Now that the bay area is having its Indian Summer I've fittingly found myself craving the savory and robust flavors of Indian cuisine, sans the heaviness of a cooked meal. I wondered how I could incorporate indian flavors into a salad of some kind and I immediately thought of a common appetizer called "chaat." It's a mix of tomatoes, onions, chickpeas and potato with yogurt and spices that's often found at street-side vendor carts in busy metropolitans like Chennai and Bombay as a quick snack on the go. I decided to recreate this as a salad that would pack in loads of fresh veg but provide that spicy zing that my brown-ness requires.
*Be forewarned that while all the fresh ingredients can be found at any grocery store, you will need to procure some special Indian spices either from a local Indian store or Amazon (I'll be sure to include links).
(Makes 1 serving)
In a small bowl, mix a 2-3 tablespoons of greek yogurt with 1/2-1 teaspoon each of jaljira, kasthuri, garlic and chilli powder until it's fully incorporated. Then spoon in a little water at a time until it is liquid enough to pour over the salad. You want the consistency to end up something like ranch dressing.
In a large bowl, combine all the fresh vegetables (see photo above for suggested slicing/shapes). and as much of the chaat mixture as you want For the cilantro, you can discard the stems and just use the leaves. Drizzle the yogurt dressing over the top and squeeze a wedge of lime for a bright burst of citrus. Enjoy!