Thursday, July 09, 2009

Full Meal Salads

This cookbook lists 1000 simple salads that can serve as a full meal. Ten different bases are paired with ten different additives and ten different dressings to create a thousand different salads. Easy salads like Panzella (recipe # 023), Tabuleh (recipe # 343):: Pasta Salad (recipe # 612) :: Corn Salad (recipe # 412) :: Couscous Salad (recipe # 228) can be quickly created using this cookbook.

The base:
A variety of cereals / cabbohydrate sources like beans & potatoes as listed in column 1 can be used as a base
The additives :
Almost anything edible can go into a salad. Some common additives are listed in column 2.
Dressing :
Dressing acts as the sauce and makes the salads extra delicious. A variety of simple dressings listed in column 3 can be used.

Cooking Couscous (Semolina granules) Pour one cup of boiling water to one cup of readymade, quick cook couscous. Cover for five minutes. Fluff up with a fork.
Cooking Bulgur (steamed, dried & crushed wheat). Add three cups of boiling water to one cup of bulgur. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain water.
Cooking Corn: Microwave whole corn with husk, on the highest setting for 2-3 minutes. Let cool. Remove husk and silk. Use a sharp knife and cut down the sides, cutting out the kernels.
Cooking Potato: Peel and chop potato into cubes. Microwave covered for 3 – 5 minutes or add to boiling water and cook for 3 – 5 minutes till they are tender. Drain water.
Cooking Pasta: Add a handful of pasta in a liter of boiling water with four pinches of salt. Stir. Cook for 4 – 8 minutes, stirring occasionally till it is done. Drain and rinse in cold water.
Cooking Rice: Add a cup of rice and two cups of water to a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on medium flame for two whistles. Let cool. Puffed rice / rice flakes need no cooking.
Cooking Millets : To three cups of water, add three pinches of salt and a cup of hulled, ready to cook millets ( Pearl / Foxtail / Proso / Finger millet). Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes till all water is absorbed. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.
Cooking Barley: To three cups of water, add three pinches of salt and a cup of pearl barley ( hulled, fast cooking barley). Cook on medium heat for 10 – 12 minutes till all water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and let cool.

Salad Tips :
• Mix in dressing just before serving
• Hollowed out fruits like water melon / squash serve as great salad bowls.
• The base should not be cooked very soft as it will absorb the dressing and become mushy. A slightly undercooked base is perfectly okay.
• New potatoes are perfect for salads.
• Remove as much water from the base as possible before mixing it into the salad. You can use large paper towel lined pans for this purpose.
• All salads above can be served cold or at room temperature.

The ‘Indian fried dressing’ or Tadka adds a lot of crunch and a burst of extra flavour to any of the salads above. Heat a spoon of oil, add a pinch of cumin / mustard. Mix in with the salad just before serving.

And that's my second submission for Divya's Show me your breakfast event.

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