I want desperately to tell you all about this chaat-style salad I've been making almost daily, but it's probably rude to offer guests something to eat without first saying hi, so:
Hi! I've got a new home.
Not Derby Pie is still there - go see for yourself - but it was time for a fresh start. I never really had the technical wherewithal to manage my own website. I faked it pretty well for 8 (!) years, but with every automatic Wordpress update, my site would break a little bit more – the header, gone! the comments, gone! etc – and late last year, I finally decided I needed a full reboot. So, here we are: From now on, I'll be sharing new recipes over here, at rivkafriedman.net.
I used Squarespace to build this site, and I hope you love its clean interface as much as I do. The search function is simpler, the design is 100% mobile-friendly, and I've managed to haul all of my old posts over to this new home, with only minor glitches in spacing and captions and whatnot. I'm 90% of the way there. The biggest issue is that ingredient lists in recipes transfer as a block, not a list. You may see some other minor formatting issues for a little while longer. If a recipe looks particularly garbled, you can always find it back on NDP.
New year, new start. I'm so excited to finally share this with you.
Now then, onto business. 2016's first sprouts are ready for a salad.
Chaat is the term for savory snacks in India, and this salad is a riff on one of my favorite chaats, which is basically salad stuffed inside a crisp, hollow pillow of fried dough. My little family of three has been battling various ailments these past few weeks – colds, stomach bugs, dehydration (drink that water, people), and more – so this week, we’re eating shoots and leaves, trying to start the new year right. No fried dough for us. Instead, I topped the salad with sev, which are crisp, short vermicelli made from chickpea flour, used for topping a variety of chaat. Sort of like breadcrumbs, but better. (Available here.)
The key to this salad – and to so many chaat recipes – is a special spice mixture called chaat masala. It’s fragrant, a little salty, a little sour, but perfectly balanced. It’s wonderful sprinkled in or on a host of Indian dishes; I often use it, terribly inauthentically, in regular yellow dal for weeknight dinner. I buy mine at an Indian market in town, but it’s widely available online. (I like Shan brand, available on Amazon and elsewhere.) You can also make your own, if you’re feeling super-ambitious.
As with many chaat, we dressed this salad with a mix of raita and chutney. I’ve included recipes for both below, but if you’re looking for a shortcut, jarred tamarind chutney is available at two of our local grocery stores, so I bet you can find it, too.
I hope you like the salad, and the new site! Pretty please: if you have comments/suggestions/problems that I should know about, leave them in the comments, or email me – same address as always – Rivka@notderbypie.com..
Chaat-Style Sprout Salad
Adapted from Indian Simmer
Making sprouts at home is really easy, but you can also buy them – cheaply – at many Indian grocery stores. Any kind will work in this recipe; I used half mung beans (moong dal) and half moth beans (chana dal). A pound of sprouts set me back $4. As with most chaat recipes, the specific ingredients and amounts are quite flexible. This typically calls for chopped tomatoes, but this ain’t the season, so I substituted pomegranate seeds. Take that as your cue to use what’s in the house; don’t sweat it.
For the salad:
2/3 cup moong dal (mung bean) sprouts
2/3 cup chana dal (moth bean) sprouts (or any other variety)
1 scallion, sliced
½ a fresh red thai chili or jalapeno, deseeded and minced
¼ cup diced red onion
10 mint leaves, torn
10 cilantro leaves, torn
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes or pomegranate seeds
1 teaspoon chaat masala (available online, or make your own)
Indian sev (chickpea crispies), available here
Half a lime, for serving
For the yogurt:
½ cup of yogurt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
For the chutney: (you can also buy this to make life easier)
1/2 cup tamarind puree (available on Amazon, but much cheaper at Indian grocery stores)
3 tablespoons brown sugar (or, if you have it, jaggery or palm sugar)
1 teaspoon oil
¼ teaspoon nigella
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon caraway seeds
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
Make the salad: Combine everything except sev and lime in a medium bowl. Give a good stir, then set aside while you make everything else.
Make the yogurt: Combine the yogurt with cayenne, cumin, and black pepper. Set aside.
Make the chutney: Have all your seeds in one little bowl, and have your tamarind puree at the ready. In a small saucepan, heat the teaspoon of oil until it shimmers. Add all seeds and shake pan vigorously; they should start popping immediately. Turn off the heat, and immediately add the tamarind puree. It will bubble fiercely, but should subside quickly. Add brown sugar, stir to combine, and set the mixture aside to cool.
Serve the salad: Toss sprout mixture with a bit of the yogurt, a pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lime. Spoon into bowls, and top with generous spoonfuls of yogurt and tamarind chutney. Sprinkle those sev overtop. Serve with extra lime, if you’d like.