

Raw sweet corn kosambariMethod:
Soak the mung dal in water for about 2-3 hours. If you missed soaking the dal, you may add boiling water to the dal and keep it closed for 5 mins. Drain the water and it is ready to be used. Take a bowl and add sweet corn kernels, pomegranate, soaked mung dal (remember to drain the soaked water), grated coconut, and salt. Mix well. Add lemon juice. Heat a pan, pour half a teaspoon oil, and add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds splutter, add chopped green chilies, saute for half a minute, turn off the fire, add curry leaves, and add this to the salad mixture. Mix well and serve. Kids are going to love the crunchy and mild natural sugars of raw sweet corn.

Tip: If you love to have more vegetables, you can add chopped cucumber and carrots as well to this kosambari.