I remember meals growing up always included yogurt and kachumbar on the side. Since most Indian dishes are cooked well, the texture is usually soft and creamy- the chopped crunchy salad goes very well with the food-the texture contrast is wonderful! Yogurt serves a couple of roles with the food- it provides a much needed coolness with the spicy preparations. It also is a good protein to serve especially if the dishes are vegetarian. Lastly the bacteria in yogurt are great for digestion.
I made a crunchy salad with the biryani but instead of adding lime and cilantro I mixed it with my cilantro chutney. I always have this chutney in my fridge. It doesn’t take very long to make and I use it as a condiment with a lot of dishes. Typically the green chutney is quite spicy but it is not necessary since it provides a punch of flavor regardless of spice. I sometimes add Serrano chilies if I want a kick and add the olive oil to increase the shelf life. I serve the chutney on the side with Chicken Tikkas and Seekh Kebab. It can also be used as a spread for a sandwich. Rotisserie chicken mixed with some of this chutney and a little mayo makes a delicious chicken salad. Also, it can also be used as a sauce for pizza- the chutney on the base, with some low fat mozzarella cheese and topped with chopped Rotisserie Chicken, Chicken Tikka or even the Seekh Kebab.
- 2 plum tomatoes, chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 1 medium red onion, sliced thin
- ¼ cup cilantro chutney (more if you like spicy)
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- Salt to taste
Fill a small bowl half way with some cold water and a few ice cubes. Add the sliced onion to the water and let it sit for about 30 minutes. The cold water makes the onion crispy and also takes the bitter taste away.
In a medium bowl mix the tomato, red onion, raisins and chutney. Mix well and check for seasonings.
- 3 cups cilantro, washed and chopped roughly
- 4 green onions
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup water
Add all the ingredients to a blender. Blend till everything turns into a smooth sauce.
Raita with Dried Mint
- 2 cups low-fat yogurt- whisk smooth with 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dry crushed mint or 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Mix all the ingredients together. Check for seasoning.