As someone who grew up in Bombay (ah, this “Mumbaikar” terminology just doesn’t sit well with me) I am no stranger to the monsoon. This isn’t like any other type of monsoon. Apart from the massive downpours and days of grey gloom, there’s also much to enjoy about it (mostly indoor activities, such as eating and drinking). But my ode to the rain and the link to this particular salad is that in the monsoon, reliability and availability of fresh produce is slim, especially the leafy variants. Of course, living in the buzzing metropolis means we get blueberries in the monsoon and strawberries in the summer heat, but I like the idea of having some seasonally favourable salads in my repertoire.
Isn’t nature incredible? That neon pop of orange while I grated the carrots was just wow! The ingredients are fairly simple – except for the need to add some tahini. If you don’t have tahini just lying around in your refrigerator, thats quite normal. You can either make the effort of making it from scratch or picking up a jar – because essentially tahini is a kind of sesame seed butter and its also wonderful in hummus, in a wrap, smeared on toast. You get the drift. I’m currently using a jar that was gifted to me (thanks PC!). I also used some orange chilli salt in this recipe, that was gifted to me (Thanks Gunj!). I like food gifts, fyi, you know, in case you ever wondered what type of gifts I like, because you just are such a generous person who wants to gift this random food blogger some more food. Instead of the fancy ‘orange chilli salt’ you literally just use some chilli flakes and salt.
This recipe is fairly straightforward. You can start off by roasting the chickpeas, and while they’re in the oven, simultaneously grate about half a kilo of carrots and throw over 1/3 cup of chopped curly parsley. Lastly, mix together the dressing (olive oil, water, lime juice, garlic, tahini, above mentioned salt) and plate on a pretty platter – dressed carrots, topped with the chickpeas, some salted pistachio and there you have it – lunch is ready!
I packed this for a protein and vegetable loaded lunchbox meal for SS- here’s why:
- since its a leaf-less salad, it doesn’t get soggy
- packing the crunchy elements separately is super simple and fuss free, as it just needs to be put over the salad (as opposed to requiring it to me mixed into the salad which can get messy)
- its a great on the go meal because it doesn’t weigh you down, in fact you’ll feel a boost of energy after
- its best eaten at room temperature
- theres no dairy etc that you fear may go bad in the heat / in transit
- 3/4 cup dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked OR 1 can chickpeas, drained (approximately 1 3/4 cup)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- 450gm carrot, grated
- 1/4 cup salted pistachio, slightly chopped up
- 1/3 cup parsley leaves, chopped
- 3 tbs tahini
- 4-5 tbs water
- chilli flakes, to taste
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced