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Tabbouleh Salad with Jowar Pearls (Gluten Free)

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Note: If you would like to attend the Escapades Culinary Studio Class on salads this week, send me a message on our FB page.


I love Mediterranean food. As is evident from my attempts to make non deep fried falafels and pita bread from scratch. I also love the freshness of the salads that are served. Simple fresh ingredients, light and summery dressings and a meal or a side is ready in as much time as it takes to chop all the vegetables.

Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh salad is popular as a side. It uses bulgur wheat. I teach this in my salads class, and it is a very big hit with everyone. I’m sharing it here for the readers of this blog. Use jowar pearls as per this recipe for a gluten free version of this salad. The original uses bulgur wheat which can be substituted with broken wheat rava used for upma etc, cooked millets of any kind such as foxtail or even cooked brown rice.

I like to eat this salad spread on a roti wrap with either a sliced boiled egg or grilled paneer and make it a complete meal.

Tabbouleh Salad with Jowar Pearls (Gluten Free)

Serves 3-4

Jowar pearls                                              ½ cup, soaked for 4-5 hours, cooked in a pressure cooker with ½ teaspoon salt

Parsley                                                        11/2 cup, leaves tightly packed

Mint                                                              ½ cup, leaves only

Cucumber                                                  1 medium, retain the skin, remove seeds and chopped small

Tomatoes                                                  3 medium, chopped

Onion                                                          1 small, finely sliced

Feta Cheese                                             ¼ cup, crumbled (use fresh paneer to substitute)

Pine Nuts                                                  1/4 cup, toasted (use walnuts or almonds to substitute)

For the dressing

Lemon Juice                                          2-3 tablespoons (adjust according to taste)

Salt and freshly cracked pepper    to taste

Extra virgin Olive oil                          1/3 cup


* Wash all the greens and lay them to drain on absorbent towels.

* Chop the tomatoes into small squares. Remove the seeds from the cucumber and chop to the same size of the tomatoes. Finely chop the onions and set aside.

* Finely shred the greens – parsley, mint

* Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing and do a taste test. Adjust seasonings and set aside.

* In a bowl large enough to toss everything up, add the chopped greens, cucumber, tomato, onion and jowar. Mix well with a large spoon. Pour over the salad dressing and mix everything well. Let stand for at 10 minutes before serving. Top with crumbled feta cheese and toasted pine nuts just before serving.


Celebrate the Monsoons ~ Fresh Corn Papdi Chaat

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The arrival of the monsoons, my favourite time of the year, sees cart loads of fresh corn being sold all over the city where I live. The easiest and most tempting way to eat it is freshly roasted and slightly charred over hot coal, rubbed down with red chilli powder, salt and lemon. Most people would have at least once in their life, stopped their vehicle in pouring rain to get a freshly roasted bhutta to savour.

Fresh corn is extensively used in Indian cooking, from the bhutta malai curries of the north to Makai sabzi in Rajasthani cuisine, to crispy vadas of the south and of course there are cutlets, salads and pulavs. I have a list of recipes to try while fresh corn is still available. Use a sharp knife to remove the kernels from the cob, or peeled sweet corn that is readily available if you would prefer.

Fresh Corn Papdi Chaat

Fresh Corn and spices on a crisp papdi

I made an easy chaat using store bought papdi. You could substitute crispy savoury tart/ canapes shells, toasted baguette or even indian khakras or papad depending on which part of the world you live in, or what you have handy.

Fresh Corn Papdi Chaat

Fresh corn, cucumber, tomato, onion and spices on a crisp papdi

Fresh Corn Papdi Chaat (serves 2)

Fresh Corn Kernels               1 cup

Onion                                       1 small, finely chopped

Tomato                                    1 small, finely chopped, pulp removed

Fresh Coriander                     1 small bunch, finely chopped

Cucumber                                ½ small, peeled, deseeded and chopped

Papdis                                      1 small packet (any super market will have it in the snack section)

Fine Sev                                   1/2 cup

Salt and red chilli powder       to taste

Chaat masala                           1 teaspoon

Lemon juice                             ½ teaspoon

Steam the corn kernels for 3-4 minutes, rinse and drain. Set aside to cool.

Chop all the ingredients as mentioned and put them in a bowl.

Add the fresh coriander, lemon juice, red chilli powder, salt and chaat masala.

Place the papdis on a plate, spoon one spoon of the corn mixture onto each papdi, top with the fine sev, garnish with some more fresh coriander and serve immediately.

Am attempting to post soups and salads this whole month. In my mind, this qualifies as a very nice Indian Salad!


Some of the other corn recipes on this blog are:

Corn Bread

Corn Croquettes

Corn Pulav

Makai ki Sabzi

Tzatziki and Hummus

These two dips are my favourites to make, store and serve. They pair well with bread of any kind ~ Pita, Bread sticks, Crackers or vegetable crudites as well. For the Tzatziki, I add the cucumber just before serving and have found, that having hung yogurt in the fridge (keep it in the freezer if storing for more than 3 days, defrost as needed) is helpful. I also do the same with boiled chickpeas. Hummus, made from boiled chickpeas, makes an excellent sandwich spread and keeps well for atleast 5-6 days in the refrigerator.

In my next post, I will post Falafels and assembling a full on Lebanese style platter. Stay tuned.

Yogurt Cucumber Dip

Yogurt Cucumber Dip

Tzatziki – Yogurt Cucumber Dip (Makes 1 large cup)

Yogurt – 200 grams

Cucumber – I small, skinned deseeded and chopped small

Garlic – 1-2 cloves, crushed fine

Sesame seeds paste – 1 tablespoon

Olive oil – 2 tablespoons

Salt – to taste

Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon

Mint and coriander leaves – a small bunch, chopped fine

  • To make hung yogurt, line a sieve with a muslin cloth, pour the yogurt and place a bowl underneath, place in the refrigerator for a few hours till all the water drains off.
  • Add all the ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl and whisk till everything is well mixed, pour the olive oil over it as a garnish. Serve chilled as a dip.
Chickpea Dip

Chickpea Dip

Hummus – Chickpea Dip (makes 1 large cup)

Cooked Chickpeas – 1 cup

Lemon juice – 2-3 tablespoons

Sesame seed paste – 1-2 tablespoons

Garlic – 1 clove, crushed finely

Salt to taste

Olive oil – 2-3 tablespoons for garnish

Red chilli powder – to garnish

  • If using dried chickpeas, soak ½ cup overnight, pressure cook for 20 mins, drain and reserve both the water and the chickpeas.
  • Add all the ingredients except the red chilli powder and olive oil into a blender and blend adding ¼ cup of the reserved liquid to make a smooth paste.
  • Check for salt and adjust.
  • Transfer  to a serving bowl, using a spoon, make a well in the centre.
  • Drizzle the olive oil in the centre of the hummus and sprinkle the red chilli powder as a garnish around the sides. Serve immediately with toasted pita bread, vegetable crudités or as use as a sandwich spread.

Protein Packed Salad ~ with Lobia

Am constantly trying to find ways to add protein to our meals in ways that do not use eggs. Not that I don’t love eggs, but there is something called overkill! Bean loaded salads are a good way to get a good portion of protein. I am fond of beans of all kinds. Indian cuisine makes wonderful curries and salads such as Koshimbir out of them. My standard rule to make a good salad is a layering of texture, flavour and taste. Pick 2 ingredients for each and you have a great salad in minutes.

I like to stock my vegetable tray with a variety of colours and textures. When I buy vegetables, I have a standard method. staples(such as onions, tomatoes), 3-4 green vegetables (beans, bhindi etc) and 2-3 colours (carrots, beets, cauliflower, coloured peppers, pumpkin, etc) that way i dont have a to eat monochromatic food! yeah I know… I have been told its very weird to constantly want coloured food like a child!

Here is the recipe for a good salad that can easily become a whole meal!

Protein Packed Salad (2 Servings)


Small head of iceberg lettuce, chopped roughly

Ripe Tomato                                       – 1 chopped into large pieces

Cucumber                                            – ½ peeled and cubed

Apple                                                     – ½ cored and cubed

Beetroot                                                – 1, boiled, peeled and cubed

Black Eyed Beans (Lobi                   – ½ cup, soaked overnight and boiled till just cooked (one whistle in the pressure cooker)

For the dressing

Lemon juice                                        – 1 teaspoon

Salt and pepper                                  – to taste

Honey                                                    – 1 teaspoon

Spring onion                                        – 1 shoot, finely chopped

Water                                                      – 1 teaspoon


Toss all the chopped vegetables together, add the boiled beans. Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl, pour onto the chopped vegetables and toss around to coat well. Serve chilled.

Beat the Heat Series ~ Summer Salad with Quail Eggs

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I got a few boxes of quail eggs at the supermarket a few weeks ago. I had never tasted these eggs before, but they are slowly becoming popular in the cities now and are so damn cute that I’d buy them even if I didn’t want to eat them.

I’ve had them simply fried, with a dash of salt and pepper. It took about 6 of the quail eggs to make up the quantity of one regular chicken egg.

This time I boiled them and used them in a salad, for added protein. The salad is similar to the ones that regularly feature on this blog. Cucumbers, tomatoes and a little cooked pasta. I added some wedges of pan roasted potatoes to bulk it up and add a bit of a crunch. This was an easy weeknight fix for us. Light, healthy and filling. If you don’t have quail eggs, substitute it with chopped regular hard boiled eggs.

Summer salad with quail eggs (makes 3 generous portions)

6 hard boiled, shelled and halved quail eggs (replace with one regular chicken egg)

2 cups of peeld and chopped cucumber

2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (replace with cherry tomatoes)

2 tablespoons of fresh coriander leaves

1 cup cooked pasta (I used penne)

1 cup potato wedges

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing

3 tablespoons tomato sauce / ketchup

1 teaspoon green chilli sauce

½ teaspoonTabascosauce

Pinch of sugar

3 tablespoons thick yogurt / curd

2 tablepoons milk

Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.

Reserve the boiled eggs, toss together all the ingredients for the salad. Pour the dressing over it and mix well. Chill for atleast 30 minutes covered before serving. Before serving, plate into individual serving bowl. Garnish with 2-3 halves of the egg. Crackle some pepper on top and serve.

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