Friday, July 17, 2009

1001 Easy Grain Salads

This cookbook lists 1000 simple grain salads. Ten different grains are paired with ten different additives and ten different dressings to create a thousand different grain salads.

The base:A variety of grains 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. 

Grains are seeds of food crops. Cereals are edible seeds of grasses.  

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 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 / Barley / Sorghum/ Rye / Spelt: To three cups of water, add three pinches of salt and a cup of hulled, ready to cook millets, or pearl barley ( hulled barley) or sorghum or rye berries or spelt.  Let soak overnight. Drain, add to a pressure cooker with three cups of water and pressure cook on medium heat for 3 - 5 whistles. Let cool & drain water.
Cooking Teff : Bring two cups of water to a boil. Add half a cup of white / red/ brown teff. Stir, cover and cook on medium heat for 15 - 20 mins till all water is absorbed. 

     Sprouted Salads
Grains like Barley, oat, rye and wheat, buckwheat, spelt, triticale, pearl millet, oats & quinoa can be sprouted. These sprouts can be added raw to the salads instead of the cooked grains to create a range of sprouted salads.

Sprouting Grains.
Soak a handful of grains in water overnight. Line a colander with cloth. Add the soaked grains and let water drain away. Fold cloth over grains and keep away from direct sunlight. Place the colander under running water 2 -3 times a day to wash and rinse the grains. Sprouting should happen in 1 – 3 days.

 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. Slightly undercooked base is perfectly okay.

·         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.

·         Cold grain salads are perfect for summer.

 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 this goes to Lisa's No Croutons Required - Salads event.


Dee said...

Ramki, great tips for salad beginners !

Anonymous said...

Cool post as for me. It would be great to read more about this theme. Thank you for posting that information.
Joan Stepsen
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