BM# 74: Week 3/ Day 2
Theme: Thalis/ Spreads
Dish: Simple South Indian Vegetarian Thali
Today I have a simple South Indian vegetarian thali. Coming up with a menu is quite a task — picking dishes that complement each other is an art. So I took the help of my Dakshin cookbook. The author, Chandra Padmanabhan, has a whole chapter of suggested menus and I picked one of the simpler ones. Here’s what is in (and around) my South Indian Vegetarian thali:
- Mysore Rasam
- Cilantro-Onion Chutney (recipe to follow soon)
- Green Pepper Poriyal
- Fresh Cucumber Salad (recipe follows)
- ChipsI loved making these dishes as they are quite easy to make with not much prep work or cooking involved. If you have the poriyal powder and Mysore rasam powder handy, the curry and the rasam don’t take too hands on time to make. Cilantro-Onion chutney is sweet, spicy and delicious — I’m going to share that recipe soon.
I’m including the recipe for the refreshing south Indian style cucumber salad below. This salad has cucumber, soaked moong dal, coconut and a crunchy tempering with dal and seeds. The most time consuming part of this dish is soaking the moong dal which can be done while the other dishes are being prepped and cooked.The tempering with dals and seeds gives it the south Indian flair and makes it extra special. Fresh grated coconut adds sweetness to this delicious salad.
South Indian style Cucumber Salad
For the Salad:
- 1 Large Cucumber, finely chopped*
- 2 tbsp Moong dal, soaked for 1 hour
- 2~3 tbsp Fresh grated coconut
- 1 Green Chili, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp Cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- To taste salt
- 2 tsp Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp urad dal
- 1 tsp chana dal
- ½ tsp Asafoetida (hing)
- 1 Dry Red Chili, halved
- 8~10 curry leaves
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the chopped cucumber, coconut, green chili, cilantro, salt and lime juice.
- Drain the soaked moong dal and add it to the cucumber mixture.
- Heat oil in a small pan; add all the ingredients for tempering. When the seeds start to splutter, add to the salad. Mix well.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
- I used English cucumber that has a very thin skin, so I didn't peel it. If you are using an Indian cucumber, then peel, deseed and add to the salad.