There are certain times when after indulgent bouts of spicy masala rich dishes, that one craves for light refreshing salads. This Quinoa Chickpea salad was introduced to me by a committee member during a gathering at my house in December last year to thank them for their hardwork throughout the year. It appealed to me instantly and surprisingly it paired quite well with the Indian dishes I had laid out. Its filling, loaded with protein and the necessary vegetables for fibre, taste and colour! The whole salad can be ready in half an hour and it has become a cult favourite at home.
Ingrdients (for 2 as a main meal and for 4 as a side dish)
1 cup quinoa
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 or 2 spring onion stalks, chopped small
1 or 2 coriander leaves stalks, chopped small
Red Capsicum, chopped small roughly 2 tbsps
Yellow Capsicum, chopped small roughly 2 tbsps
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Pepper per your preference
1/3 cup Lemon juice
1) Boil the quinoa till all the water has evaporated and set aside in a salad bowl.
2) Assemble all the vegetables and chickpeas on top of the boiled quinoa. Mix gently.
3) Season with pepper and lemon juice. Check for salt and add more if required.
4) Serve warm.
Kachumber is a salad dish which basically consists of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, fruits like pineapples all chopped and tossed with a lemon juice dressing. Its a good side dish which goes well with almost any main meal. I especially find that it pairs well with Vegetable Briyani. The simple light Kachumber balances the complex spice rich briyani well. The Kachumber salad can be made in advance and served just before the dinner/lunch begins. I'm not a fan of raw onions in salad because of the bad breath after. So, I have excluded it here. But, do go ahead to include a chopped onion if you would like.
1 pineapple, peeled and with the eyes removed
1 cucumber, peeled and deseeded
2 medium sized tomatoes, pulp removed
1/2 cup lemon juice mixed with a pinch of salt
1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into thin strips
A few mint leaves, chopped small
Chop all the ingredients into very small cubes and toss with the lemon juice.
Garnish with the chopped mint leaves and the chilli strips and serve with any main meal.
Chervil is a delicate herb related to parsley. Sometimes called French parsley or garden chevril, it is commonly used to season mild flavoured dishes and is one of the essential ingredients in the French cuisine along with other herbs like chives, parsley and terragon. This easy warm potato salad is light and tastes different from our usual mayonnaise potato salads we are used to.
Ingredients (serves 4 as a side)
10 small new potatoes
3 tbsps olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt & Pepper
2 tbps chopped chervil leaves
1 tbsps chives, chopped
1 tbsps terragon, chopped
Make sure you get the potatoes with very thin skin so you don't have to peel them. Wash and boil the potatoes in salt for 10-15 mins till they are just cooked. Not overcooked. We aren't making mashed potatoes.
2) Meanwhile, make the vinegrette by first whisking the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper till they are well emulsified. Then, add in the chopped herbs.
3) Drain the potatoes when they are cooked. Mix the vinegrette with boiled potatoes, check for seasonings and serve immediately.
Mozarella cheese balls are like little bites of cheese heaven. Mozarella is a southern Italian cheese traditionally made from Italian buffalo milk.Fresh mozarella is generally but may appear slightly yellow because of the animal's diet. Because of its high moisture content, mozarella is served immediately but if kept in its brine in a vacuum-sealed package, they last for a week or more.
Anyway, this simple salad is more like a caprese salad but I added balsamic vinegar in the dressing for variation.
Ingrdients (Serves 2-3)
15 yellow cherry tomatoes
15 red cherry tomatoes
16 mini mozarella balls
small handful of basil leaves
2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper
1) Whisk all the dressing together and set aside.
2) Wash and slice the cherry tomatoes lengthwise and arrange on the serving plates.
3) Place the mozarella balls and toss in the basil leaves over.
4) Pour the dressing over and serve.
I couldn't decide if this was a fruit or a vegetable salad since it has both apples and wild rocket leaves, so I'm gonna go on a limb here and just refer to it as a simple summer salad.. honestly I wasn't expecting a lot from the dressing...dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, olive oil? How could that taste great? But I must say I was blown away from the end result! The sweetness of the crunchy apples complemented the sour salty taste of the dijon, cider and olive oil dressing. A fantastic way to fill up your tummy when you are trying to watch your calories. As usual, there was some tweaking of an original recipe - I have used Parmigiano reggiano cheese as I did not have Pecorino. It wasn't available in where I usually shop. In fact, I have not seen Pecorino cheese anywhere in Singapore. Hmmmm...interesting.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
250gm wild rocket leaves
2 crunchy red apples, sliced
75gm Parmigiano Reggiano shavings
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsps apple cider vinegar (ACV)
2 tbsps olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1) Make the dressing first by whisking the mustard, ACV, olive oil and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
2) Place the rocket leaves and apple slices in a salad bowl.
3) Add the dressing and toss to mix.
4) Top with Parmigiano Reggiano shavings and a dash of pepper.
5) Serve immediately.
Hi guys! I'm Nilofar Iyer and I have shared my dishes here for you to cook for your own family and friends with love and most importantly with their long term good health in mind.