Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Yummy Carrot Salad

There were two shows my mother would watch without fail on Dubai TV when we were living in the UAE: one was the Bold and Beautiful (with the kissing parts edited or substituted with still photos of date palms); the other was a cooking show by Kurma Das, which fortunately didn’t have kissing so we got to see the whole show.
The problem was my mother would write the recipes on bits of paper, which would later be misplaced. So of course when we came to Australia, and since Kurma Dasa was Australian, we had to get her a cookbook with nice, orderly lists of ingredients in a hard-to-lose format. Now though, as the recipes are so good, I’ve sort-of permanently “borrowed” the cookbooks (!) and here’s a favourite from Cooking with Kurma, called South Indian Carrot Salad

What you’ll need:
* 500g carrots, grated coarsely
* 1 large green chillies or (2 medium ones), chopped (since julienne strips are for people who get paid to do that)
* Leaves from 1 small bunch of coriander/cilantro, chopped roughly (I used the leaves of 3-4 plants)
* 1 teaspoon salt

(Hot oil dressing)
* 3 teaspoons oil
* ¼ teaspoon black mustard seeds
* 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
* 10 fresh curry leaves (or 20 because I really like the taste of curry leaves)
* 1 teaspoon split urad dal (worth a trip to a Sri Lankan/Indian spice shop to get this ingredient as it gives a lovely nutty flavour to the dish. BTW, I added 2 teaspoons)
* ½ teaspoon yellow asafetida powder (which I never have, so substituted 1-2 cloves of finely chopped garlic)
* 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

What to do:
Place carrot, coriander leaves, green chillies and salt in a bowl.
For the hot oil dressing: Heat oil (of course), sprinkle in mustard seeds. Then when they begin to crackle, add curry leaves, cumin seeds and urad dhal. When dhal turns golden brown, remove from fire and add asafetida (or in this instance, garlic), swirl, then pour the lot over the carrot-coriander-chillies. Finally add the lemon juice and mix well.

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